1. Ziggy.
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    Ziggy. Member

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    One Day

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Ziggy., Apr 17, 2016.

    SPOILERS




    So I recently picked up One Day by David Nicholls. To summarise it for those who don't know what it's about, let me explain in short:

    One Day is a novel centered on two people: Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley; two students who spend a single night together on July 15th. The two of them are to part ways, except they never do. The novel then chronicles each July 15th over the next twenty years from both of their perspectives. It's a story of the aspirations we make as young people, and how we deal with the rapidly different world we come into as we grow old.

    Now below is some spoilers so unless you've read it, skip this entire part.

    The novel was great. I loved it. The characters--Dex and Em just felt real; not entirely likable but real with their flaws, their hangups, and how long it takes for them to find each other over the years. However the biggest gripe I have is this.

    The two of them spent twenty years making mistakes, fucking up, and when they finally do share happiness--trying for a baby, marriage--it is snatched away by the most cliche thing of all: a truck. Emma is killed. Dex is a widow, and we go on from there. This was not what I expected, wanted, or felt like it was a smart move on Nicholl's part. It wasn't clever, and it didn't dramatically blow me away. Instead it made me lose interest purely because it seems a good romantic drama cannot sell unless one of the lovers dies somehow (a la Sparks). I felt let down by the end. It seems as though in fiction or art imitating life, the idea of a happy ending is as cliche as the plot devices used to hold up romdramas.

    I got so engrossed in the story and at the end, I just felt disappointed. Anybody else read this? Got any thoughts?
     
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  2. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    It's always gotta be something, doesn't it? A truck, AIDS, suicide, or in one memorable case the World Trade Center attacks. I guess selling a romance is like winning a Newbery Award.
     
  3. Ziggy.
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    Ziggy. Member

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    It's tedious. I don't consider myself a genre-buster--or anything other than a sub-par writer-- but good Lord. It's like every romantic drama author sits down and does this:

    "Okay so they finally fall in love...what next? I know! AIDS. No...wait, that's not it. A GUNFIGHT! NO A BOMB! A TRUCK."

    Killing off one of the characters just feels like a cheap thing to do when it isn't set up. Emma Morley stepping out into a road and getting hit is just so pointless, random, and cliche that it robbed the book of anything other than bland annoyance by me.
     
  4. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I really hate that too. So do something different in your romances. "Change happens when people dun do stuff."-Oscar Leigh, 2016.
     

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