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Us by David Nicholls
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This is another beautifully crafted story by David Nicholls. His writing is absolutely, brilliantly, very British-ly perfect, so many passages vacillating between comedy and heartbreak, characters trying to communicate and often misunderstood. The main protagonist Douglas, while a scientist, has an offbeat way of looking at the world with insights that are metaphorically creative and laugh out loud hilarious:

‘I was wary because parties, and dinner parties in particular, had always seemed to be a pitiless form of gladiatorial combat, with laurel garlands bestowed to the most witty, successful and attractive, and the corpses of the defeated lying bleeding on the painted floorboards.’

Beyond the writing, this is as realistic a portrayal of a family as I’ve read in a while: people who love each other, but sometimes don’t like each other. Each character is expertly drawn in all of their flawed and maddening splendor, yet each is eminently likable in their individuality.

'There's a saying, cited in popular song, that if you love someone you must set them free. Well, that's just nonsense. If you love someone, you bind them to you with heavy metal chains.'

And I love that Nicholls didn’t go for the wrapped-up ending with the big bow, years of conflict and discord suddenly forgotten and instead gives us truth and, in that, beauty, even if it isn’t always as we’d hoped for or imagined. If you want to know whether you’ll enjoy this story, read the passages/quotes and that will tell you all you need to know. For me, the entire book was wonderfully quotable.
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Quotes Victoria Liked

David Nicholls
“perhaps grief is as much regret for what we have never had as sorrow for what we have lost.”
David Nicholls, Us


Reading Progress

October 2, 2014 – Shelved
December 8, 2015 – Started Reading
December 14, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Roger Brunyate Very fine, Victoria. Perhaps you can remind me (in a spoiler, or by direct eMail (my first and last names run together as one word, at gmail.com) what that beauty at the end was that so impressed us both. R.


Victoria Roger wrote: "Very fine, Victoria. Perhaps you can remind me (in a spoiler, or by direct eMail (my first and last names run together as one word, at gmail.com) what that beauty at the end was that so impressed u..."

For Roger ONLY as it contains a spoiler (not that anyone else has read this rubbish in months)...

180. freja kristensen dentist copenhagen

If that still doesn't ring a bell, I'll elaborate via email tomorrow. On the run, but wanted to make sure I didn't leave you hanging.


Roger Brunyate Thanks, but sorry—still doesn't. (Ah, the downside of gettin old!) R.


Victoria I hear you Roger. Okay, skipping over to email for some context. I am on a quest.


Gemma Splendid review, Victoria. You highlighted everything I enjoyed about this book.


Victoria Gemma wrote: "Splendid review, Victoria. You highlighted everything I enjoyed about this book."

Thank you, Gemma! Wonderful to know we had the same feelings.


message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ansbro I like the sound of David, Victoria.
Lovely review!


Victoria Kevin wrote: "I like the sound of David, Victoria.
Lovely review!"


It was an entertaining read and I do think you and David would get along swimmingly.


message 9: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan I really liked One Day by David Nicholls, even though the ending was heartbreaking. Ultimately, I like anything "very British-ly perfect", as you put it, so I'll have to check this one out!


Victoria Susan wrote: "I really liked One Day by David Nicholls, even though the ending was heartbreaking. Ultimately, I like anything "very British-ly perfect", as you put it, so I'll have to check this one out!"

I agree with you about One Day and this one is quite different, but a funny kind of different.


message 11: by Deanna (new)

Deanna I had to add this one :) Excellent review <3


Victoria Deanna wrote: "I had to add this one :) Excellent review <3"

Thank you, delightful lady! I would love to read your thoughts.


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