One Day

September 27, 2011

Might be a little bit behind the curve on this one, but have recently read One Day by David Nicholls.

I am going to try and discuss it’s genius briefly and without giving vital plot away…

Somewhere deep in the book, right after the most important plot development, there is a Thomas Hardy quote from Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

I read Tess at school, it was an A Level text, so once upon a time I knew it pretty much inside out. And there was this one bit which I often thought about and which apart from all the brilliance of Tess, stands alone as a piece of something we should all consider when thinking about our place in the cosmos (and the theme of fate in that book runs on and on). I have reflected on it many times – more so than the rest of Tess put together.

As soon as I read the Hardy quote I realised what the book was about and what a great idea for a book  it is (Nicholls confirms this in the brief acknowledgements at the end). One of the reviewers (behind a Murdoch paywall, so no link) referred to the genius of the premise and how obvious it was and why hadn’t someone thought of this before. And there is the stroke of genius in spotting something so simple and brilliant from the words of Hardy.

If you haven’t read it, I recommend you do so. I plan to venture to see the film asap. I also might seek out the other book by Nicholls I have heard of, I believe it is called Starter for Ten (about University Challenge) which has also been made into a film.

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