Us AUTHOR David Nicholls Summary Û eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB

Us AUTHOR David Nicholls

Read Us AUTHOR David Nicholls

Inks she wants a divorceThe timing couldn’t be worse Hoping to encourage her son’s artistic interests Connie has planned a month long tour of European capitals a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family and she can’t bring herself to cancel And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway Douglas is privately convin. Was it the happiest day of our lives Probably not if only because the truly happy days tend not to involve so much organisation are rarely so public or so expensive The happy ones sneak up unexpected Soegija in Frames interests Connie has planned a month long tour of European capitals a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family and she can’t bring herself to cancel And maybe going ahead with the original plan Beans and Rice, Rice and Beans is for the best anyway Douglas Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans is privately convin. Was The Miracle Match: Chappell, Lillee, Richards and the most electric moment in Australian Cricket it the happiest day of our lives Probably not The Dreadlock Journey if only because the truly happy days tend not to Lunastus involve so much organisation are rarely so public or so expensive The happy ones sneak up unexpected

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Ced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage and might even help him bond with AlbieNarrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest slyly witty and at times achingly optimistic point of view Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a strange. Douglas Petersen is a mild mannered biochemist in his early 50s He craves order and although he thinks he has a good sense of humor and the ability to enjoy himself he isn't one to loosen his inhibitions freuently or give up plans for spontaneity He and his wife Connie have a son Albie who is planning to go to college once the summer ends And then one night Douglas' life is upended when Connie awakens himI said I think our marriage has run its course Douglas I think I want to leave youConnie's declaration throws Douglas completely for a loop But she isn't ready to make a definitive decision on their marriage just yet They had planned to take Albie on a European tour over the summer which they nicknamed The Grand Tour in an effort to show him some of the world's greatest art architecture and history Douglas has the entire trip planned down to the minute Connie still wants to go on the trip and not reveal their discussions to Albie and when they return from their travels she'll make a decisionTo contemplate a life without her; I found it inconceivable Literally so I was not able to conceive of it And so I decided that it could not be allowed to happenDouglas is determined to save his marriage and approaches their trip with utter gusto But Douglas' need to keep everyone on schedule his obsessive reading travel and art history books and regurgitating the information at will and his desire for order exacerbates many of the couple's problems not to mention furthers the tension between him and Albie whom Douglas believes has always favored his mother And although they all try Connie and Douglas than Albie to keep on trying it isn't long before everything goes horribly awryUs is the story of a man always in control who finds a situation he cannot control—and one he cares about than everything He wants to prove to Connie that she shouldn't give up on their relationship and he is determined to try to salvage his relationship with his son But can a person really change their nature Can the issues that have arisen throughout a relationship suddenly disappearThe book switches between past and present with Douglas chronicling The Grand Tour and the events they encounter as well as reminiscing about their relationship from the start when the two wholly different people met and charmed each other into eventually building a life together Douglas certainly sees the tensions and issues that have occurred through the years but for a man who is so intelligent he isn't particularly observant or attuned to his emotions or others'David Nicholls' One Day was one of the best books I read in 2010 and the movie was one of my favorites as well Needless to say I was eagerly anticipating this book but sadly I found myself really disappointed I thought the book went on for far too long and just kept repeating the same themes—Douglas cannot be spontaneous Connie is frustrated by this Douglas gets upset with Albie etc Even certain incidents in the plot seemed straight out of central casting—saying the wrong things when attempting to speak a foreign language getting stoned in Amsterdam and running into prostitutes etcBut the biggest problem I had with Us was that the book was narrated by Douglas and I didn't really like his character very much Sure he's self deprecating and knows what his shortcomings are but I didn't find him particularly sympathetic—in fact I didn't love any of the characters I'm sad that I didn't enjoy it but other reviews I've seen on really had so maybe suddenly all of my sappiness disappeared Deadly Weakness (Gray Spear Society, in the marriage and might even help him bond with AlbieNarrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest slyly witty and at times achingly optimistic point of view Us Acquainted with the Night is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a strange. Douglas Petersen Superheroes is a mild mannered biochemist سرطان الروح in his early 50s He craves order and although he thinks he has a good sense of humor and the ability to enjoy himself he Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers isn't one to loosen his The Giant's Brain Vapor: Brain Opened and Release All Its Cells for One Year Eight Months. True from the Brain. inhibitions freuently or give up plans for spontaneity He and his wife Connie have a son Albie who Journalists Between Hitler and Adenauer: From Inner Emigration to the Moral Reconstruction of West Germany is planning to go to college once the summer ends And then one night Douglas' life The Space Mavericks is upended when Connie awakens himI said I think our marriage has run One Deadly Sister (Sandy Reid Mysteries, its course Douglas I think I want to leave youConnie's declaration throws Douglas completely for a loop But she One Deadly Sister isn't ready to make a definitive decision on their marriage just yet They had planned to take Albie on a European tour over the summer which they nicknamed The Grand Tour Hafiz of Shiraz: Thirty Poems: An Introduction to the Sufi Master in an effort to show him some of the world's greatest art architecture and history Douglas has the entire trip planned down to the minute Connie still wants to go on the trip and not reveal their discussions to Albie and when they return from their travels she'll make a decisionTo contemplate a life without her; I found Être heureux ce n'est pas nécessairement confortable - Trouver le bonheur et non ce que l'on croit être le bonheur it Mean Mode Median inconceivable Literally so I was not able to conceive of Industriebuchführung Mit Kosten Und Leistungsrechnung Ikr, Lehrbuch it And so I decided that Sci-Fi 1.0 it could not be allowed to happenDouglas Eloia Born is determined to save his marriage and approaches their trip with utter gusto But Douglas' need to keep everyone on schedule his obsessive reading travel and art history books and regurgitating the Lovely in Her Bones information at will and his desire for order exacerbates many of the couple's problems not to mention furthers the tension between him and Albie whom Douglas believes has always favored his mother And although they all try Connie and Douglas than Albie to keep on trying The PMS Outlaws it Naturheilpraxis Heute: Lehrbuch Und Atlas isn't long before everything goes horribly awryUs 45 Naturheilverfahren - fit für die Heilpraktikerprüfung nach den neuen Prüfungsleitlinien is the story of a man always The Year of the Three-Legged Deer in control who finds a situation he cannot control—and one he cares about than everything He wants to prove to Connie that she shouldn't give up on their relationship and he The Maze is determined to try to salvage his relationship with his son But can a person really change their nature Can the Each Peach Pear Plum issues that have arisen throughout a relationship suddenly disappearThe book switches between past and present with Douglas chronicling The Grand Tour and the events they encounter as well as reminiscing about their relationship from the start when the two wholly different people met and charmed each other "ATLANTIS" SOLON AND PLATO FOR FROST? into eventually building a life together Douglas certainly sees the tensions and Your Nine-Year-Old: Thoughtful And Mysterious issues that have occurred through the years but for a man who Trusting Cade is so Thirty-Three Going on Girlfriend intelligent he The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde & Weir of Hermiston isn't particularly observant or attuned to his emotions or others'David Nicholls' One Day was one of the best books I read Handleiding voor poetsvrouwen in 2010 and the movie was one of my favorites as well Needless to say I was eagerly anticipating this book but sadly I found myself really disappointed I thought the book went on for far too long and just kept repeating the same themes—Douglas cannot be spontaneous Connie Sass & Serendipity is frustrated by this Douglas gets upset with Albie etc Even certain Love Sucks! incidents Grimm's Fairy Tales (The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written) in the plot seemed straight out of central casting—saying the wrong things when attempting to speak a foreign language getting stoned รหัสลับหลังคาโลก เล่ม 1 in Amsterdam and running Rachel Rising, Volume 2: Fear No Malus into prostitutes etcBut the biggest problem I had with Us was that the book was narrated by Douglas and I didn't really like his character very much Sure he's self deprecating and knows what his shortcomings are but I didn't find him particularly sympathetic—in fact I didn't love any of the characters I'm sad that I didn't enjoy Kees de jongen it but other reviews I've seen on really had so maybe suddenly all of my sappiness disappeared

David Nicholls Û 7 Download

Douglas Petersen may be mild mannered but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that against all odds seduces beautiful Connie into a second date and eventually into marriage Now almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London they live or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year old son Albie; then Connie tells him she th. I approached this novel with some trepidation True it was selected for the Man Booker Prize Longlist a prestigious honor to be sure but in forums of readers who avidly follow the prize and try to consume the selected books it was dismissed and denigrated The snobbery arose from the aura left in the wake of Nicholls's previous bestseller One Day which gave the book a miasma of being less than literary a sop to populism on the prize list I have to say the jacket copy and blurbs from other bestselling writers reinforced that impression Interesting what about this mainstream book destined for the bestseller list and likely a movie adaptation brought it to the attention of the Booker committee It isn't the plot an awkward conventional but loving middle aged white Englishman embarks on a trip around Europe to save his marriage and his relationship with his 17 year old son It isn't for literary daring Nicholls employs a single reliable first person narrative told in the past tense to tell a story of mundane middle class midlife transformation No invented languages no historical slight of hand or imagined dystopian future or grand considerations of human nature So what was itFlawless executionFrom the opening pages Douglas's voice is engaging warm and often funny He is three dimensional and alive idiosyncratic and intelligent able to provide insight into his motivations but not always able to see a situation as others do In short he's as real a person you are likely to meet in the pages of a novel Nicholls manages despite the limitations of a single point of view to give us glimpses into Connie and Albie's perspectives on Douglas no one is a villain here and the tragedy of this family arises from misunderstood actions and ineffective communication As the story progresses Douglas inches towards greater honesty and self knowledge as he struggles to salvage his family The lightly comic tone progressively shades darker as the secrets and tragedies of the Petersen marriage and Douglas's failures as a parent are laid bare You cringe at many of Douglas's actions and you get the sense that the Douglas describing the seriocomic pilgrimage sometime after the events cringes as well In some superficial ways Us resembles Emma Straub's The Vacationers a marriage on the brink a child about to leave for college a trip undertaken despite the stresses facing the family In other respects it evokes Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which also made the Booker list back in 2012 Fear not Us stands on its own despite these resonances and in my opinion is a satisfying read than eitherThere are lots of other nice things I could say about Us it's a fabulous portrait of a marriage of opposites a painful rendition of a father who wants to do well by his son but can't seem to get it right an effective use of different cities to set the mood but the best I can really offer is to say read this book when it comes out I bet even if you don't think it deserves to be nominated for the Booker you will be surprised impressed engaged and entertained As a bonus if you care about such things you'll discover near the end that Nicholls includes some nicely done nods to the construction of his fiction the stories that could have been instead of this one It works as so much else does in this charming and affecting novelBooker Prize I doubt it Bestseller with many fans Absolutely 45 Naturheilverfahren - fit für die Heilpraktikerprüfung nach den neuen Prüfungsleitlinien into a second date and eventually The Year of the Three-Legged Deer into marriage Now almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed The Maze in London they live or less happily Each Peach Pear Plum in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year old son Albie; then Connie tells him she th. I approached this novel with some trepidation True "ATLANTIS" SOLON AND PLATO FOR FROST? it was selected for the Man Booker Prize Longlist a prestigious honor to be sure but Your Nine-Year-Old: Thoughtful And Mysterious in forums of readers who avidly follow the prize and try to consume the selected books Trusting Cade it was dismissed and denigrated The snobbery arose from the aura left Thirty-Three Going on Girlfriend in the wake of Nicholls's previous bestseller One Day which gave the book a miasma of being less than literary a sop to populism on the prize list I have to say the jacket copy and blurbs from other bestselling writers reinforced that The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde & Weir of Hermiston impression Interesting what about this mainstream book destined for the bestseller list and likely a movie adaptation brought Handleiding voor poetsvrouwen it to the attention of the Booker committee It Sass & Serendipity isn't the plot an awkward conventional but loving middle aged white Englishman embarks on a trip around Europe to save his marriage and his relationship with his 17 year old son It Love Sucks! isn't for literary daring Nicholls employs a single reliable first person narrative told Grimm's Fairy Tales (The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written) in the past tense to tell a story of mundane middle class midlife transformation No รหัสลับหลังคาโลก เล่ม 1 invented languages no historical slight of hand or Rachel Rising, Volume 2: Fear No Malus imagined dystopian future or grand considerations of human nature So what was Kees de jongen itFlawless executionFrom the opening pages Douglas's voice BlockChain One-Stop Guide: From Concept to Execution: BitCoin, Ethereum, RippleNet, R3 Corda, Hyperledger, MultiChain & IOTA is engaging warm and often funny He Flat Tummy Yoga is three dimensional and alive The Ladybug Princess: A Princess Picture Book idiosyncratic and Get In Shape With Kettlebell Training intelligent able to provide A Slice Of American History: The Best Cake Recipes From America's Sweet Past insight Keep Calm and Stretch: 44 Stretching Exercises To Increase Flexibility, Relieve Pain, Prevent Injury, And Stay Young! into his motivations but not always able to see a situation as others do In short he's as real a person you are likely to meet Oliver Twist (Radio Theatre) in the pages of a novel Nicholls manages despite the limitations of a single point of view to give us glimpses Claimed by The Packmaster (Alpha Mate, Werewolf, BBW, Billionaire, Paranormal Erotica) into Connie and Albie's perspectives on Douglas no one Dimensional Shift: Waters of Babylon is a villain here and the tragedy of this family arises from misunderstood actions and Ang Lihim ng San Esteban ineffective communication As the story progresses Douglas Stick Cats inches towards greater honesty and self knowledge as he struggles to salvage his family The lightly comic tone progressively shades darker as the secrets and tragedies of the Petersen marriage and Douglas's failures as a parent are laid bare You cringe at many of Douglas's actions and you get the sense that the Douglas describing the seriocomic pilgrimage sometime after the events cringes as well In some superficial ways Us resembles Emma Straub's The Vacationers a marriage on the brink a child about to leave for college a trip undertaken despite the stresses facing the family In other respects TenderHeart it evokes Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which also made the Booker list back VIP Lounge in 2012 Fear not Us stands on Queen of the Night: The Celtic Moon Goddess in Our Lives its own despite these resonances and Wo du auch bist in my opinion Bitcoin for the Befuddled is a satisfying read than eitherThere are lots of other nice things I could say about Us The Schools of Baathism: A Study of Syrian Schoolbooks it's a fabulous portrait of a marriage of opposites a painful rendition of a father who wants to do well by his son but can't seem to get Object-Oriented Analysis and Design (Ooad): High-Impact Strategies - What You Need to Know: Definitions, Adoptions, Impact, Benefits, Maturity, Vendors it right an effective use of different cities to set the mood but the best I can really offer 100 Briefe an Deutschland: Gedanken, Wünsche, Anregungen is to say read this book when Instant Metasploit Starter it comes out I bet even The BackTrack Experience - Introduction to WhiteHat Hacking if you don't think hittler is not racist it deserves to be nominated for the Booker you will be surprised Starfinder Adventure Path impressed engaged and entertained As a bonus Greek Tragedy if you care about such things you'll discover near the end that Nicholls Angelophany includes some nicely done nods to the construction of his fiction the stories that could have been The Scorpio Races instead of this one It works as so much else does The Scorpio Races in this charming and affecting novelBooker Prize I doubt poetry of Machado de Assis it Bestseller with many fans Absolutely


10 thoughts on “Us AUTHOR David Nicholls

  1. says:

    ”’I was looking forward to us growing old together Me and you growing old and dying together''Douglas who in their right mind would look forward to that?’”This was the conversation moments after Douglas Petersen’s wife rolls over in bed and informs him that she believes their marriage is finished Their son Albie is a few weeks away from leaving for college and she “wants to feel this is the beginning of something new not the beginning of the end” For some people a conversation like this would not come as a surprise there had been flashing red lights for years For Douglas who has enjoyed almost three decades of involvement with this woman it comes out of the dark like a mugger’s leather clad fist impacting the side of his jaw Douglas is a man as stable and predictable as the sun and the moon He is a biochemist studying among other things the genital architecture of the fruit fly Maybe not exciting stuff to others but being able to study evolutionary mutations in a few generations instead of waiting a millennium can be fascinating work His wife Connie has an artist’s soul She is creative and used to sketch pictures of people before motherhood became all consuming Albie shares her same passion for art music and photography Douglas doesn’t always understand their passions but he does appreciate the intensity they have for their interests It is the same way he feels about science He loved Connie’s sketches and when they buy their first house he offers to build her an artist’s studio David Nicholls moves us between the past and the present as Douglas relives their life together One of the painful things to watch as this plot unfolds is Douglas trying to support his wife’s and son’s interests only to somehow always say or do the wrong thing Part of this is he is not “right minded” They know this so any attempt he makes to appreciate art the same way they do somehow diminishes their own enjoyment If he likes a piece of art then it must not be any good Connie springs this urge to” discover herself” on him just before they are to begin a family grand tour of Europe Maybe not the best timing He chooses to believe that she is only thinking about leaving him that the jury is still out The European vacation is one chance for him to prove himself to win the hand he most wants to hold for the rest of his life one time Albie is the typical moody teenager who has become an expert at dividing and conuering his parents Connie always the protective hen about his artistic interests is also the reliable counter weight to Douglas’s attempts to pin Albie down on exactly what his plans are to become successful There are two competing schools of thought on what success really means To Connie it is pursuing your interests to the detriment of financial security To Douglas it is to pursue a way to make a living and with spare time chase those artistic dreams Neither system generally leads to happiness The best chance anyone has of achieving any level of contentment is to find that tricky balance between financial stability and still manage to find ways to express themselves through a creative endeavor For instance a circulation manager in the Midwest might decide to write book reviews so he doesn’t go fruit loops for cocoa puffs I know it isn’t as sexy as writing poetry but it is a form of expression So after hoisting this Sword of Damocles over Douglas’s head Connie assures him that they must keep up appearances on this trip for Albie’s sake %#Marriage has always been difficult and with each new study the divorce rate is climbing all over the world The divorce rate in the United States is estimated to be at 53% Fortunately for Douglas he has better odds in Great Britain at 42% Money is still the #1 reason for divorce but I think the truth of the matter is that wrapped around any of the top reasons for divorce is the spectre of boredom There is the seven year itch Then the next big detriment to marriage is when the kids are finally scooted off to college exactly the circumstances that Douglas is facing People can not expect their spouse to make them happy We are each responsible for our own happiness Anyone is certainly gambling with bad odds thinking a new spouse will be the key to happiness The divorce rate goes up exponentially with each new attempt Third marriages have a 73% divorce rate This all said sometimes the spouse is the source of the unhappiness and the only resolution is divorce but if we examine boredom as a main ingredient for divorce many might be mistaking comfort and dependability for tediousness Douglas fits the trustworthy no frills profile which might be considered dull especially if you have an artistic temperament I have a feeling that Connie is not self stimulating when it comes to producing art and that she needs someone or something to awaken those urges in her Douglas can be as supportive as he wants to be but he will never be a muse Connie is perfectly happy with their marriage and sees it as a success Douglas also sees their marriage as a success and doesn’t understand why it can’t continue Last chance Douglasthe Petersen grand tour of Europe Douglas tries to move into their artistic circle but is met with skepticism and derision He googles like a madman trying to find interesting facts to share ”Perhaps this is why those museum audio guides had become so popular; a reassuring voice in your ear telling you what to think and feel Look to your left take note please observe; how terrific it would be to carry that voice with you always out of the museum and throughout all of life”When a family dispute has Albie running away from the grand tour Connie goes home but Douglas decides that this may be the last chance he has to ever make things right with his son David Nicholls follows up the phenomenally successful One Day with this amusing but at times painfully real look at relationships between sons and fathers between sons and mothers and between wives and husbands For those of you that have survived the teenage wars with your children I have recently graduated to survivor status depending on the part that you’ve had to play you very well may find yourself wanting to stranglehug one or two of the characters in this book You will experience a whirlwind tour through the Netherlands France Italy with the grand finale occurring in Spain To say the least Douglas comes home a changed man and though he isn’t happy about the state of his marriage he is less fearful of the life that may exist after it If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    I approached this novel with some trepidation True it was selected for the Man Booker Prize Longlist a prestigious honor to be sure but in forums of readers who avidly follow the prize and try to consume the selected books it was dismissed and denigrated The snobbery arose from the aura left in the wake of Nicholls's previous bestseller One Day which gave the book a miasma of being less than literary a sop to populism on the prize list I have to say the jacket copy and blurbs from other bestselling writers reinforced that impression Interesting what about this mainstream book destined for the bestseller list and likely a movie adaptation brought it to the attention of the Booker committee? It isn't the plot an awkward conventional but loving middle aged white Englishman embarks on a trip around Europe to save his marriage and his relationship with his 17 year old son It isn't for literary daring Nicholls employs a single reliable first person narrative told in the past tense to tell a story of mundane middle class midlife transformation No invented languages no historical slight of hand or imagined dystopian future or grand considerations of human nature So what was it?Flawless executionFrom the opening pages Douglas's voice is engaging warm and often funny He is three dimensional and alive idiosyncratic and intelligent able to provide insight into his motivations but not always able to see a situation as others do In short he's as real a person you are likely to meet in the pages of a novel Nicholls manages despite the limitations of a single point of view to give us glimpses into Connie and Albie's perspectives on Douglas no one is a villain here and the tragedy of this family arises from misunderstood actions and ineffective communication As the story progresses Douglas inches towards greater honesty and self knowledge as he struggles to salvage his family The lightly comic tone progressively shades darker as the secrets and tragedies of the Petersen marriage and Douglas's failures as a parent are laid bare You cringe at many of Douglas's actions and you get the sense that the Douglas describing the seriocomic pilgrimage sometime after the events cringes as well In some superficial ways Us resembles Emma Straub's The Vacationers a marriage on the brink a child about to leave for college a trip undertaken despite the stresses facing the family In other respects it evokes Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which also made the Booker list back in 2012 Fear not Us stands on its own despite these resonances and in my opinion is a satisfying read than eitherThere are lots of other nice things I could say about Us it's a fabulous portrait of a marriage of opposites a painful rendition of a father who wants to do well by his son but can't seem to get it right an effective use of different cities to set the mood but the best I can really offer is to say read this book when it comes out I bet even if you don't think it deserves to be nominated for the Booker you will be surprised impressed engaged and entertained As a bonus if you care about such things you'll discover near the end that Nicholls includes some nicely done nods to the construction of his fiction the stories that could have been instead of this one It works as so much else does in this charming and affecting novelBooker Prize? I doubt it Bestseller with many fans? Absolutely


  3. says:

    A major error was pointed out by several GReaders for which I thank them and as a conseuence I rewrote the review I felt that my previous review did not do justice to the book I was looking forward to us growing old together Me and you growing old and dying together Douglas who in their right mind would look forward to that? Now that is indeed a strong statement and how would you as a spousepartner relate to that when your fifty four year old husband healthy an academic and certainly not infirm makes that statementI confess that I have never heard of this author at all I was in Stansted Airport London about ten days ago and I hate this airport with a passion Why? It’s the security as it takes forever So arriving three hours in advance after staying at the Radisson at the airport when they ripped me off with a Caesar salad and a glass of white wine the waiter actually wanted a gratuity I was not in the mood for any nonsense People people everywhere Living in rural France for nearly fourteen years the idea of all these individuals being so close to me so many different languages drove me to despair Keep away from me I like my space and my privacySo W H Smith to the rescue Well to me it was like entering into a sweet shop Normally I don’t find anything in there that I like but there was certainly choice on that particular day I’m a book addict and there is no getting away from it I only wanted one book and ended up with six But “US” by David Nicholls caught my attention for several reasons Firstly it was the title then the colour red on the cover the fact that book was longlisted why not shortlisted? for the Man Booker Prize 2014 and I have a very good friend who is called Douglas but finally it was the blurb that clinched it for meThe novel is skillfully crafted and structured showing the current situation in relation to Connie’s and Douglas’ marriage and alternating with the twenty first century version of the Grand TourWith backdrops of England France Italy and Spain the reader is taken through a kaleidoscopic narrative which is stunning The descriptions of Paris and Florence with their art were also exceptional Whenever I read a book and finally put it down I always return to the part that leaves a lasting impression on me and this is when Douglas is in Barcelona and meets a smack of jellyfish I had no idea what you call a group of jellyfish and this appears to be the appropriate definition – I guess they do “smack” in a way whilst swimming in the sea There are uite disastrous conseuences here but gripping readingThe novel is witty humorous soul searching with tear jerking sections in fact a tragicomedy Certain passages were indeed uite sad but I ended up laughing for some obscure reasonJust imagine you are a middle aged man who has always loved his wife from the day he met her but regrettably for him he did become a trifle complacent as seen in the book but he was totally unaware of this at the timeTheir son Albie also known as the “Egg” Now you tell me Why would you call your son Egg? That’s completely beyond me but then Egg plays a vital part in the breakdown of a marriage Connie to all intents a purposes does love her husband Douglas I know that opposites supposedly attract but Connie being an arty type who can indulge in light drugs is such an opposite to Douglas a biochemist but then love works in wondrous ways as we all know and they marry much to Douglas’ amazementThe problem is the wretched son Albie who is planning to go to university to study photography and what follows is a wife who finally states that with the departure of their son to university she will also leave Douglas after the three of them return from their planned Grand Tour No date is given but the strain of all of this makes Douglas determined to maintain his relationship with his wife But will he succeed?This is the most amazing odyssey of a man who wants to retain the love of his son and wife It is truly wonderful multi faceted and I loved it As for the ending? I was in a way disappointed but then Well it’s for you the reader to find outThe novel is witty humorous soul searching with tear jerking sections in fact a tragicomedy Certain passages were uite sad but I ended up laughing for some obscure reasonAn absolutely wonderful book Please read it You will be I’m convinced as entranced as I was


  4. says:

    I just finished reading this for a second time I only do that with 5 star books and I am revising my rating accordingly This book is wonderfulIt's the story of a marriage in peril narrated by the husband Douglas He is a British biochemist a man who is ruled by logic and scientific reason Douglas is improbably married to Connie an artist who is laissez faire to the extreme Indeed these two could not be polar opposites They have a seventeen year old son Albie who is of his mother's temperament with a healthy disdain of all things conventional including his father When Connie announces to Douglas one night that she feels their marriage has run its course and she may want to leave Douglas insists that the family stick to a previously planned Grand Tour of Europe where he secretly hopes to win his wife and son backThe story of the trip is interwoven brilliantly with the backstories of Douglas and Connie Nicholls has done this masterfully sometimes this techniue can backfire and pull you out of the flow of the story but not here He is carefully stitching the tapestry of a marriage of three livesDouglas's narration is humorous self deprecating and occasionally heartbreaking This book may seem like it would be a downer but it is not It's life and ultimately it's hopefulVery well done full of insight wisdom and wry observations Highly recommend


  5. says:

    In hell we’ll hear echoes of all the well meaning criticism we gave our kids every perfectly reasonable judgment on that T shirt that friend that music that mess that earring that homeworkBut our intentions were good right?In David Nicholls’s new novel “Us” — longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize — a father discovers just how much those intentions are worth to his hectored teenage son This is the sort of witty book that guys should read the moment their partners say “I’m pregnant”Or maybe earlierAfter 20 years of marriage Douglas Petersen wakes up one night to hear his wife tell him “Our marriage has run its course   I want to leave you”To Douglas’s surprise his once attractive practicality has grown pinched and cold over the course of a long marriage But in this irresistible novel we see him from the conflicted inside “I loved my wife to a degree that I found impossible to express and so rarely did” he tells us “I am 54 years old   and have one son Albie nicknamed ‘Egg’ to whom I am devoted but who sometimes regards me with a pure and concentrated disdain filling me with so much sadness and regret that I can barely speak”More often though the trouble is that Douglas does speak There’s nothing about Albie that doesn’t frustrate him Tell me you haven’t muttered this under your breath “He refuses to wear a coat an absurd affectation as if coats were somehow ‘suare’ or un cool as if there were something ‘hip’ about hypothermia What is he rebelling against? Warmth? Comfort?” And then there’s the boy’s room “an immense Petri dish of furry toast crusts and lager tins and unthinkable socks that will one day have to be sealed off in concrete like Chernobyl” Douglas presents that most common tragedy of parenting He would do anything for his child — except tolerate a little teenage attitude “I disapproved because I cared” he claims “Why wasn’t that apparent?”Douglas tells us at the start “This is a love story” but it’s often a comedy and sometimes a tragedy Trained as a scientist Douglas knows everything about biology but little about life Over the years he’s failed to understand just how alienated from him his wife and son have become Determined to improve he does what any well organized scientist would do He draws up a list No 3 states “It is not necessary to be seen to be right about everything even when that is the case” Ominously No 8 advises “Maintain a sense of fun and spontaneity”In fact Nicholls’s entire novel comes to us as a long list of short numbered sections — from one to 180 That super organized structure though is no match for the messiness of family life As any parent knows there’s no list a teenager can’t scrambleLike Emma Straub’s “The Vacationers” which came out earlier this year “Us” is the story of a fractured family going on a trip “the last summer holiday we’ll have together” Despite her divorce plans Douglas’s wife imagines a Grand Tour to prepare their college bound son for “the adult world like in the 18th century” The young man of course would rather take the money and go off drinking with his buddies To Douglas who knows his marriage is over this expensive expedition sounds like “a funeral cortege backpacking through Italy”Nicholls is a delightfully funny writer with a huge audience in England — his most recent novel “One Day” sold than two million copies and was made into a film — and this over planned vacation makes ripe material for comedy If he were only a prig Douglas would be an unbearable narrator but he has a lovable self deprecating sense of humor and he’s as frustrated as anyone else with his inability to relax to accept to let it go “I reeked of disapproval” he confesses And to all the usual pressures that travel is heir to Douglas adds his determination to turn the Grand Tour into the Grand Cure a summer so packed with good cheer that his wife will fall back in love with him and his son will realize just what a swell dad he hasIf you’ve ever left the house you know that itinerary goes off the rails almost immediately “I did my best” Douglas says “but my manner was ueasy and self conscious like a children’s entertainer who knows his act is failing” At their first stop in Paris they check into a room “that was clearly the result of a wager to determine the smallest space into which a double mattress can fit Brassy and vulgar the bed frame must have been assembled inside like a ship in a bottle On closer examination it also seemed our room was a repository for all of Europe’s spare pubic hair” The next room which seemed perfectly lovely online looks like a top of the line bordello in a sex dungeonAlmost immediately Douglas’s efforts to win over his 17 year old son are thwarted by the arrival of a sexy accordionist from New Zealand who majored in ventrilouism Albie is smitten by this obnoxious young woman — who wouldn’t be? On the worst nights Douglas and his wife lie in bed trying to block out the sounds of “Purple Rain” while their son and his new girlfriend carry on next doorYes some of this has the madcap predictability of a rom com available on DVD three weeks after its theatrical release Douglas never tasted a hot chili sauce he won’t accidentally rub into his eye Showing off his strong swimming at the beach he’s surrounded by jellyfish he imagines his corpse washing up on shore in an alarmingly tight bathing suit But I found myself laughing — sometimes out loud on the Metro — through many of these antics After a long season of novels focused on rape torture and child abuse “Us” felt like a welcome breakThe real artistry of this book stems from its clever structure Even as Douglas’s doomed little family trudges around Europe the narrative constantly shifts back 25 years to the beginning of his relationship with the attractive young artist who became his wife She and her bohemian friends are so cool and he’s so suare “I danced” he confesses “like someone wrestling with a bout of diarrhoea clenched and anxious” He’s overwhelmed by their differences but determined to impress her to change to do whatever he must to attract her Before her first visit he frantically redecorates — new postcards new throw rugs new underwear “If she ever set foot in my flat she would mistake me for someone else entirely; a bachelor of uiet good taste and simple needs self contained and self assured a man of the world who owned van Gogh prints and cushions and smelt of trees”The story of how that excited young man became the panicked middle aged husband desperate to save his family is the real voyage of this novel For all its bad meals lumpy mattresses and cramped train seats “Us” evolves into a poignant consideration of how a marriage ages how parents mess up and what survives despite all those challenges This review was first published in The Washington Posthttpwwwwashingtonpostcomenterta


  6. says:

    Was it the happiest day of our lives? Probably not if only because the truly happy days tend not to involve so much organisation are rarely so public or so expensive The happy ones sneak up unexpected


  7. says:

    Douglas Petersen is a mild mannered biochemist in his early 50s He craves order and although he thinks he has a good sense of humor and the ability to enjoy himself he isn't one to loosen his inhibitions freuently or give up plans for spontaneity He and his wife Connie have a son Albie who is planning to go to college once the summer ends And then one night Douglas' life is upended when Connie awakens himI said I think our marriage has run its course Douglas I think I want to leave youConnie's declaration throws Douglas completely for a loop But she isn't ready to make a definitive decision on their marriage just yet They had planned to take Albie on a European tour over the summer which they nicknamed The Grand Tour in an effort to show him some of the world's greatest art architecture and history Douglas has the entire trip planned down to the minute Connie still wants to go on the trip and not reveal their discussions to Albie and when they return from their travels she'll make a decisionTo contemplate a life without her; I found it inconceivable Literally so I was not able to conceive of it And so I decided that it could not be allowed to happenDouglas is determined to save his marriage and approaches their trip with utter gusto But Douglas' need to keep everyone on schedule his obsessive reading travel and art history books and regurgitating the information at will and his desire for order exacerbates many of the couple's problems not to mention furthers the tension between him and Albie whom Douglas believes has always favored his mother And although they all try Connie and Douglas than Albie to keep on trying it isn't long before everything goes horribly awryUs is the story of a man always in control who finds a situation he cannot control—and one he cares about than everything He wants to prove to Connie that she shouldn't give up on their relationship and he is determined to try to salvage his relationship with his son But can a person really change their nature? Can the issues that have arisen throughout a relationship suddenly disappear?The book switches between past and present with Douglas chronicling The Grand Tour and the events they encounter as well as reminiscing about their relationship from the start when the two wholly different people met and charmed each other into eventually building a life together Douglas certainly sees the tensions and issues that have occurred through the years but for a man who is so intelligent he isn't particularly observant or attuned to his emotions or others'David Nicholls' One Day was one of the best books I read in 2010 and the movie was one of my favorites as well Needless to say I was eagerly anticipating this book but sadly I found myself really disappointed I thought the book went on for far too long and just kept repeating the same themes—Douglas cannot be spontaneous Connie is frustrated by this Douglas gets upset with Albie etc Even certain incidents in the plot seemed straight out of central casting—saying the wrong things when attempting to speak a foreign language getting stoned in Amsterdam and running into prostitutes etcBut the biggest problem I had with Us was that the book was narrated by Douglas and I didn't really like his character very much Sure he's self deprecating and knows what his shortcomings are but I didn't find him particularly sympathetic—in fact I didn't love any of the characters I'm sad that I didn't enjoy it but other reviews I've seen on really had so maybe suddenly all of my sappiness disappeared


  8. says:

    This is the first book I have read by this author and it will certainly not be my last I loved it so much I ignored a million other things I should have been doing and read it from beginning to end in one day The story is of a family breaking up and it should have been sad In fact tears came to my eyes a few times But overall the book is packed with humour mostly due to the lead character's inability to empathise fully with the rest of the human race He freuently put me in mind of Don in The Rosie Project The story is not sentimental and the ending is uite practical I found myself feeling sorry for the three people involved as though their story was real Definitely a five star read


  9. says:

    Falling in love is a beautiful thing so when the love comes surreptitiously at your door which had opened many a times in past to find only empty autumns of loneliness and futile rains of solitude Into such a heart when love steps in the heart does not remain the same ever Finding your reflection in another being becomes a hypnotic revelation empowering you at once to ironically surrender your many identities to live in the nurturing shadow of your beloved You accept sans hesitation you relinuish without regret you pursue without fatigue and you transform without ado And when this spring continues to brighten your heart for seasons together you lose track of the weather outside You care no longer to check the forecast of the world beyond yourself which still bears the unpredictability of floating emotional clouds Being in love feels almost like a trance that you hope would never run out of steam But what if it does? A reticent 30 year old research scientist Douglas Petersen meets a vivacious 28 year old artist Connie Moore Buoyed and drained by different drugs in life they find a common drug that leaves them high for the next 24 years love 'if only because the truly happy days tend not to involve so much organization are rarely so public The happy ones sneak up unexpected During this long springy hangover in London they gain and lose much Besides togetherness and loyalty they gain a handsome albeit recalcitrant son Albie He abates the loss of their beautiful daughter Jane to some extent But when it is time for the 17 year old Albie to attend university the family decides to undertake a Grand Europe Tour as a farewell gift to Albie Corrosively for Douglas it also doubles up as his final bid to win Connie back who days before the commencement of the tour shares her long tended contemplation of pursuing a separate individual life after Albie’s departure 'There's a saying cited in popular song that if you love someone you must set them free Well that's just nonsense If you love someone you bind them to you with heavy metal chains' And so begins a journey of epic proportions whose geographical vastness could only be countered by the stretch of emotional emptiness that Douglas had suddenly begun feeling like a lump in the rib In the artistic corridors of Paris on the cycling escapades of Munich amidst the boisterous camaraderie of Amsterdam over the splendorous rides of Venice and in the infectious effervescence of Madrid he attempts to envelop his son in the friendship blanket by one hand while not losing grip on the love shield hoisted over his wife by the other But are the attempts too little too late? 'The heat and humidity were ian and rubbing the skin on my perspiring forehead produced a grey scurf like the debris from a pencil eraser the accumulated grime of seven nations' Is it possible to truly bask in an air of nostalgia if it does not leave the reassuring perfume of a loving present behind? How praiseworthy is a love that whisks away all our dreams because they find fulfillment in its refuge? Is wagering dreams for peace an act of cowardice? Should we pat our back if we receive eternal friendship in lieu of transient love? Who scores in the battle of unexpressed care and expressed scorn? Does communication simply by its virtue of flowing negate all its ill effects? Nicholls swirls bubbles of profound thoughts towards us which laced with witty humor act as a mirror of life that laughs at us during our most sombre times; almost snatching control from our lives like a perennial elder whose children have suddenly developed the ephemeral hallucination of being their own bosses But again like an elder it senses our flights and falls and without fail opens another window of our heart What comes in of course is a criss cross of reflected and refracted rays which although radiantly complicated alleviate the darkness and give us a season yet again to see and live in a new light


  10. says:

    There is something marvelously cathartic about Us David Nicholls graced by both Thalia and Melpomene succeeds in making a tender salad out of raw satire Humor whether it’s on the page or the screen is so hard to do well When it works really truly works we’re wiping away tears of hilarity mingled with tears of sadness Because what makes us laugh most deeply what brings on that cathartic release is comedy and tragedy sharing the stage Douglas Petersen is in his early fifties and his wife Connie thinks she may want a divorce She’s not entirely certain but at any rate they have a long planned trip to Europe with their teenaged son to get through so let’s take the summer and see how things go shall we? Their son Albie barely on speaking terms with his father for reasons anyone who has parented a teenager or who has ever been a teenager will understand namely that the loathed parent exists balks at spending several weeks schlepping around the Continent with his parents He agrees to go only out of adoration for his mother They are as Douglas explains a “small family somewhat meagre and I think we each of us feel sometimes that it is a little too small and each wish there was someone else there to absorb some of the blows” Douglas determines that this Grand Tour of Europe is his chance to make his wife fall in love with him all over again and to close the rift with his son It is the simplest of premises how one man tries to save his small but splintered family It doesn’t even sound all that interesting really Oh but I couldn’t put this down I didn’t want to put it down And I laughed and cried all the way through I confess I’d never heard of David Nicholls despite his wildly popular novel One Day 2009 and being a huge fan of the movie Starter for 10 which I learned is a Nicholls’ novel and a screenplay he wrote I plan to catch up if his other novels are as deeply satisfying as Us The story is structured as a series of present moments punctuated by the past recounted by Douglas a methodical staid and unprepossessing scientist who once devoted his research to the genetic structure of the fruit fly How he managed to enthrall and hang onto Connie a blithe spirit a moody beautiful artiste is revealed in self conscious wonder and tenderness by her still smitten husband It would be easy to feel exasperation and pity for a man whose son regards him with such sullen disdain and whose wife trifles with their twenty year marriage but Douglas is never mawkish Bewildered yes but his fumbling determination is endearing and empathetic And for heaven’s sake the unraveling of the trip is just so very funny Nicholls injects a series of slapstick events into the Petersen’s traipsing through Europe but the comedy routine is always tinged with Douglas’ own sadness and anticipation will he save his marriage or not?The adventure takes on a breathless singularity when Albie in a fit of piue over an unintended insult by his father abandons his parents in Amsterdam and disappears with a peripatetic busker from New Zealand Connie decides the trip is over for her too and returns to England At the eleventh hour Douglas realizes this is his chance to be a hero to his wife he decides to stay on in Europe find his son and make things right What ensues is a comedy of errors that lands him in jail in the middle of a school of stinging jellyfish and in the arms of a sympathetic Scandinavian divorcee How it all comes together or falls apart at the end you really must discover for yourself At its heart—and it’s such a very big heart indeed— Us is the portrait of a marriage one that will be very familiar to those of us who’ve spent at least half our lives as part of an Us and perhaps a cautionary tale for those who have not It is all the taking for granted the piling up of misdemeanors large and small the loss of joy in the drudgery of day to day rolled up into a one sided love story and the coming of age of a husband and father Poignant and hilarious Us is also hopeful awkward darling and full of joy