A spectacularly well observed, funny and often heartbreaking account of the difficulties of marriage and parenting.
Those who loved Nicholls's last novel, One Day, will not be disappointed. US has many of the same qualities, including an almost magical readability. Though it is an ambitious novel, intricately patterned, which tackles complex and subtle themes, it has the furious pace of a thriller. Each time I put the book down, I stared in disbelief at the number of pages I had just covered; by the end, I was having to ration myself for fear of coming to the end too soon.
David Nicholls has such finesse with character that he can create two central figures who are self-deceiving, funny, awful and touching - and who pull you through the narrative like magnets.
A literary and anthropological tour de force . . . astute and packed with brilliant observations, about life, art, culture and the infinite possibilities for human disappointment. I honestly can't imagine loving a novel much more.
[US] is a work of Cheever-esque perfection that absolutely captures the exquisite horror of not being able to do right for wrong.
Wonderful. A novel that manages to be both truly hilarious and deeply affecting. I loved it.
US is a perfect book.
The kind of book that reminds us what it means to be alive.
Moments of insight, observation and charm.
Nicholls's ability to create and then subvert the traditional plot for a comedy is the secret of his success. It makes us confront the gap between what we expect from storytelling and what happens in real life . . . this frank exploration of some of the unromantic realities of marriage and growing old that makes this book moving and thought-provoking.
It's the perfect follow-up to One Day because it takes romance to a middle-aged place. It's funny and sweet - a lovely lovely book.
Nicholls' greatest gift as a novelist is pages of idiosyncratic, witty dialogue that is a joy to read, at the same time as deftly evoking character and place.
Imparts much truth and wisdom about marriage and fatherhood.
A happier, lighter, more well-adjusted version of Gone Girl . . . Each novel makes a serious attempt to excavate a marriage from the initial flirty courtship to the downward spiral and back again . . . For all of their burdens and battles, Douglas and Connie have moments of real joy in their marriage and while it doesn't always seem like a pleasure, reading about it sure is.
This very funny, wise and bittersweet novel was in my view even more enjoyable than Nicholls' previous bestseller One Day.
[Nicholls'] superior brand of romantic comedy, shot through with dark shards of truth, gets under the skin.
His organisation of the story is impeccable . . . The narrative neatly weaves present and past with a perfect rhythmic sense of when to leave or revisit a particular strand. The dialogue is always bouncy . . . acute and astute about the dynamics of relationships.
US is a perfect book.
I was having to ration myself for fear of coming to the end too soon.
It's funny, moving and, of course, wonderfully written.
Beautiful, funny and brilliant.
[Nicholls] has captured, with rare accuracy, the hopes, fears, compromises and silly jokes that make up our lives. The title says it all: he really is writing about Us.
Never has a book about the end of a love affair been so heart-rendingly romantic and bittersweet. Rich in pathos, humour and steeped in the wisdom of maturity, this compulsively readable story deserves to be as much of a smash as One Day.
Nicholls has raised his game. this is a grownup book, and one deserving of its Man Booker longlisting. Nicholls's gift is character. There is a sharp empathetic intelligence to his writing that makes his characters real . . . the clear writing often dazzles with truth . . . a sad funny, soulful joy of a book.
A clever and likable novel that deserves its likely success.
A great combination of laughs and heart.
Nicholls again deals with love lost and possibility found, offering an unpredictable ending . . . a poignant story of regret in middle age.
Few authors do messed-up relationships better than Nicholls.
A wrenching examination of a journey through Europe that goes terribly wrong and a consideration of what it means to be a parent today.
Nicholls writes with such tender precision about love, this time about a type of relationship often neglected as unsexy - the long-married couple. Yet greater longevity, female economic independence and the baby-boomer sense of entitlement to perpetual happiness has led to a spike in fiftysomething divorces. Long marriages are no longer seen as becalmed seas, albeit with chilly, hidden depths, but in as constant flux as younger partnerships. Nicholls has demographics on his side, along with his wry, plaintive but ever hopeful words.
As he proved in One Day, Nicholls is brilliant at picking apart modern life with all its hopes, disillusionments and regrets, and marrying it to a gently heartbreaking narrative.
David Nicholls, it seems, was born to write about love, in all its sweetness and bitterness . . . a thoughtful, funny, authentic story about love . . . Pitch-perfect dialogue and seamless action propel the story forward . . . Us begins as a sweet read, but evolves into an examination of love's complexities - the battle between the heart and the brain . . . This is the kind of book that reminds us what it means to be alive. How often does a reader get to feel that?
US reflects the more mature concerns of middle age, parenthood, and finding a way to knit together the damage the march of time does to a romantic relationship, once so new, so full of promise and so unexpectedly transformative . . . US is a quiet joy, written with an undemonstrative simplicity that is hard to achieve. It's also a novel that captures the zeitgeist and will speak to many middle-aged people who find that their marriage has run its course and realise they must start out on a new romantic journey.
I loved this book. Funny, sad, tender: for anyone who wants to know what happens after the Happy Ever After.
a stylish comedy delivered with all of Nicholls' customary aplomb.
A literary and anthropological tour de force . . . astute and packed with brilliant observations, about life, art, culture and the infinite possibilities for human disappointment. Like his bestselling One Day, it is, at times, extremely funny . . . But the laughs are matched by just as many moments that make you swallow hard . . . US is a novel about love, grief, joy, art, science, culture and the modern world. It is wise, moving and sweet. I honestly can't imagine loving a novel much more.
US is an entertaining and clever crossover read . . . one of the best portrayals of the complexities of a long-term relationship I've seen in a contemporary novel.
In his picaresque fourth novel, Nicholls artfully unveils 25 years of a couple's relationship . . . Nicholls is a master of the braided narrative, weaving the past and present to create an intricate whole, one that is at times deceptively light and unexpectedly devastating. Though the narration is self-conscious at first, it gradually settles into a voice that is wistful, wry, bewildered and incisive, drawing a portrait of a man who has been out of his league for a long time. Evocative of its European locales-London, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Madrid-and awkward family vacations everywhere, this is a funny and moving novel perfect for a long journey.
[A] compulsively readable, formally inventive, extremely funny yet achingly melancholy love story.
[Nicholls] is a deft storyteller, with wit and warmth. Above all, he understands what his readers want from a book.
Even better than One Day.
An emotive romantic comedy, ingeniously structured.
I enjoyed US immensely. David has a sublime talent for illuminating the murky causeway that most of us have to navigate between darkness and light, happiness and sadness; the place where fatigue is, and restlessness, where love is tested and strained and sometimes broken.
For those who loved One Day, the author's latest is another heart-grabber about discovering what makes us happy and learning to let go.
A kind of modern spin on the old odd-couple trope, but the raging insecurity and simmering frustrations wrought by those with vastly different temperaments trying to get along has rarely been so hilarious and so utterly painful. This is a wildly successful return; barely a page passes without some cringe-inducing flash of humour, some small moment of pathos of a quotable one-liner. All those enraptured by One Day's surprising depth, pitch-perfect balance of satire and generosity and its insights into contemporary relationships will find plenty more to love and argue about here.
Well worth the wait . . . A poignant and acutely observed portrayal of a marriage that's lost its way.
peerless at mixing eye-smarting tragedy with ebullient comedy
Nicholls is a delightfully funny writer . . . Us evolves into a poignant consideration of how a marriage ages, how parents mess up and what survives despite all those challenges.