One day

by David Nicholls | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0340994681 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingFifnawing of Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on 4/9/2012
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingFifnawing from Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Monday, April 9, 2012
"You can live your whole life not realising that what you're looking for is right in front of you.
15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet 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?"

Journal Entry 2 by wingFifnawing at Dublin Convention 2012 in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Friday, April 13, 2012

Released 11 yrs ago (4/14/2012 UTC) at Dublin Convention 2012 in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland


Going to the 2012 Convention at Camden Court Hotel.

Journal Entry 3 by bookguide at Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Monday, April 16, 2012
Fifna "sold" this book very well during the book-swap game at the Dublin Convention, so I'm looking forward to reading it. The idea of an annual meeting on a particular day reminds me of the dramatisation of the Dutch book 'Achtste-groepers huilen niet', which I saw at the theatre during Children's Book Week, where two friends meet up every year to commemorate their schoolfriend's death.

Journal Entry 4 by bookguide at Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Firstly, it turns out that this book wasn't about an annual meeting, but tells the story of a relationship using the device of an annual "snapshot", a description of the protagonists' lives on a certain day each year, the anniversary of the day they met. It has a certain resemblance to the annual Christmas letter I write to far-flung friends and family, except that in that case, the year's events are examined in overview. By choosing the snapshot idea, David Nicholls shows how two people's lives progress, without describing every development; it works well most of the time. This is the review I wrote on GoodReads:

Twenty years, two people, one day... Pick a turning point in your life, preferably involving somebody else, and then examine your lives on the same day every year. Compare and contrast, take a snapshot of your relationship with each other, your careers, your family. Would your story be like Dexter and Emma's? That is what this book is about.

I loved most of this book, particularly because I'm British too, and graduated two years before them, so many of the background trends in 'One Day' feel familiar and real to me. The music, the TV shows, the bet about whether Emma will ever succumb to a mobile phone. The fact that rich boy Dexter can go off travelling the world and playing at life, then falls into a media job, whereas middle class Emma has to find herself a dead-end job, in spite of her 1.1. I laughed at Emma and Dexter's one-liners, and felt akin to Emma with her lack of self-confidence and bad clothes-sense. Dexter, at face value, is supremely confident, but underneath he needs somebody to guide him, whether that be his mother, Emma or Sylvie; without a strong woman, he drifts and heads down the slippery path of self-destructive behaviour. By the later stages of the book, Emma's star is on the rise (cue Dido's 'Mary's in India'), and Dexter is in need of a saviour and somebody outside the fickle media industry which has chewed him up and spit him out. His relationship with Emma is the one thing which keeps his feet on the ground.

So is this a romance, a tale of will they, won't they, when we know they will? I don't think it is, and I think many people who have picked up a copy of the book which has the romantic film still of Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess would have been disappointed. It isn't a Rom Com, and it isn't chick-lit, although if it had been written by a woman, I think it would have been marketed as such. My copy of the book has the neutral orange and white cover above, with quotes by Nick Hornby and Marian Keyes, both of whom write intelligent relationship-based novels, but not necessarily happy ending romance. And I don't visualise Meg Ryan and Hugh Grant in the leading roles. The quotations from Hardy and Dickens reminded me that romantic and relationship-based novels have not always been considered the sole preserve of women's romantic fiction, written by women, and bound in bright pink covers.

'One Day' is a book about friendship and relationships and affection for a friend of the opposite sex, despite all their quirks and faults; if Em and Dex had been two women, there wouldn't have been the problem of sexual tension to muddy the waters. The idea of the annual snapshot limits the storytelling at times, and it's easy to forget that Emma and Dexter were in constant and almost daily contact at some points, so that their relationship and "in jokes" would have made them closer than most friendships. Yet for many years they forced themselves to ignore their mutual sexual attraction, showing remarkable self-control, given Dexter's usual womanising and non-monogamous lifestyle. Many of the best relationships are built up around a friendship which becomes something more, between friends who came together when supporting one another through a traumatic experience. Dex and Em fit the mould.

I couldn't help wondering who David Nichols was basing his character of Dexter on. For most of the book I was imagining Jonathan Ross, but at one point I was considering Jools Holland as the prototype posh boy pretending to have street cred. I also imagined Dexter as blond for some reason; I think it was the description of his hair at the beginning, which reminded me of a particular bleached-blond 1980s singer whose name I have forgotten. By 1988 I had left the UK, so I'm not sure which programme "largin' it" is base on, but I know the type. Dexter drifts along, following all the trends of the times, drinking the popular drinks, taking the popular drugs, falling into all the fashionable pitfalls of fame and money. A sad story, bittersweet and frustrating for anyone who likes neat and tidy happy endings.

Journal Entry 5 by bookguide at Strand10 in Castricum, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, June 30, 2012

Released 11 yrs ago (7/1/2012 UTC) at Strand10 in Castricum, Noord-Holland Netherlands


This book has been released as part of the following BookCrossing challenges:
- The Ultimate Challenge - read and release books, with extra points for a monthly theme
- Reduce Mount TBR (To Be Read) - read and release books on the TBR list since before the end of 2011. My reading goal is 75 books.
- Pages Read Challenge - read a self-set target number of pages in 201w. My goal is 26,000.

Journal Entry 6 by sarientje at Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, January 9, 2013
I loved reading this book during my holiday in Gran Canaria, i released it at the eugenia victoria hotel after i read it.

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