One Day by David Nicholls

I was going to post this yesterday but then realised the importance of the 15th of July to this book. So decoupage boxes was yesterday and this is today:

One Day was given to me by my best friend last November when I was in hospital. It follows the lives of two people by detailing where they are and what they’re doing on the 15th July 1988 and every year after that for twenty years. I was quite intrigued by this idea, I wonder what my life would look like from this perspective?

Anyway, although Marian Keys describes it as an “incredibly moving” story I was somewhat disappointed. I began reading with high expectations (perhaps that clouded my judgement) as I knew it had been made into a film, although it was only after reading it that I noticed the reviews generally weren’t positive. It begins rather simply with two new graduates messing around together one night and continues with the various successes and failures of their lives as they move forwards individually.

Involving a lost love letter along the way, Nicholls injects comedy into his writing. The main bulk of the book is entertaining and captivating but it is the end which lets it down. I found the events of the last couple of chapters annoyingly predictable which negated some of the emotive subject matter. In fact I would have enjoyed the book a lot more and even recommended it if I had forgotten to read the last part.

Nicholls does write an absorbing tale through an orginal format, so perhaps I am being too harsh as my disappointment did not appear until the end and thus colours my view. I don’t wish to reveal why the end let it down in case you wish to read it. I suppose it is personal annoyance and some others may enjoy the ending twist or may not see it coming, in which case Nicholls achieves a moving climax. Unfortunately, it isn’t for me and I’m in no hurry to watch the film.

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Disappointed Expectations

It’s very easy to find reviews of new films, music and books, but, and I don’t know if anyone agrees, I enjoy looking for good ones that I may have missed two years, or even ten years, ago. However, information on these can be hard to find and unless I just wander into a shop and pick out random films/books/cds I never know how to choose (especially as some turn out to be rubbish and a waste of money). Whether this fondness for things out-of-date is because of new ones being too much and I’m a poor student with no money, or whether it’s due to previously seeing/reading/hearing something that had such a big hype and being disappointed, I don’t know.

For instance, one of my friends recently got round to seeing ‘The Social Network’ (a little late I know), which I haven’t seen but want to when I get time, and he says that although it was worth seeing, he wouldn’t go out and buy it. This makes me wonder where all the hype came from, and if my friend would’ve enjoyed it more if he saw it without hearing all of the raving reviews, which probably boosted its image too much.

Also, I find I like the anticipation of picking up a book or film which I’ve never heard of or has been recommended, but isn’t so much in the public eye, and being allowed to make my own judgements without having dictated expectations or opinions thrust upon me.

Do you find hyped-up films often fall short? Do you agree that sometimes you enjoy the more unknown as it gives you freedom to form your own conclusions without external influence?