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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780340896990

Price: £20

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David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced ONE DAY in this brilliant, bittersweet novel about love and family, husbands and wives, parents and children. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014.

‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’

‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?


Moments of insight, observation and charm.
Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times
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.
Helen Dunmore
US is a perfect book.
Nicholls again deals with love lost and possibility found, offering an unpredictable ending . . . a poignant story of regret in middle age.
New York Times
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?
Good Housekeeping (America)
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.
Mark Lawson, Guardian
A wrenching examination of a journey through Europe that goes terribly wrong and a consideration of what it means to be a parent today.
Philip Hensher, Guardian
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.
Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times
Few authors do messed-up relationships better than Nicholls.
[Nicholls] is a deft storyteller, with wit and warmth. Above all, he understands what his readers want from a book.
Tim Lott, Guardian
a stylish comedy delivered with all of Nicholls' customary aplomb.
Mail on Sunday
Wonderful. A novel that manages to be both truly hilarious and deeply affecting. I loved it.
S J Watson
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.
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.
Janice Turner, The Times
A clever and likable novel that deserves its likely success.
Literary Review
The kind of book that reminds us what it means to be alive.
Good Housekeeping
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.
Sydney Morning Herald
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.
Mail on Sunday
I loved this book. Funny, sad, tender: for anyone who wants to know what happens after the Happy Ever After.
Jojo Moyes
Even better than One Day.
The Times
Well worth the wait . . . A poignant and acutely observed portrayal of a marriage that's lost its way.
Imparts much truth and wisdom about marriage and fatherhood.
Rachel Hore, Independent
peerless at mixing eye-smarting tragedy with ebullient comedy
[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.
Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
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.
Rory Dunlop, Spectator
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.
Washington Post
Beautiful, funny and brilliant.
Dan Stevens
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.
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.
Graham Norton
US is a perfect book.
A spectacularly well observed, funny and often heartbreaking account of the difficulties of marriage and parenting.
It's funny, moving and, of course, wonderfully written.
A great combination of laughs and heart.
Sophie Kinsella
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.
Matt Haig, Observer
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.
Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times
[US] is a work of Cheever-esque perfection that absolutely captures the exquisite horror of not being able to do right for wrong.
Damian Barr, Observer
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.
Sunday Mirror
An emotive romantic comedy, ingeniously structured.
Evening Standard
[A] compulsively readable, formally inventive, extremely funny yet achingly melancholy love story.
Andrew Billen, The Times
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.
Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart
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.
Sunday Telegraph
[Nicholls'] superior brand of romantic comedy, shot through with dark shards of truth, gets under the skin.
Rachel Hore, Independent on Sunday
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.
Library Journal
I was having to ration myself for fear of coming to the end too soon.
Mail on Sunday
This very funny, wise and bittersweet novel was in my view even more enjoyable than Nicholls' previous bestseller One Day.
Daily Express
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.
Kirkus (starred review)
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.
Daily Express
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.
Viv Groskop, The Observer