A Question Of Attraction: A Novel

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A Question Of Attraction: A Novel

by David Nicholls

Random House Publishing Group | March 8, 2005 | Trade Paperback

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The year is 1985. Brian Jackson, a working-class kid on full scholarship, has started his ?rst term at university. The usual freshman anxiety over ?tting in is compounded by the gap between his own humble origins and the privileged backgrounds of his better-off classmates.

Brian also has a dark secret—a long-held, burning ambition (stoked by his late father) to appear on the wildly popular TV quiz show University Challenge—and now, ?nally, it seems the dream is about to become reality. He’s made the school team, and they’ve completed the qualifying rounds and are limbering up for their ?rst televised match. (And, what’s more, he’s fallen head over heels for one of his teammates, the beautiful, brainy, and intimidatingly posh Alice Harbinson.) Life seems perfect and triumph inevitable—but as his world opens up, Brian learns that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Reminiscent of such classic coming-of-age works as The Graduate and Goodbye, Columbus, A Question of Attraction marks the literary debut of David Nicholls, one of England’s most highly praised television writers. It is an unforgettable story of love, class, ?nding one’s place in the world, and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8 × 5.13 × 0.75 in

Published: March 8, 2005

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 081297140X

ISBN - 13: 9780812971408

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– More About This Product –

A Question Of Attraction: A Novel

by David Nicholls

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8 × 5.13 × 0.75 in

Published: March 8, 2005

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 081297140X

ISBN - 13: 9780812971408

About the Book

A brilliant romantic comedy, set in England in the 1980s, is about a young man discovering the world and himself during his first year at university.

Read from the Book

1 QUESTION: Stepson to Robert Dudley and onetime favorite of Elizabeth I, which nobleman led a poorly planned and unsuccessful revolt against the queen, and was subsequently executed in 1601? ANSWER: Essex. All young people worry about things, it’s a natural and inevitable part of growing up, and at the age of sixteen my greatest anxiety in life was that I’d never again achieve anything as good, or pure, or noble, or true, as my O-level exam results. I didn’t make a big deal about them at the time, of course; I didn’t frame the certificates or anything weird like that, and I won’t go into the actual grades here, because then it just gets competitive, but I definitely liked having them: qualifications. Sixteen years old, and the first time I’d ever felt qualified for anything. Of course, all that was a long, long time ago. I’m eighteen now, and I like to think I’m a lot wiser and cooler about these things. So my A-levels are, comparatively, no big deal. Besides, the notion that you can somehow quantify intelligence by some ridiculous, antiquated system of written examinations is obviously specious. Having said that, they were Langley Street Comprehensive School’s best A-level results of 1985, the best for fifteen years in fact, three As and a B, that’s nineteen points—there, I’ve said it now—but I really, honestly don’t believe that’s particularly relevant, I just mention them in passing.
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From the Publisher

The year is 1985. Brian Jackson, a working-class kid on full scholarship, has started his ?rst term at university. The usual freshman anxiety over ?tting in is compounded by the gap between his own humble origins and the privileged backgrounds of his better-off classmates.

Brian also has a dark secret—a long-held, burning ambition (stoked by his late father) to appear on the wildly popular TV quiz show University Challenge—and now, ?nally, it seems the dream is about to become reality. He’s made the school team, and they’ve completed the qualifying rounds and are limbering up for their ?rst televised match. (And, what’s more, he’s fallen head over heels for one of his teammates, the beautiful, brainy, and intimidatingly posh Alice Harbinson.) Life seems perfect and triumph inevitable—but as his world opens up, Brian learns that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Reminiscent of such classic coming-of-age works as The Graduate and Goodbye, Columbus, A Question of Attraction marks the literary debut of David Nicholls, one of England’s most highly praised television writers. It is an unforgettable story of love, class, ?nding one’s place in the world, and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

DAVID NICHOLLS'' teleplay credits include Cold Feet, I Saw You, and Rescue Me, which he also created. He also cowrote the ?lm Simpatico. A Question of Attraction is his ?rst novel. He lives in London.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“I feel for A Question of Attraction as I do the pick ''n'' mix counter at Woolworth''s: nostalgic, giddy, happy, sick, and then devastated when there is none left. I could not put this book down. I love it. Literally.”
—Alan Cumming, author of Tommy’s Tale

''Relentlessly delightful''.
—Mil Millington, author of Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About

"A Question of Attraction is the funniest book I''ve read in years and I am now awash with gratitude that I will never again have to be eighteen, and that my university days are well and truly over."
—Emily Barr, author of Backpack and Baggage

"What a delight. Every five minutes I was shouting ''ha ha ha'' and reading out great swathes of hilarious narrative to whoever was in the room. David Nicholls is enormously talented, he has an exquisite eye for detail, humour and the ridiculous and he deserves every ounce of the huge success he will undoubtedly have with this pleasure of a book."
—Anna Maxted, author of Getting Over It and Behaving Like Adults

"Absolutely fabulous. And so painfully reminiscent: God, it whipped me right back. That''s exactly what it was like for me. Brilliantly funny."
—Jenny Colgan, author of Talking to Addison and Amanda''s Wedding


From the Hardcover edition.
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