One Day (movie Tie-in Edition)

Paperback | May 24, 2011

byDavid Nicholls

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It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

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From the Publisher

It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they...

David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. He is the author of two previous novels—Starter For Ten and The Understudy. He has also written many screenplays for film and television, including the feature film adaptation of Starter For Ten and One Day. He lives in London.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 1 inPublished:May 24, 2011Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307946711

ISBN - 13:9780307946713

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of favourite books! This book is wonderful! Emma and Dexter, the characters are complicated, you fall in love with them. As you read more the plot expends and you understand them more. I love Emma, the ending was a bit hard, I cried! The author is amazing, I’m on his third novel and this one is the best one! If you care for love stories, then this is a book for you!
Date published: 2012-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 'When Harry Met Sally,' with a shot of reality I was actually surprised to see all of the negative reviews. In my opinion, this is an amazing book--so layered and so touching, at its heart it's really about two people--one friendship, one love--and the ways in which it changes, and remains unchanged, over time. The concept of revisiting these characters one day a year, over a span of many years, makes for an incredibly interesting read. And although the ending is bittersweet (without giving too much away), it is strangely and utterly satisfying. Just through reading this book, I can tell that this was truly a labour of love for the author. It is both beautifully and thoughtfully written the whole way through, up to the very end. There are times when you will laugh, cry, roll your eyes and find yourself completely gripped with anticipation. You may not completely relate to, or understand the bond between Emily and Dexter, but you will grow to care very deeply about it. All and all it is probably one of the best books I have ever read. It is definitely not chick lit, or pure romance--it is a straight, honest and realistically complex story about people and the impact they have on each others lives.
Date published: 2012-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from HMMM I enjoyed this book. It is refreshing reading a book that does not follow a normal pattern I find the bouncing around and empty gaps of time makes you think as a reader. I loved the characters and felt they were believable rather then a love story that is only for the movies or in books it was real. As much as I enjoyed the book I was not fond on how the author killed Emma's character!
Date published: 2011-11-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Rotten Format, Unrelatable Characters and Bad Ending... This book was a strange one. While I liked the storylines between the characters, they themselves weren't developed all that well. And how could they be, based on this books format? This book jumps to the same time each year (or years) in the two main characters lives. I found this frustrating as a reader. What happened in-between? How did they get to where they are now? Some of this couple's major life events are told in a couple of sentences in a 'flashback' of sorts, rather than in real time. I also couldn't relate to the main characters AT ALL. It just seemed ridiculous that someone like Emma would put up with Dex's BS for all those years and not just move on. Dex himself was probably more relatable, but at times I found his actions inconsistent when based on what little we learn about him in the writers annual snippets. I found myself skimming a lot of this book and not caring how it ended. That's how you can tell you just read a bad book... :(
Date published: 2011-11-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy Romantic Read I thought this was a fun book to read. It's a love story, but I personally don't think that it's your typical romance novel. Many things surprised me (which I wasn't a fan of!), but overall, being in a relationship myself, I enjoyed it.
Date published: 2011-09-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst book ever. I didn't get it. It was poorly written, extremely difficult to follow and uninspiring. I haven't seen the movie but it has got to be better than this trash.
Date published: 2011-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Touching After reading the reviews below, I'm shocked about the negative response this book has received. It is not horrible as the reviews below have said, and is surprisingly better than I thought it would be. The book is full of comedy and humor, but below that lies a passionate romance that does not always go the way as planned. Snapshots of the two characters, Emma and Dexter, are given in each chapter on the same day for two decades. You can see how they've progressed in each year and how their relationship changes every single time. From friends, to more than friends, to confidants, to lovers, to enemies, their bond is constantly shifting, just as it does in reality. What I found enjoyable about this book was that the characters were continually growing and imperfect. Every single day there's lessons to be learned, mistakes to be made. The author captures human desires, hopes and emotions so accurately, it makes you consider yourself and the future. Though I do agree that the ending was not the best, the novel is still great and if your into romance, you should definitely pick this up. If your not, give it a try anyway, you might like it.
Date published: 2011-08-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from So Boring Okay so I don't have much to say about this book except that it SUCKED sorry if that seems a bit dramatic but I felt like I was getting tortured at times when I had to read this book. I did not like the story it dragged on in so many areas and I swear if I could have gone in to the book I would have strangled both of the characters they were both really annoying and they both acted stupid half of the time. The ending of this book was also really horrible I won't spoil but really it just made the book worse than it was. Overall really bad book I would not recommend it but I know there are some people out there that really liked this book but I was not one of them. :0)
Date published: 2011-08-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Absolute Trash This story is absolute foolishness, lacking the most basic ingredient of any story: credibility. This is the story of an alcoholic trying to play one of the main characters in a love story. Added to that is the story of a girl/woman who wants to be in love with an alcoholic because she has a penchant for self-destruction. The author could have picked up the story at the corner bar. The only thing good about this book is the cover design.
Date published: 2011-08-05

Extra Content

Read from the Book

CHAPTER ONE'THE FUTURE'Friday 15TH July 1988Rankeillor Street, Edinburgh'I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,' she said. 'You know, actually change something.''What, like "change the world", you mean?''Not the whole entire world. Just the little bit around you.'They lay in silence for a moment, bodies curled around each other in the single bed, then both began to laugh in low, pre-dawn voices. 'Can't believe I just said that,' she groaned. 'Sounds a bit corny, doesn't it?''A bit corny.''I'm trying to be inspiring! I'm trying to lift your grubby soul for the great adventure that lies ahead of you.' She turned to face him. 'Not that you need it. I expect you've got your future nicely mapped out, ta very much. Probably got a little flow-chart somewhere or something.''Hardly.''So what're you going to do then? What's the great plan?''Well, my parents are going to pick up my stuff, dump it at theirs, then I'll spend a couple of days in their flat in London, see some friends. Then France-''Very nice-''Then China maybe, see what that's all about, then maybe onto India, travel around there for a bit-''Traveling,' she sighed. 'So predictable.''What's wrong with travelling?''Avoiding reality more like.''I think reality is over-rated,' he said in the hope that this might come across as dark and charismatic.She sniffed. 'S'alright, I suppose, for those who can afford it. Why not just say "I'm going on holiday for two years"? It's the same thing.''Because travel broadens the mind,' he said, rising onto one elbow and kissing her.'Oh I think you're probably a bit too broad-minded as it is,' she said, turning her face away, for the moment at least. They settled again on the pillow. 'Anyway, I didn't mean what are you doing next month, I meant the future-future, when you're, I don't know...' She paused, as if conjuring up some fantastical idea, like a fifth dimension. '...Forty or something. What do you want to be when you're forty?''Forty?' He too seemed to be struggling with the concept. 'Don't know. Am I allowed to say "rich"?''Just so, so shallow.''Alright then, "famous".' He began to nuzzle at her neck. 'Bit morbid, this, isn't it?''It's not morbid, it's...exciting.'     ' 'Exciting!' ' He was imitating her voice now, her soft Yorkshire accent, trying to make her sound daft. She got this a lot, posh boys doing funny voices, as if there was something unusual and quaint about an accent, and not for the first time she felt a reassuring shiver of dislike for him. She shrugged herself away until her back was pressed against the cool of the wall.    'Yes, exciting. We're meant to be excited, aren't we? All those possibilities. It's like the Vice-Chancellor said, "the doors of opportunity flung wide..."'     '"Yours are the names in tomorrow's newspapers..."'     'Not very likely.'     'So, what, are you excited then?'     'Me? God no, I'm crapping myself.'     'Me too. Christ...' He turned suddenly and reached for the cigarettes on the floor by the side of the bed, as if to steady his nerves. 'Forty years old. Forty. Fucking hell.'     Smiling at his anxiety, she decided to make it worse. 'So what'll you be doing when you're forty?'     He lit his cigarette thoughtfully. 'Well the thing is, Em-'     '"Em"? Who's "Em"?'     'People call you Em. I've heard them.'    'Yeah, friends call me Em.''So can I call you Em?''Go on then, Dex.''So I've given this whole "growing old" thing some thought and I've come to the decision that I'd like to stay exactly as I am right now.'Dexter Mayhew. She peered up at him through her fringe as he leant against the cheap buttoned vinyl headboard and even without her spectacles on it was clear why he might want to stay exactly this way. Eyes closed, the cigarette glued languidly to his lower lip, the dawn light warming the side of his face through the red filter of the curtains, he had the knack of looking perpetually posed for a photograph. Emma Morley thought 'handsome' a silly, nineteenth-century word, but there really was no other word for it, except perhaps 'beautiful'. He had one of those faces where you were aware of the bones beneath the skin, as if even his bare skull would be attractive. A fine nose, slightly shiny with grease, and dark skin beneath the eyes that looked almost bruised, a badge of honour from all the smoking and late nights spent deliberately losing at strip poker with girls from Bedales. There was something feline about him: eyebrows fine, mouth pouty in a self-conscious way, lips a shade too dark and full, but dry and chapped now, and rouged with Bulgarian red wine. Gratifyingly his hair was terrible, short at the back and sides, but with an awful little quiff at the front. Whatever gel he used had worn off, and now the quiff looked pert and fluffy, like a silly little hat.Still with his eyes closed, he exhaled smoke through his nose. Clearly he knew he was being looked at because he tucked one hand beneath his armpit, bunching up his pectorals and biceps. Where did the muscles come from? Certainly not sporting activity, unless you counted skinny- dipping and playing pool. Probably it was just the kind of good health that was passed down in the family, along with the stocks and shares and the good furniture. Handsome then, or beautiful even, with his paisley boxer shorts pulled down to his hip bones and somehow here in her single bed in her tiny rented room at the end of four years of college. 'Handsome'! Who do you think you are, Jane Eyre? Grow up. Be sensible. Don't get carried away.She plucked the cigarette from his mouth. 'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.'He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.''Alright-' She shuffled up the bed, the duvet tucked beneath her armpits. 'You're in this sports car with the roof down in Kensington or Chelsea or one of those places and the amazing thing about this car is it's silent, 'cause all the cars'll be silent in, I don't know, what - 2006?'He scrunched his eyes to do the sum. '2004-''And this car is hovering six inches off the ground down the King's Road and you've got this little paunch tucked under the leather steering wheel like a little pillow and those backless gloves on, thinning hair and no chin. You're a big man in a small car with a tan like a basted turkey-''So shall we change the subject then?''And there's this woman next to you in sunglasses, your third, no, fourth wife, very beautiful, a model, no, an ex-model, twenty-three, you met her while she was draped on the bonnet of a car at a motor- show in Nice or something, and she's stunning and thick as shit-''Well that's nice. Any kids?''No kids, just three divorces, and it's a Friday in July and you're heading off to some house in the country and in the tiny boot of your hover car are tennis racquets and croquet mallets and a hamper full of fine wines and South African grapes and poor little quails and asparagus and the wind's in your widow's peak and you're feeling very, very pleased with yourself and wife number three, four, whatever, smiles at you with about two hundred shiny white teeth and you smile back and try not to think about the fact that you have nothing, absolutely nothing, to say to each other.' She came to an abrupt halt. You sound insane, she told herself. Do try not to sound insane. 'Course if it's any consolation we'll all be dead in a nuclear war long before then!' she said brightly, but still he was frowning at her.'Maybe I should go then. If I'm so shallow and corrupt-''No, don't go,' she said, a little too quickly. 'It's four in the morning.'He shuffled up the bed until his face was a few inches from hers. 'I don't know where you get this idea of me, you barely know me.''I know the type.''The type?''I've seen you, hanging round Modern Languages, braying at each other, throwing black-tie dinner parties-''I don't even own black-tie. And I certainly don't bray-''Yachting your way round the Med in the long hols, ra ra ra-''So if I'm so awful-' His hand was on her hip now.'-which you are.''-then why are you sleeping with me?' His hand was on the warm soft flesh of her thigh.'Actually I don't think I have slept with you, have I?''Well that depends.' He leant in and kissed her. 'Define your terms.' His hand was on the base of her spine, his leg slipping between hers.'By the way,' she mumbled, her mouth pressed against his.'What?' He felt her leg snake around his, pulling him closer.'You need to brush your teeth.''I don't mind if you don't.''S'really horrible,' she laughed. 'You taste of wine and fags.''Well that's alright then. So do you.'Her head snapped away, breaking off the kiss. 'Do I?''I don't mind. I like wine and fags.''Won't be a sec.' She flung the duvet back, clambering over him.'Where are you going now?' He placed his hand on her bare back.'Just the bog,' she said, retrieving her spectacles from the pile of books by the bed: large, black NHS frames, standard issue.'The "bog", the "bog"...sorry I'm not familiar...'She stood, one arm across her chest, careful to keep her back to him. 'Don't go away,' she said, padding out of the room, hooking two fingers into the elastic of her underpants to pull the material down at the top of her thighs. 'And no playing with yourself while I'm gone.'He exhaled through his nose and shuffled up the bed, taking in the shabby rented room, knowing with absolute confidence that somewhere in amongst the art postcards and photocopied posters for angry plays there would be a photograph of Nelson Mandela, like some dreamy ideal boyfriend. In his last four years he had seen any number of bedrooms like this, dotted round the city like crime scenes, rooms where you were never more than six feet from a Nina Simone album, and though he'd rarely seen the same bedroom twice, it was all too familiar. The burnt out nightlights and desolate pot plants, the smell of washing powder on cheap, ill-fitting sheets. She had that arty girl's passion for photomontage too; flash-lit snaps of college friends and family jumbled in amongst the Chagalls and Vermeers and Kandinskys, the Che Guevaras and Woody Allens and Samuel Becketts. Nothing here was neutral, everything displayed an allegiance or a point of view. The room was a manifesto, and with a sigh Dexter recognised her as one of those girls who used 'bourgeois' as a term of abuse. He could understand why 'fascist' might have negative connotations, but he liked the word 'bourgeois' and all that it implied. Security, travel, nice food, good manners, ambition; what was he meant to be apologising for?He watched the smoke curl from his mouth. Feeling for an ashtray, he found a book at the side of the bed. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, spine creased at the 'erotic' bits. The problem with these fiercely individualistic girls was that they were all exactly the same. Another book: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Silly bloody fool, he thought, confident that it was not a mistake he would ever make.At twenty-three, Dexter Mayhew's vision of his future was no clearer than Emma Morley's. He hoped to be successful, to make his parents proud and to sleep with more than one woman at the same time, but how to make these all compatible? He wanted to feature in magazine articles, and hoped one day for a retrospective of his work, without having any clear notion of what that work might be. He wanted to live life to the extreme, but without any mess or complications. He wanted to live life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph. Things should look right. Fun; there should be a lot of fun and no more sadness than absolutely necessary.It wasn't much of a plan, and already there had been mistakes. Tonight, for instance, was bound to have repercussions: tears and awkward phone-calls and accusations. He should probably get out of here as soon as possible, and he glanced at his discarded clothes in preparation for his escape. From the bathroom came the warning rattle and bang of an ancient toilet cistern, and he hurriedly replaced the book, finding beneath the bed a small yellow Colman's mustard tin that he flipped open to confirm that, yes, it did contain condoms, along with the small grey remains of a joint, like a mouse dropping. With the possibility of sex and drugs in a small yellow tin he felt hopeful again, and decided that he might stay a little longer at least.In the bathroom, Emma Morley wiped the crescents of toothpaste from the corner of her mouth and wondered if this was all a terrible mistake. Here she was, after four romantically barren years, finally, finally in bed with someone she really liked, had liked since she'd first seen him at a party in 1984, and in just a few hours he'd be gone. Forever probably. He was hardly likely to ask her to go to China with him, and besides she was boycotting China. And he was alright, wasn't he? Dexter Mayhew. In truth she suspected he wasn't all that bright, and a little too pleased with himself, but he was popular and funny and - no point fighting it - very handsome. So why was she being so stroppy and sarcastic? Why couldn't she just be self-confident and fun, like those scrubbed, bouncy girls he usually hung around with? She saw the dawn light at the tiny bathroom window. Sobriety. Scratching at her awful hair with her fingertips, she pulled a face, then yanked the chain of the ancient toilet cistern and headed back into the room.From the bed, Dexter watched her appear in the doorway, wearing the gown and mortar board that they'd been obliged to hire for the graduation ceremony, her leg hooked mock-seductively around the doorframe, her rolled degree certificate in one hand. She peered over her spectacles and pulled the mortar board down low over one eye. 'What d'you think?''Suits you. I like the jaunty angle. Now take it off and come back to bed.'

Bookclub Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group’s discussion of One Day by David Nicholls. “A wonderful, wonderful book: wise, funny, perceptive, compassionate, and often unbearably sad” (The Times [London]), One Day was a #1 bestseller in England and across Europe.

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