Cover image for Us
Title:
Us
Author:
Nicholls, David, 1966-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Physical Description:
396 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together--and what happens, and what we learn about ourselves, when everything threatens to fall apart. Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date. and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce. The timing couldn't be worse. Hoping to encourage her son's artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world's greatest works of art as a family, and she can't bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie. Narrated from Douglas's endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who's always felt like a stranger. Us is a moving meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the intricate relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls's gifted hands, Douglas's odyssey brings Europe--from the streets of Amsterdam to the famed museums of Paris, from the cafe's of Venice to the beaches of Barcelona--to vivid life just as he experiences a powerful awakening of his own. Will this summer be his last as a husband, or the moment when he turns his marriage, and maybe even his whole life, around?"--

"The highly anticipated new novel from David Nicholls, author of the mega-bestselling fiction sensation One Day, which follows one man's efforts to salvage his marriage--and repair his troubled relationship with his teenaged son--during the course of a trip around Europe"--
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780062365583

9780062365590
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together--and what happens, and what we learn about ourselves, when everything threatens to fall apart.

Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date . . . and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.

The timing couldn't be worse. Hoping to encourage her son's artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world's greatest works of art as a family, and she can't bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie.

Narrated from Douglas's endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who's always felt like a stranger. Us is a moving meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the intricate relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls's gifted hands, Douglas's odyssey brings Europe--from the streets of Amsterdam to the famed museums of Paris, from the caf#65533;s of Venice to the beaches of Barcelona--to vivid life just as he experiences a powerful awakening of his own. Will this summer be his last as a husband, or the moment when he turns his marriage, and maybe even his whole life, around?


Author Notes

David Nicholls was born in 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire, United Kingdom. He studied English literature and drama at the University of Bristol. When he graduated he won a scholarship to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. He appeared in plays at the Battersea Arts Centre, the Finborough, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, and had a three year stint at the Royal National Theatre, understudying and playing small parts.

During this period he took a job at BBC Radio Drama as a script reader/researcher and he developed an adaptation of Sam Shepard's stage-play Simpatico with the director Matthew Warchus. He also wrote his first original script, Waiting, which was later optioned by the BBC.

Simpatico was turned into a feature film in 1999 which allowed him to start writing full-time. I Saw You won best single play at the annual BANFF television festival. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards.

His first novel, Starter for 10, was featured on the first Richard and Judy Book Club. His other novels include The Understudy, One Day, which won the Galaxy Book Award, and Us.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Nicholls brings his trademark wit and wisdom to this by turns hilarious and heartbreaking examination of a long-term marriage. Biochemist Douglas Petersen is about to embark on a grand tour of Europe with his artistic wife of 25 years, Connie, and his temperamental 17-year-old son, Albie, who is about to leave for college. But on the eve of their departure, his wife tells him that, after the trip, she wants a divorce. A shocked Douglas hatches a scheme to win back his wife and repair his fractious relationship with his son. Traveling from the museums of Paris and Amsterdam to the beaches of Spain, the Petersen family struggle to regain their equilibrium, but Douglas' determination to have fun, complete with an ironclad itinerary, leads to spectacular fights, hurt feelings, and simmering tensions, all of which are conveyed by Nicholls with both humor and a deep compassion for human frailty. As Douglas looks back in longing on the couple's first heady days of love and courtship, he struggles to maintain his touching optimism for the future of their marriage. This tender novel will further cement Nicholls' reputation as a master of romantic comedy. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Nicholls' 2010 novel, One Day, has sold more than two million copies in 37 languages, and his latest will receive BEA and book-club promotion as well as a 500,000-copy first printing.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Haig's performance of Nicholls's comic novel is nearly a one-trick pony; he voices the main character, Douglas Petersen, with verve, humor, and more sensitivity than Douglas likely deserves. But for almost every other character-with the notable exception of Douglas's teen son Albie, who is voiced like an idiot until the novel's climax-Haig's narration is one-size-fits-all, with little variation from one character to the next. But therein lies the performance's simple genius, because it perfectly reflects the limited way in which the highly analytical Douglas views the world. His inability to understand other people's emotions or motivations is the crux of the story. He loves his wife, Connie, but is baffled by her artistic temperament and by the fact that she's just announced, after over two decades of marriage, that she's planning to leave him as soon as their epic family holiday to Europe is over. He's relentlessly critical of his son in scenes that make the listener cringe for Albie's humiliations, but that are understandable voiced so well from Douglas's point of view. Overall, this is a fine performance by Haig, a British character actor perhaps best known for playing Bernard in Four Weddings and a Funeral. A Harper hardcover. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

In a story told in hundreds of short chapters, each one a gem unto itself, a man tries to salvage his marriage and his family. Connie, the artistic wife of biochemist Douglas, has planned a Grand Tour of Europe to view the fine works of art in the last summer before their son heads off to university. But when she tells Douglas that she would like to end their marriage, how can they go forward? As plans have been made and reservations paid for, the trip must go ahead even as the dubious future of their marriage does not bode a pleasant journey. David Haig is excellent as the bewildered and confused Douglas. VERDICT Best suited to readers of relationship-focused novels set in modern times. ["The author's latest is another heart-grabber about discovering what makes us happy and learning to let go," read the starred review of the Harper hc, LJ 9/15/14.]-J. Sara Paulk, Houston Cty. P.L., Perry, GA (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.