Book Review - 'One Day'
'One Day' by
David Nicholls is one of the most disappointing novels I have read in recent
history. I thought it was going to be amazing from what friends had told me and
reviews I had read about it. Of course, I knew it was going to be light reading
due to its mainstream popularity but I'm not a literary snob and lots of my
favourite novels could probably be classed as light reading (such as The Time Traveller’s
The main reason
this novel isn't great is because of the female protagonist, Emma. In his
attempts to create a female character that is an 'every woman' type of figure
that women can relate to whilst not being threatened by he has created a
character that is utterly boring. Her main ability in life seems to be a
constant onslaught of dull, sarcastic one-liners. To give him credit, Nicholls
has created a character in Emma that I can believe because I have met people
like her who use this constant sarcasm as a cover for their obvious
insecurities and complete lack of depth. I kept wishing Emma would say or do
something that gave her a bit of an edge but she never did, she remained
completely flat for the entire novel.
The male protagonist
is called Dexter and he makes the novel a little better. He spends most of the novel
being a bit of a prick but at least he is remotely interesting. He is more
complicated and seems to go through many more interesting experiences than Emma
because he is in a constant search for a true happiness that eludes him for the
majority of his life. The fact that what he wanted was always in front of him
is clearly a huge cliché but this didn't bother me because his life story had
been interesting enough to make the obvious ending seem okay.
thing that really saves this novel from being completely rubbish is the ending.
It doesn't just end on Dexter and Emma realising that what they wanted was
always in front of them. It goes beyond that and ends up asking some good
questions about the nature and frailty of life. I won't say any more than that
because I don't want to ruin it for you anymore than I already have.
is a novel that has the potential to be great but is somewhat ruined by a
boring lead character. I give it 5 bananas out of 10.