Eddie Owens's Reviews > Us

Us by David Nicholls
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it was ok

** spoiler alert ** I think I'm done with David Nicholls.

I enjoyed Starter for Ten and One Day was ok, but The Understudy was rank, and now this.

There is a blurb on the front cover calling it "The perfect book". His mum must have written it.

This is meant to be a love story but it's really not. Douglas and Connie would never be together. She is an arty. bohemian type who hates him and only gets married to put some structure in her shitty life.

Then Connie hates herself for giving up on her dreams, so she spends her life belittling Douglas and winding him up.

Douglas is the scientist who can't believe that this beautiful women would deign to shag him, let alone marry him, so he is obsessed by her.

It's not impossible for different types to be together, but it's got to be based on more than one partner's schoolboy crush. See Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe.

On every page, Douglas bores on about how much he loves Connie and how great things were once upon a time. But then, when he tells the story in flashbacks, things were never great; they were always horrible and awkward. He hates her friends, her lifestyle, her family, her books, her music and the list is endless.

The book itself reminds me of certain other things, like Burton and Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Taylor's depiction of the mad harpy. Also, with all the navel gazing, I was reminded of Tony Parsons' book Man and Wife. Is Nicholls aware of these things when he's writing?

There are the usual contrived Nicholls' scenes of embarrassment: sunburn on one side of your face, a middle aged man wearing ridiculous clothes - don't ask - getting arrested in Italy, stung by jellyfish, eating red hot chilis and making a scene in a restaurant, etc, etc. And of course it all happens to Douglas, not the perfect Connie.

Things do happen to people, just not in the ways described by the author.

I've tried several books now and I am bored by the style and the repetition.

I only stuck with this book because I wanted to see if he mentioned any of the places that I'd been to in Italy. In the end, I wished, I'd just reviewed my holiday snaps on my phone.
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Reading Progress

March 17, 2017 – Started Reading
March 17, 2017 – Shelved
March 24, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley I only stuck with this book because I wanted to see if he mentioned any of the places that I'd been to in Italy. In the end, I wished, I'd just reviewed my holiday snaps on my phone.

Ha! Great ending to a good review.


message 2: by Karen (new)

Karen Croan Totally agree! Thankfully it's the only one I've read besides One Day (which I wasn't mad about either) He's one of those authors who likes to write about unpleasant characters & doesn't appreciate that we just don't care enough about them to make the read worthwhile. Also we can meet (& work) with unpleasant people in real life so we don't need to read about them as well. Finally, his wife & son were the most selfish, horrible pair ever & so I couldn't understand why he wanted to spend any time with them. If it had been me I would have kept travelling!


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