YOU’D be at your wits end with traditional love stories. Chic lit after chic lit clogging up best-seller lists with their incredulous happy-ever-after plots. A very inspirational English lecturer told me their secret to success, so sadly they won’t be banished any time soon, nor will I take up writing them. Some will put One Day into the chic lit category, and if you do, you must be somewhat disillusioned!
This is one love story you won’t get tired of. David Nicholls has not been the most prolific of authors, with Starter for Ten and The Understudy already in his arsenal. Reactions to One Day are quite mixed, but it’s very easy to understand why. His writing style is not far from that of a literary genius, and it goes without saying literary geniuses are not for everybody.
Meet Emma and Dexter. They fall in love under unusual circumstances whilst at University. Dexter is sexy and popular, while Emma is a nerd. So then, a situation familiar to most of us. The characterisation for the entire novel is something I’d not yet experienced and on reaching the end, I realised how quite fantastic it all was. The level of intimacy to which you will descend with both Emma and Dexter is intense but exuberantly compelling.
I won’t divulge too much of the storyline, because it’s something you should experience for yourself, but it involves a love story and a peculiar ending. It is one of very few mainstream novels that will stick with me, one I would go back to, and if I went to dinner parties, one I’d discuss at dinner parties.
It is thought provoking. You’ll find yourself questioning your life, your motives and your routines. That’s before you even consider the difficult love.
It was adapted into a recent film. Given the success-neutral film adaptation of his earlier novel Starter for Ten, One Day was met with an unsure reception. I blocked out such noise, so, unsurprisingly it was one of few films I’ve really looked forward to. I set my expectations somewhat high and was mildly disappointed. Naturally I became annoyed at the omissions and blatant amendments. But at the end of it all, it held an aura of amazement.
So, read the book before you even consider watching the film. If you think it’s pompous shite I apologise. If not, read on and savour every page.