Us by David Nicholls


I am reading the best book. No, really, I cannot put it down. David Nicholls writes with a sarcasm which is witty instead of angry, and each line says almost exactly what I’ve thought, or experienced, without having his ability to articulate it.

I’m only halfway through, so I’ll just leave you with an excerpt about the son which I wish I would have read seven years ago when my son was exactly like this. It would have calmed me down so much:

In consideration of my views on the subject, he smokes in secret, though it’s not a secret that he holds precious given the numbers of lighters and Rizla packets he leaves lying around, given the smell of it on his clothing and the burn marks on the window ledge of his filthy bedroom. “How did they get there, Albie?” I said. “The swallows? Smoking swallows, with their Duty Free?” At which point he laughed and kicked the door closed. Oh, and as well as the emphysema, cancer, and heart disease that he is presumably nurturing in that narrow chest, he suffers from a malaise that requires at least twelve hours of sleep, yet is singularly incapable of commencing these twelve hours before two a.m.

Albie, the son described above, and his parents are on a European vacation. Hanging over the parents’ heads is the possible dissolution of their marriage, which is the premise of the whole novel. But, I don’t much care about the outcome as much as I do in getting there. This is a fantastic novel so far. No wonder it was amongst the others contending for the Man Booker Award this year.