One Day

One Day

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) David Nicholls


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  • Publisher: Hodder Paperback
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 239mm x 498mm x 203mm | 1,973g
  • Publication date: 4 February 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0340896981
  • ISBN 13: 9780340896983
  • Sales rank: 78

Product description

'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.' He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.' 15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. From the author of the massive bestseller STARTER FOR TEN.

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Author information

Galaxy Book Award-winner (ONE DAY), Richard & Judy bestseller (STARTER FOR TEN), BAFTA Award nominee (GREAT EXPECTATIONS) and now Man Booker Longlisted (US) author David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. As well as his multimillion-copy bestselling novels STARTER FOR TEN, THE UNDERSTUDY and ONE DAY, David is a scriptwriter whose credits include the TV series Cold Feet, Rescue Me, I Saw You, the TV movies The 7:39 and Aftersun, and screenplays for Far From the Madding Crowd, Great Expectations, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and When Did You Last See Your Father? He has also written the screenplays for the film adaptations of his own novels, STARTER FOR TEN (2006) which starred James McAvoy, ONE DAY (2010), starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway, and the forthcoming THE UNDERSTUDY (release TBC).

Customer reviews

By Julie Rimpula 19 Apr 2014 2

I did not like it very much though I must say the story was good. It was a bittersweet love story and I appreciated it. I could have given it a lower rating but with all fairness, despite the boredom I suffered through the first half of the book, it has a redeeming quality to it. I was just quite disappointed because I was expecting too much since there were a lot of good reviews on it. Anyways...

Honestly, I think Dexter and Emma are this kind of people who can't admit, even to themselves, that they're in love with each other. They're both proud and self-righteous and can't seem to decide what to do with their own respective lives. Emma was in love with Dexter but just settled with being his best friend, while Dexter on the other hand, didn't even realize that he loved Emma and continued searching for "fun" until he ended up being more miserable. Dexter was drunk 75% of the time, which I really really hate. I even thought he was going to die because of alcoholism.

But you know how everything finally makes sense when you get to be with someone you really wanna be with? That's exactly how it happened to Dexter. His life took a different turn when he and Emma got together. I thought I was going to finish the book thinking "You idiot Dexter, just go and find Emma, will you?" It's just so sad that Emma died after two years of marriage with Dexter and she didn't get to have a child. It even frustrated me a bit. After so many years of frustrating friendship and a short-lived marriage, she just dies? Argh!

But really, I loved the ending. And the flashbacks towards the end? Brilliant! I loved the fact that it did not end in such a very sad note (i.e. Dexter moping and grieving around). And it's great that he got the chance to start becoming a father to Jasmine.

All in all, it was okay though not the one I would be willing to give a rating higher than 2 out of 5.

By lorna Grace Edwards 15 Jul 2013 5

I read this within a couple of days on holiday, it is so hard to put down. It has quickly become my best book. The story and characters become so real you can not stop thinking of them even when the book is finished. A must read - and a lovely story that works really well.

By Kate Mawdesley 14 Apr 2013 5

This book left a hole in my heart after reading it, I could not stop thinking about it while reading and when i finished! I got so attached to the characters, and oh my gosh it was so good!

I loved this book as soon as i started reading it, i could not put it down, and i'm so glad i read it!

The book follows the lives of Dexter and Emma and how they meet, how they break apart and how things work out. Each chapter describes the same day (anniversary of when they met) for 20 years. There's no real plot to this story it's just a journey, but such a good journey!

Anyone who loves a good contemporary novel should read this book!

Also the book is written so beautifully, thank you David Nicholls :-)

By Kristina Coric 28 Feb 2013 4

I thought this was a good read, I especially liked the structure of the book how each year represented a year. The characters were interesting however I didn't get quite attached to the characters as I would have liked too. Great story.

By Wendy SEKULOFF 07 Feb 2012 3

Just an ok read-I did read it to the end. Good concept in that we see what the main characters are up to on the same day in successive years. I would have rather purchased another book, though. Certainly not one to keep me enthralled for hours....maybe a good thing so I can do other jobs?? I looked forward to finishing it so I could start another!

Review quote

It's rare to find a novel which ranges over the recent past with such authority, and even rarer to find one in which the two leading characters are drawn with such solidity, such painful fidelity, to real life that you really do put the book down with the hallucinatory feeling that they've become as well known to you as your closest friends. Hard to imagine anyone encountering characters as well drawn as this and not recognizing the extraordinary talent of the writer who has created them. Jonathan Coe Guardian Books of the Year I finished it last night and I'm still quite wobbly and affected by it. It was BRILLIANT... the jealously nearly made me puke. I wish I'd written this book Marian Keyes The ultimate zeitgeist love story for anyone who ever wanted someone they couldn't have Adele Parks Big, absorbing, smart, fantastically readable ... brilliant on the details of the last couple of decades of British cultural and political life Nick Hornby The novel of the year - a brilliantly funny and moving will-they, won't-they romance tracing a relationship on the same day each day for two decades Heat It is a cleverly and astutely constructed book - but that is worthy of a mere footnote compared with its emotional impact. I am not ashamed to say that upon finishing it I pressed it to my chest as a big fat tear splashed onto its upturned spine The Times Book Club You'd be hard pressed to find a sharper, sweeter romantic comedy this year than the story of Dex and Em Independent Nicholls' book is the sort of thing you can't put down, and I read it over a weekend, creeping upstairs to gulp down another chapter when I should have been downstairs preparing dinner of helping with homework Dylan Jones I felt that I had been emotionally taken apart by the very best. This perfectly executed novel is a reminder that reading can be the finest entertainment there is Guardian If you measure your love for a book by the number of times you buy it for people, then my favourite is ONE DAY by David Nicholls. I read it about a year ago and must have bought it for at least 20 people since The Times Book Club We could fill a page with descriptive proclamations of its brilliance, but we'll stick with intoxicating, engrossing and verging on genius. If this has never graced your bedside table, then go directly to the nearest bookshop, purchase one copy and start 2010 with a read that has taken the literary world by storm Daily Record It made me laugh and sob, and the characters just walk off the page into your head, where they remain. How I wish I'd written it, as does every novelist I know Polly Williams A totally brilliant book about the heartbreaking gap between the way we were and the way we are...the best weird love story since THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE. Every reader will fall in love with it. And every writer will wish they had written it. Tony Parsons A wonderful, wonderful book: wise, funny, perceptive, compassionate and often unbearably sad ... the best British social novel since Jonathan Coe's WHAT A CARVE UP! ... Nicholls's witty prose has a transparency that brings Nick Hornby to mind: it melts as you read it so that you don't notice all the hard work that it's doing The Times The funniest, loveliest book I've read in ages. Most of all it is horribly, cringingly, absolutely 100% honest and true to life: I lived every page. Jenny Colgan I really loved it ... it's absolutely wonderful ... just so moving and engaging Kate Mosse With its beautifully rounded, real characters and deeply poignant storytelling, this is one of the year's best novels. Heat With a nod to WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, this funny, emotionally engaging third novel from David Nicholls traces the unlikely relationship between Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew ... Told with toe-curlingly accurate insight and touching observation ... If you left college sometime in the Eighties with no clear idea of what was going to happen next, or who your lifelong friends might turn out to be, this one's a definite for your holiday suitcase. If you didn't, it still is ... The feelgood film must surely be just around the corner. I can't wait. Daily Mail Page by page, the funniest book of the year Uncut [Nicholls] has both a very deft prose style and a great understanding of human emotion. His characterisation is utterly convincing ... ONE DAY is destined to be a modern classic. Daily Mirror A moving and feel-good read. Nicholls is an expert at capturing that essence of young adulthood, first love, heartbreak, and the tangled, complicated course of romance ... Deserves to be the must-read hit of the summer. News of the World I couldn't think of anyone who wouldn't love this book Simon Mayo Books Panel, BBC Radio Five Live Nicholls captures superbly the ennui of post graduation ... The writing is almost faultless, there's a great feeling for the period and it's eminently readable. Herald David Nicholls' third novel captivates love in a way that's real and unassuming ... Relaying the essence of friendship and unrequited love with fall-off-your-seat humour, this is an unputdownable romance for the 21st century SHE You're gripped from the opening pages ... Nicholls, author of STARTER FOR TEN, writes faultless, engaging dialogue and keeps up a cracking pace. You will find this hard to put down Psychologies As a study of what we once were and what we can become, it's masterfully realised Esquire Perfect for the beach or summer in the city In Style An off-kilter romantic comedy with charm to spare Harpers Bazaar A delicious love story Sunday Herald funny and moving Scotsman David STARTER FOR TEN Nicholls is back with this smart comedy, packed with the mistakes, mismatches and meandering conversations that make up real life Marie Claire, Book of the Month A modern fairy tale, slickly put together. A gifted story-teller with lots of technical savvy. Scottish Review of Books An edgy romantic tale Woman & Home I loved this book ... moved me profoundly Amanda Ross Snort-out-loud stuff ... it deserves to be a huge hit thelondonpaper A romantic comedy that the gents needn't be ashamed to read. Chronicling a friendship spanning two decades, Nicholls perfects the will-they-won't-they trick, starting with his leads at university in the 1980s and poking gentle fun at the decades following. A genuine tear-jerker as well as laugh-out-loud funny. Independent on Sunday Books of the Year 2009 Intoxicating, engrossing and verging on genius Daily Record, Scotland A compulsive read you'll want to devour in one sitting Woman This is a real cancel-all-calls, leave-me-alone book The Times Book Club I can't recommend it more highly The Word A cross between Jonathan Coe and Nick Hornby, this is romantic, sharp and very English Scotsman Laugh out loud funny with razor dialogue Nadia Sawalha One Day should come with a health warning attached: This Book is Seriously Addictive Belfast Telegraph It's Love Actually meets High Fidelity meets This Life - i.e. perfect. Sydney Sunday Herald It's a book that speaks to my generation, and I found it totally gripping. The characters are complex and their relationship uncertain. I don't want to give away the ending, but everyone who has read it agrees how powerful it is. Ed Miliband I know this is The Book That Everyone Has Read, but it's especially a book for my life ... There is something devastatingly sad about it. The writing reminds you how, when you were young, despite everything you thought you knew, you never fully grasped the transience and precious power of youth itself. Jeremy Vine in We Love This Book