Wednesday, 18 May 2011

One Day

Title: One Day

Author: David Nicholls

Number of pages: 448

Started: 11 May 2011

Finished: 18 May 2011

Opening words:

15th July 1988

‘I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,’ she said. ‘You know, actually change something.’

‘What, like ‘change the world’ you mean?’

‘Not the whole entire world. Just the little bit around you.’

They lay in silence for a moment, bodies curled around each other in the single bed, then both began to laugh in low, pre-dawn voices. ‘Can’t believe I just said that,’ she groaned. ‘Sounds a bit corny, doesn’t it?’

‘A bit corny.’

‘I’m trying to be inspiring! I’m trying to lift your grubby soul for the great adventure that lies ahead of you.’ She turned to face him. ‘Not that you need it. I expect you’ve got your future nicely mapped out, ‘ta very much. Probably got a little flow-chart somewhere or something.’


‘So what’re you going to do then? What’s the great plan?’

‘Well, my parents are going to pick up my stuff, dump it at theirs, then I’ll spend a couple of days in their flat in London, see some friends. Then France - ’

‘Very nice - ’

‘Then China maybe, see what that’s all about, then maybe on to India, travel around there for a bit - ’

‘Traveling,’ she sighed. ‘So predictable.’

Read a longer extract here (and also Emma Morley’s mix tape).

Plot summary:

15th July 1988. Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew 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 which follows?

What I thought:

This book was a pleasant return to normality following on from the previous book I had read. I am not normally someone who reads the latest popular read. It’s not a snobbish thing, it is that I think that books don’t normally live up to the hype – I have never read a Harry Potter book (although I wouldn’t rule it out one day, and if I am drawn in I can read them all without having to await the next one being published).

“One Day” is certainly a very popular book. I borrowed my copy from the library and as I walked into the shopping centre have just been issued a copy, I walked past someone carrying a copy. I also know several people at work who have just read or are reading it. I even saw Deirdre Barlow reading it on Coronation Street. Need I provide any more evidence of its popularity?

I thought the concept was interesting. The plot develops based purely on what happens on the same day – 15 July - each year. In a lot of ways this worked, there was no dwelling on incidents or life’s occurrences, instead you got an insight into one day and then you started a new chapter and you were a year in the future, what ever that might bring.

The book moved at a decent pace, and was light relief, which I most certainly needed, but it also lacked something. I suppose because of the way the book is put together, there was no reflection as such. A day started, a day ended and the world moved on by a year. That is a somewhat simplistic description of the book, but not entirely inaccurate. Don’t expect anything life changing or profound, but it is a decent enough read and a pleasant distraction.

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