Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Day of Disappointment

I usually try not to succumb to popular trends, but One Day was everywhere I looked. On the train men and women of all ages were engrossed in this very, very orange book. It was setting all sorts of records in the best-seller's list and so I thought there must be something to it.

Having just finished it, I have to say, I am disappointed. I don't like to be needlessly negative but it basically takes the overused premise of 'best friends' - 'what's right before your eyes' etc. the usual clich├ęs and spreads it out over 20 years. For no particular reason.

I didn't have much sympathy for either character. Dexter was the shallow, typical drunken hedonist - Emma, the stereotypical bookworm with low self-esteem. I just think it was ultimately too contrived and shallow with little development. The 'tragedy' towards the end was just kind of random. I know these things happen randomly in real life but it was too forced with no real purpose - it added nothing to the plot. 'Dex' and 'Em' were effectively shoved down our throats, the accident seemed an ill-advised attempt to elicit some sort of emotion from the reader and I just couldn't oblige.

Okay, it has some redeeming qualities - I do like David Nicholls, he is usually very funny and this book had its moments. Occasionally. It's been compared to The Time Traveller's Wife simply because it messes with time structure, but I infinitely preferred The TTW because it had characters with real depth and a compelling plot that was written in an original way - I could actually feel for them. To be honest they are very different books and as far as entertainment goes, One Day is alright I suppose, although it does not leave any lasting impression.

No comments:

Post a Comment