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A Reader of Fictions: Do You Remember - Jack Johnson

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Do You Remember - Jack Johnson

One Day

Author: David Nicholls
Pages: 437
Publisher: Vintage

Description from Goodreads:
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.

I really, really wanted to like this book. The concept sounded entirely fascinating, and, truly, it is. However, I completely loathed them as characters, Dexter especially. Emma I might have liked sort of, although not staunchly, were it not for her pathetic love for Dexter, which she insists on maintaining through the years.

Dexter, though, is perhaps the most awful, selfish character in all of literature. Remember how I had a list of characters I wanted to punch in the face? Well, this guy, he would be on it. Emma spends years mooning over this total loser. He sleeps with every woman that moves, including Emma occasionally. Not only that, but he sleeps with women he shouldn't, like really shouldn't, as in students during a brief teaching gig. On top of that, he's perpetually drunk, takes any drugs he can get his hands on, and rubs other people's noses in his success, such as it is.

Somehow, as a reader, I think I'm supposed to feel like I can't wait for Dex and Em to get themselves sorted and become a couple, like Emma has always dreamed. Yeah, that's not where I am at all. I don't Em nearly enough to want her to spend her life waiting for this waste of space to finish sowing his wild oats all over the world. There is nothing romantic about a girl (or guy if the situations were reversed) wasting her life pining over someone that's not showed a scrap of interest. She should be enjoying herself along the way, too. If they end up together, cool, but only on terms where they both lived their lives as they wanted to. This is so unbalanced; she's just waiting for him to choose her and he's keeping her as a backup, for when he's too old to keep doing what he's doing now. Just UGH.

The writing, though, is really good. The story's well-told, so that, as much as I want to throw it across the room (which is a lot), it also wasn't that hard to get through most of the time. I definitely think that this may be one of the most depressing books I have ever read.

Rating: 2.5/5

"I was crazy about you then and now
The craziest thing of all,
Over ten years have gone by
And you're still mine,
We're locked in time"

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Blogger Nori said...

I heard the movie was bad too, though I still kind of want to see it. At least then the jerkface will be pretty to look at?

March 17, 2012 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

My thoughts exactly! The guy was a complete douche. Double douche in fact.

April 27, 2012 at 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't hate the book or the movie, but i completely agree. He was an uber douche. The thing about this book that got to me though, was the inevitable tragic element that set in from the very start somehow. Like, I could sense it. It was never going to be a happy story, but I love love love how there are humorous moments interspersed with the drama. It's so smoothly done, you almost don't realize what happened until after you've had a good laugh in the midst of a really serious scene. It takes a lot of technique, and I have to applaud David for that!

January 4, 2013 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I never did see the movie, but I might like it better that way maybe.

True, but it was her story that was always going to be the least happy, because she just kept pining for that waste-of-space guy, and then the ending was incredibly ridiculous!

He's seriously a brilliant writer, I agree, but I hate his characters and the way the women end up being treated so much that I can't handle it.

January 4, 2013 at 3:12 PM  

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