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Editor reviews

International best-selling author of One Day¸ British novelist David Nicholls, delivers a masterful new release with Us, which was nominated for the Man Booker prize and has been expertly narrated in this audiobook edition by Justin Salinger. This is the story of loss and family, relationships and love. This affecting tale will pull on the heart-strings as you listen to the challenges faced by a man who has put everything on the line to keep his family and marriage from falling apart. Told with compassion and humour, Us will take you across the European continent in an adventure of the heart. Available now from Audible.

Summary

Douglas Petersen’s family is on the brink of dissolution. His marriage of 21 years to Connie is almost over. When autumn comes around, their son Albie will leave for college. Connie has decided to leave soon after.

But before everything falls apart, there's still the summer holidays to get through - a Grand Tour of Europe's major cities - and over the course of the journey, Douglas devises a plan to win back the love of his wife and repair his troubled relationship with his son.

©2014 David Nicholls (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Us is epic and intimate, funny and heartbreaking. No-one can write as brilliantly, poignantly and hilariously as David Nicholls about love, life and loss. His many fans will not be disappointed." ( SCOOP)

What listeners say about Us

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Self-Analysis Of One Man's Marriage

Douglas Petersen is 54 and his wife of nearly 25 years is thinking of leaving him....

This is how "Us" begins, and over the series of many short chapters, we are submerged into Douglas' world entirely from his perspective, both through the present, and the past, with some glimpses into the future. This shifting of time I at first found a bit unsettling, but it helps us to understand why Douglas finds himself to be in the predicament he is in.

On the whole, I came away from this feeling pessimistic about life, and how despite your best efforts you can still be left in solitude. I also found it hard to fully sympathise with Douglas. Sure - the breakdown of his marriage was not all his fault. Connie was just as much to blame, but his lack of empathy towards his son, Albie, was at times truly cold. But, then, this was not entirely Douglas' fault, as his parents showed him very little warmth when he was growing up.

David Nicholls is without doubt a talented writer, with a lot of depth to his craft. He manages to bring a lot of humour, to what is ultimately a sad story. There are some dark moments here, but there are also some tender ones too. I also enjoyed the European backdrop to the story and some of the descriptions of the places Douglas and his family visited. At times, it was a little verbose, but still enjoyable.

And finally, I thought Justin Salinger's narration was pretty good. He seemed to strike the right tone and balance throughout.

14 people found this helpful

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Great Story but….

When there are so many great narrators out there, why chose one so dull? This novel is long awaited and much anticipated but the narrator reads with a wearisome two-tone delivery as though it's a local news report. Douglas comes across as a whiner and all the gentle comedy is lost.

27 people found this helpful

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Excellent book, literally laughed out loud

I loved this book. Very well written with ups and downs. A lot of laughing out loud. A warming story of love and devotion.

6 people found this helpful

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Lovely journey of a breakdown and repair of family

It was a lovely listen, the story I felt did take a while to get into but I am glad I continued as it was a very sweet novel - an easy listen but not particularly gripping, but very nice.

5 people found this helpful

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MarveloUS

This book is every bit as good as I expected from this author. The tale of a man in his fifties who is unexpectedly told by his wife that she wants to leave him after their son leaves home. It is a fantastic idea to unfold this story against the backdrop of a grand tour of Europe. Families on the move are a great source of tension and potential catastrophe and what happens here is hilarious, cringeworthy and at times filled with pathos. I won't say any more because this is a story that keeps you guessing to the end and every step of the way is an absolute pleasure.

4 people found this helpful

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weak story line and terrible narration.

poor narration killed it . I know he had a boring character but the voice didn't have to match

9 people found this helpful

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Life, love and unhappiness

A engaging look at the complicated father-son-mother triangle of love, interdependency and growth. How no one is an island and as as we live we take something of the others that we live and love with.

8 people found this helpful

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A let down

Would you try another book written by David Nicholls or narrated by Justin Salinger?

Yes

What was most disappointing about David Nicholls’s story?

It was a let down after One Day - I felt that the wife was spiteful, the husband boring and found I couldn't care what happened to any of them...

How could the performance have been better?

It was a little monotone for my taste.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disinterest - the worst kind of reaction.

3 people found this helpful

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Was ok but the narrator's voice ruined it

I enjoyed listening to it but the narrator's voice was hard to get used to. The story might have been better for me if I had read the book myself

6 people found this helpful

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ABSOLUTELY UTTER DEPRESSING DRIVEL

This audiobook was a gift which is the only reason I allowed myself to go through 9 hours of slow agonising pain of the mind. NEVER AGAIN. Justin Salinger narrates beautifully with compassion and sympathy for what were the most grotesque wife and son and a shabbily treated father. This type of book is laborious over the garden wall drivel, infiltrating one’s grey cells with other people’s private miserable problems that are in the end only of value to the people concerned or you are a marriage guidance counsellor. Not recommended for recreation or stimuli. This is too melancholy and miserable. Thank heavens I will never read anything of this genre ever again, not even when a gift from a loved friend because they know I admire Justin’s Salinger’s work and have many of his audiobooks. I have forgiven her. 😉

2 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 26-09-19

Rancid

After thoroughly enjoying Sweet Sorrow by the same author, I tried, am trying, this audio book. Lacks the humour of SS and feels like a latter day version of Kramer vs Kramer. Simply horrid narration. Destroys what humour may have been there and woeful non Euro accents. The plot wallows in self pity. Never ending lists of places and paintings and musicians as if seeking to impress. Unlikeable characterisations to the point where one wishes that the son would have indeed been sent to Ibiza and the main folks quietly permitted to divorce. Should be refundable.

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  • Claire Zenkerova
  • 11-04-18

David Nicolls - never disappoints

Another witty. moving and heart-breakingly real story with down-to-earth, believable chatacters and charming use of the english language. David Nicholls is a genius at potraying normal life in a way which is engaging and intriguing.

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  • S Easthope
  • 21-06-17

Best narrator I've heard

You should listen to this book just for the narration alone. It's wonderful. The story itself is so real, and so funny and sad. I loved every minute.