I was recently reminded of one of my favourite books the other day when I was over for dinner at J’s parent’s house: One Day by David Nicholls. It is beautifully written and you really do come away feeling like you have been close friends with Em and Dex, Dex and Em for years. My copy soon started to become tatty and falling to pieces after just a few months because it has been passed around and read by so many people. I’ve been baffled by the number of male friends who have read it and commented on how good it is – my dad even loved it.
I am the kind of person who cannot even vaguely name favourites for literature and music because there is just so much that I love from all different time periods and genres – it just depends. But this book is definitely climbing up there. It might not be a truly stunning piece of work worthy in comparison to the works of say T.S.Elliot, but I can say with almost certainty that I will pick it up and read it a few times in my life, which is something I rarely do. Maybe it is just because it is so easy to read and connect with.
I watched the film for the first time over the summer when it originally came out and it was ok, but as these things usually are, the film doesn’t really do justice to the book. I watched the film again this winter and did enjoy it more the second time around, but it was only because I had the thoughts of the characters from the novel in my head while I was watching it, and came away desperate to read it again. It is the narration, and what the characters are thinking that makes One Day so amusing and endearing and this is hugely lacking in the film.
Either way, Nicholls has given us a fresh, modern-day love story, that seems classic and timeless at the same time. I expect to see this novel being studied in Contemporary Literature classes in the imminent future.