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Take Nothing With You

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  405 ratings  ·  81 reviews
From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER comes a new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality. For all readers of Ian McEwan's ATONEMENT or L P Hartley's THE GO-BETWEEN.

1970s Western-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother's quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons
Paperback, 344 pages
Published July 12th 2018 by Tinder Press
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Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“There was … an awed hush as she sat back on her piano stool, thrust out a shapely sandalled foot to her left, gazed up at the top left-hand reaches of the church, took an audible breath as though about to sing, and began to play.
She didn’t simply play the notes; she played as though urgently communicating. Listen! her playing said. This really matters!”

Take Nothing With You is the sixteenth novel by award-winning British author, Patrick Gale. In his fifties, after a concerning diagnosis and th
Eric Anderson
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patrick Gale's new novel “Take Nothing With You” is a refreshing new take on a coming of age story. At the beginning we first meet the protagonist Eustace in his later years. At this stage of his life he's begun a promising new relationship with Theo, a fairly senior army officer stationed far away, and, though their connection has progressed from a dating app to regular Skype conversations, they've not yet met in person. But Eustace has also been diagnosed with cancer and needs radiation treatm ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Patrick Gale's writing. He's very hard to generalise and this week I've described as a bit like a male Maggie O'Farrell or Sarah Waters. His last book; A Place Called Winter was one of my favourite books of 2015, he creates magic with words.

Take Nothing With You is Eustace's story and begins as he contemplates the fact that he's fallen in love, for the third time and also has cancer. Eustace is in his fifties and is wealthy and successful, he's not yet actually met Theo, the m
Carolyn Mck
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read all Gale’s recent novels, since I heard him speak at Adelaide Writers Week a few years back. He doesn’t disappoint. I kept wanting to return to this novel, a sure sign of a good book for me.

This is a coming of age novel. Eustace gradually realises that he is not only different from other boys because of his lack of sporting ability but also because he is gay. Gale writes with great empathy about Eustace and with a clear eye about his family, friends and music teachers. There is a lot
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
Loved this so much, Patrick Gale has written another exquisite book that was so wonderful that I almost re-read it straight away so I could get lost in his wonderful prose again. The story is about a young man's journey of self discovery and self acceptance facilitated by his learning of the cello. Through his passion for music and learning how to play well he finds acceptance and a community he doesn't have at home, with a twist that made me gasp out loud. As usual Patrick Gale writes so beauti ...more
Megan Jones
Ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, as his life transformed by his mother’s decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother. When he is enrolled on a holiday course in Scotland, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice.
As is typical from Gal
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
Patrick Gale's writing is exquisite. I haven't read many of his novels but each one I have read has been perfectly told, at just the right pace with a large dose of compassion and tenderness.

Eustace is an only child but he wasn't his parents' only child. Much of his insecurities stem from the fact that he survived when his siblings didn't, although he doesn't know that from his parents. The story begins with Eustace as an adult just having been told he has cancer. He has also just fallen in love
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd Patrick Gale novel I have read and I loved it just as much. The coming of age story of Eustace told in two timeframes when he’s a young boy and a man in his fifties with the learning and playing of the cello being a major thing in his life. Beaufifully written and very emotional. Really loved the character of Eustace.
Mary Lou
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just didn't want this book to be over
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read by Patrick Gale, and I really enjoyed it. It follows the life of Eustace, in the present day as he undergoes treatment for cancer, and begins a new relationship, but mainly the past, as it charts his 1970s childhood and adolescence in Weston-super-Mare. Growing up in an old people's home which his parents ran, and in the shadow of their cold marriage, Eustace found solace in his cello lessons with the glamorous Carla. When visiting her house in Bristol, with his ...more
Shirley Bateman
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
I loved this book! It's the story of a boy called Eustace, growing up in Somerset in the late 70s/early 80s. Two things dominate his life: his love for the cello which he studies assiduously, and his gradual awareness that he is gay. It's a slow story and you get lost in the characters - I felt like I knew Eustace so well and I fell heavily for him. It feels incredibly truthful.

The story is bookmarked by present day Eustace, undergoing cancer treatment in his 50s and thinking back to his upbrin
Elaine's Reviews
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take nothing with you is a story about Eustace, his childhood, his love of the cello, his later life and loves. Set in Weston Super Mare, Eustace's story is told via two timelines, his early childhood and his later life where he is living with HIV and being treated for thyroid cancer. He is falling in love with a soldier deployed overseas. Music and the cello form the backdrop to this book, as Eustace takes up lessons as a child and develops a love for both. The book is beautifully written and, ...more
Beth Bonini
This is my first book by Patrick Gale, but it definitely won’t be my last. I saw him at the Cambridge Literary Festival this past weekend (Nov 25, 2018) and he was an absolute charmer. A good friend of mine has been raving about Notes from an Exhibition for years, and I just regret that I didn’t open that book (which I own) much earlier.

Gale described this book as having two literary “fairy godmothers hovering over” - the two being Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes and L.P. Hartley’s The Go-Betwe
Ronnie Turner
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take Nothing With You begins with main character Eustace discovering he has cancer. And realising that for the third time, he has fallen in love. As a successful, wealthy man who has worked hard to get to where he is, meeting Theo through a dating website has sparked something new and exciting in his life. Whilst Theo serves in the military, he and Eustace spend hours getting to know one another and slowly a bond begins to form. Preferring to keep Theo in the dark about his condition, Eustace en ...more
FIONA Norris
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always reassuring to begin a novel by a writer who never fails you - Patrick Gale is one of those, for me. With an understated but completely sure touch, Gale tells the story of Eustace, undergoing treatment for cancer is an isolation ward. In the main, the novel is a coming -of -age story, centring on the young Eustace as he struggles to become a musician, and to understand both his own sexual urges, and the ambiguous and unsettling relationships of the adults around him.

While for me this
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-loves
Patrick Gale’s Take Nothing With You took me by the hand, page by page, through Eustace’s life as he discovers his passion for music and his love for boys. It’s a beautiful story about life and love told through a compelling voice. I didn’t want to put the book until the end and even then, I find myself wanting just a tad more.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this! Up there as one of my favourites of Patrick's.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A genuine page-turner! So pleasant to read. Touching and often very funny.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a novel I enjoyed thoroughly and I only wish the experience of reading it could have lasted longer. I put it down a number of times simply to slow down the relentless drive towards finishing the book.
I have been a fan of Patrick Gale’s work for more than a decade. This novel, which apparently draws heavily from his own life, is by far my favourite. I simply adored the protagonist, Eustace, both as an adult and in the lengthy portions of the book recollecting his childhood and coming of
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again Patrick Gale has bastioned his position of being (in my opinion anyway) Britain's greatest living author. I was delighted to receive an advance copy of Take Nothing With You and devoured the text in a couple of sittings. As usual, I didn't want the story to end and now I find myself in that familiar situation where after having read something wonderful, anything else just won't do, so in an effort to ease myself back into the world of fiction I am revisiting his back catalogue (all of ...more
From the very first page I knew this was going to be a book I loved, the writing from beginning to end was exquisite and the reading experience was an absolute pleasure.
This is the story of Eustace, looking back on his adolescent as he in adulthood embarks on a new relationship and undergoes treatment for cancer. Both aspects of the story are beautifully written, engaging and highly readable. This is a book about being an adolescent and developing an understanding about oneself and those around
Linda Semple
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh I do love Patrick Gale. He creates such believable, relatable characters about whom you just *care* a very great deal. This has, as a central theme, the question of what, exactly, does it mean to be a musician. As a non-musician, and someone who is in awe of those who are, I loved this element of the book. Gale is a cellist on the QT, when he’s not writing lambent prose, and it shows.
Additionally, I can’t think of any male writer (because we now have to measure it against Sara Winman) who ca
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review was written for WRITERS REVIEW - - and was posted on 27th August 2018.

Patrick Gale's most recent book, A Place Called Winter, was set mainly in Canada in the early 1900s, drawing on the experience of his great-grandfather, a pioneer farmer in the prairies. His new novel marks a return to more familiar territory - boyhood and adolescence in the West Country, music, the complexities of love, sexuality and relationships.

Take Nothing With You sounds like a f
Linda Hepworth
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Eustace is in his 50s and, recovering from the break-up of a relationship, has gone online in search of a new one. He has recently met and, over a period of some months, fallen in love with Theo, a soldier who is twenty years younger and currently posted overseas. However, shortly before Theo is due to come home on leave, and they can meet for the first time, Eustace is diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This will need to be targeted with radioactive iodine therapy, treatment which will require him
Sam Still Reading
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Tin Man
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: from the publisher
I’ve never read Patrick Gale before, which is a total mistake. He writes beautiful, haunting prose that evokes a scene perfectly in the reader’s mind. I would say he is the English equivalent of Tim Winton, taking care to detail even the smallest things in his characters’ lives which makes his novels a joy to read. He has a great backlist which I must now devour.

Take Nothing With You can be surmised so simply, but please don’t think that the story is boring. Eustace has found out he has cancer a
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Eustace has reached the sort of age where he feels there's little left in life to surprise him. Now in his fifties, he's survived AIDS, and settled to an uneventful single life shared with his dog, Joyce, and close friend, Naomi.Then his comfortable world is rocked. First by falling in love again, rather ridiculously with a man he hasn't even met. Then by fearing he might die.
Through long solitary hours of treatment in hospital, he listens to a mix-tape of cello music prepared by Naomi, and refl
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new novel by Patrick Gale is, in my case, a moment to celebrate, to look forward to turning the pages on what you know will be a novel that will take you away and immerse you in the wonderful world of Gale's characters.Take Nothing With You was no exception and from the first page to the last i could not help but become embroiled in the life of Eustace, a man of 52 when we first met him, alone, and about to embark on a battle with the dreaded cancer. When he is locked in a room for twenty four ...more
Mary Picken
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the vast majority of books that I read and seldom think a book is not worthy of review. But occasionally a book will land on my desk and make such an impact that I worry about how to do it justice.

That book is Patrick Gale’s Take Nothing With You. This is prose that shines with love, with kindness, with insight and tells a story without hesitation, aiming, like the proverbial arrow, straight for the heart.

Gale is an author whose books immediately jump into the must read category and Take
I have been so very lucky to have read many great books ahead of publication a number spring to mind and now joining this list is Take Nothing With You (Tinder Press) by Patrick Gale. Why oh why is this the first book by Patrick Gale that I have read. I know that many are going to fall headlong into Patrick’s latest on publication. It is just beautiful in every sense of the word.

Because I am writing this sometime ahead of publication I do not want to give too much away. The story is about Eusta
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Patrick was born on 31 January 1962 on the Isle of Wight, where his father was prison governor at Camp Hill, as his grandfather had been at nearby Parkhurst. He was the youngest of four; one sister, two brothers, spread over ten years. The family moved to London, where his father ran Wandsworth Prison, then to Winchester. At eight Patrick began boarding as a Winchester College Quirister at the cat ...more