Monday, 7 September 2009
One Day by David Nicholls
Hodder & Stoughton
The latest fashion across the water?
One Day is a Brit hit, a wry love story told through 19 years, set on St Swithin’s Day every year.
Et pourquoi, ca?
Symbolism, don’t you know - traditionally the English weather on that saint’s day, July 15, is a predictor of the weather for the next 40 days; if it rains it’ll be a summer of rain, if it’s sunny it’ll be glorious.
Hope it keeps fine for them
When we meet them Emma has just got a brilliant degree. Dex isn’t too bright, but is gorgeous, a more useful talent.
She soars, he sinks?
Oh no. Soon he’s seducing his way around South Asia, TEFLing (Teaching Eroticism as a Foreign Language), bronzed, slim and having a great time. Emma gets a dismal job in a greasy caff. They write letters, each dazzling the other. They sorta plan to get together at 40 if they haven’t found anyone else.
Eejits - why don’t they just get it on?
Wouldn’t make a satirical novel then, innit? Dex sinks inexorably towards his destined career, as a TV presenter on a laddish show called largin’ it. Emma rises briefly, becoming a teacher, but then, alas, writes a series of teen novels.
Why do I sense an unhappy ending?
Somethin’s gotta give. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of awfully BBC humour. Emma gets off with Ian, a comedian working days in the caff. Dex weds a terrible Tory and they have a daughter, Jasmine. There’s an Irish sandwich tycoon in there too.
She’s a misery-guts; he seduces every woman he meets. I have no doubt that we’ll soon be picking up the hit DVD of the TV version.
And this David Nicholls chap is?
Kind of a political lads’ chicklit writer - his first, Starter for Ten, was about a working-class Marxist kid trying to get off with a rich gel and on to a TV quiz show.
Should I buy it?
More of a lads’ book, I’d say. But if you love those chirpy English comedies, go for it.