Friday 27 April 2018

Review ~ The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle

Hodder & Stoughton
19 April 2018

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
What's it all about..
Whatever their friends and teachers might have expected, neither Danny nor James is currently running the country.

Depressed and unemployed, Danny is facing an ultimatum from his girlfriend Maya: if he doesn't get out and get a job, she's leaving.

It was an accident that changed James's life and now he is looked after affectionately by his parents. But his sister Martha believes that the role of full-time carers is destroying their lives - and infantilising her brother.She suggests that James should go into a respite home while her parents take a break.

This is the story of Danny and James, but also of the families who love them and of the women they love. It is a story of many surprising twists, by turns funny and sad, painful and uplifting, and marks a brilliant new stage in the writing career of one of Britain's favourite novelists.
My thoughts about it..

From the very start of this lovely book I was immersed in the combined story of Danny and James.

Two men who once had so much potential but then life and the fickle finger of fate intervened and sent them both travelling along a bumpy road which neither of them could ever have envisaged.  Both men once attended the same school as boys and whilst they were not exactly close friends they did, sort of, know each other. Years later, they meet as adults but by this time their circumstances have changed beyond measure.

The blossoming of an unlikely friendship between Danny and James, is the basis for this story which will take them away from their comfort zones and into a world which, if they are brave enough, is alive with possibility.

The author has really captured the unpredictability of life, and of how the repercussions of this change in fortune can have a devastating effect on friends and family. In many ways it's a sad story about lost opportunities but the writing is filled with such warmth and wit that the sadness becomes bearable. And yet, it's not all about unhappiness, although, both James and Danny have more than their fair share of misfortune, but rather, it's more about the way that both of them deal with the hand that fate has played them which gives the book its heart and soul.

I've read several books by this talented author and have enjoyed every one of them but there is something rather special about The Man I Think I Know which really caught my imagination, so much so that I read the story with both tears and smiles, and by the end of the story I felt as if I had said goodbye to two friends.

About the Author

Mike Gayle

Previously an Agony Uncle, Mike Gail is a freelance journalist who has contributed to a variety of magazines. His bestselling novels include My Legendary Girlfriend, Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty, His'n'Hers, and Brand New Friend.

Twitter @mikegayle

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