One Day by David Nicholls

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Cover of "One Day"

Cover of One Day

One Day tells the story of two young people, Dexter and Emma, who briefly get together on their last day of Uni in 1988. David Nicholls uses the device of providing `snapshots’ of each of their lives on the same day in subsequent years to show us what happens to them along the way, teasing us with the “will they or won’t they” question at each stage.
Several reviews have criticised the book by saying that the story had been `done’ many times before; well, there are no `new’ stories in the world and it is the job of the writer to tell the story in a new, imaginative way which affects the reader and engages him.
For me, this didn’t quite do it.
I absolutely LOATHED Dexter. Search for `Gap Yah‘ on youtube and you’ll see why. He is everything I dislike in a character and I didn’t care what happened to him. Emma seemed `nice’. There you go.
I think it might be an age thing: perhaps I have been too long away from that period of my life to connect with these characters. I tend to believe that if they had been more sympathetically drawn, I’d have cared more.
I did enjoy it to a point. There is a Sad Moment near the end. I thought, “Oh, how sad.” But I didn’t cry and I have been known to cry at cartoons and Doctor Who.
A book for the young, I’d say.
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8 Comments

  1. keatsbabe
    Apr 1, 2011

    I have been ‘told’ to read this by my 30 something friends for whom it is one of the best books ever. I keep picking it off the bookshelf but something always makes me put it back… Maybe I had a sense of what you are expressing here. May give it a go ‘one day’.. (sorry)

    • nettiewriter
      Apr 1, 2011

      D’oh! Have you looked athe “Gap Yah” video yet? It’s funny.

  2. keatsbabe
    Apr 1, 2011

    I have been ‘told’ to read this by my 30 something friends for whom it is one of the best books ever. I keep picking it off the bookshelf but something always makes me put it back… Maybe I had a sense of what you are expressing here. May give it a go ‘one day’.. (sorry)

    • nettiewriter
      Apr 1, 2011

      D’oh! Have you looked athe “Gap Yah” video yet? It’s funny.

  3. Ellen Arnison
    Apr 4, 2011

    This is our book group choice at the moment and I’m about six years in. I have to say, I’m loving it so far. The device works for me although I see what you mean about Dexter. Emma irritates me far more for letting life pass her by and putting up with a dead end job.

    • nettiewriter
      Apr 4, 2011

      Yes, Emma is really passive and that’s what irritated me about her too. I hope you enjoy it.

  4. Ellen Arnison
    Apr 4, 2011

    This is our book group choice at the moment and I’m about six years in. I have to say, I’m loving it so far. The device works for me although I see what you mean about Dexter. Emma irritates me far more for letting life pass her by and putting up with a dead end job.

    • nettiewriter
      Apr 4, 2011

      Yes, Emma is really passive and that’s what irritated me about her too. I hope you enjoy it.

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