Turning Thirty

by Mike Gayle | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0340792655 Global Overview for this book
Registered by gerbie7 of Goor, Overijssel Netherlands on 3/1/2004
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Journal Entry 1 by gerbie7 from Goor, Overijssel Netherlands on Monday, March 01, 2004
Mike Gayle - Turning thirty

I bumped into Mike Gayle's second book (Mr.Commitment) last year in Mexico, just at a time I was considering where I stood with an ex girlfriend who wanted me back in her life. A lot of it hit home, he's very British, writes with a lovely comical undertone, not taking anything very serious, especially not himself. His main characters in all his novels are always around my age, which makes it easier to relate and face the same problems. Growing up in a world where the lifestyle that their parents chose (marry at early age, get children, a job for life) are the one thing we don't want, but what it is that we do, nobody knows.

This is his third book, which I saw the first time as I had just turned that age myself. As hardbacks have the disadvantage that they are very expensive and also too heavy to carry around in a backpack, I had to wait, but I knew I had to read it. It is not literature, but it is hitting right so often, that it is funny to read. I was on standby in Singapore and left a flight earlier, leaving less than 25 minutes to check in, get through customs and start boarding. But still had a few Singapore Dollars left. I saw the queue for boarding and nipped into the bookshop which luckily was still open at the time. I had two or three books in my hands, this was one of them, and priced at exactly the amount I still had to spend (okay, five cents cheaper) and a book just finished in my hand luggage. Not a difficult choice therefore.

I read it on the way to London and finished it at home, as from London to Amsterdam and the train after wards newspapers took over my reading anger. I loved reading about Matt, who is not afraid to turn thirty, as he has his life sorted anyway. Until a couple of months before his girlfriend and he simultaneously decide to break up. He moves away from the States where he was at the time, back to Birmingham (few people in LJ land might know about the culture shock), before he will continue his job in Sydney. Back home he finds some old friends, has a fling with a girl who was never a serious girlfriend in his life, but has appeared at various stages before. He is starting to look for the whole group of friend who were together during secondary education. But it is not even the story that is that brilliant, it is the way he describes what happens, or what doesn't happen. The emails to Elaine in the US are funny, the conversations between old friends after a decade at least are good, the way their life's have changed in a decade, it is all very recognizable for anybody who is around thirty at the moment. I dare you to read it, if you're in between 25 and 35 and do not recognize any character in the book, who also lives in your own life, you're lying.

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