Thursday, 6 September 2012

Book Review - 'One Day'.

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 Wife). 

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.

However, the 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.

Overall, this 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.

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