US BY DAVID NICHOLLS

US BY DAVID NICHOLLS

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Thursday 15th October 2020

 

I have just finished watching the brilliant serialisation of the novel “Us” by David Nicholls on BBC 1.

DAVID NICHOLLS

Us is a 2014 novel by English author David Nicholls for whom it won the Specsavers ”UK Author of the Year” award. It was also long-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. The BBC screened a four-part TV adapation of the novel, by Nicholls, in 2020, starring Tom Hollander, Saskia Reeves and Tom Taylor.

 

Plot

The book begins when Connie, frustrated artist and Douglas Petersen’s wife of nearly 25 years tells him that now their son Albie is about to leave home for college, she wants to leave too. Douglas resolves that their last family holiday together, a ‘grand tour’ of the cultural and artistic gems of Europe will “be the trip of a lifetime, one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again”.

 

The narrative then alternates between the story of the disastrous trip, at the start of which Albie deserts his parents in Amsterdam, and that of Douglas’s unlikely courtship and marriage to Connie, contrasting his disciplined scientific life as a biochemist with Connie’s spontaneous artistic character.

 

Reception

Tim Auld in The Telegraph, praises the novel, concluding “Us is a quiet joy, written with an undemonstrative simplicity that is hard to achieve. It’s also a novel that captures the zeitgeist and will speak to many middle-aged people who find that their marriage has run its course and realise they must start out on a new romantic journey. It won’t make waves like One Day, but then, no writer should expect that kind of success more than once in a lifetime.

 

Matt Cain writing in The Independent refuses to be critical: “a reviewer is only ever respected if he demolishes someone’s work and even if he loves it can often feel duty-bound to toss in at least one criticism. But I’m not going to do this as I think Us is a perfect book. And I don’t care if that means I’ve failed as a reviewer, because I’ve already won as a reader.”

 

Jay McInerney in The New York Times had some reservations though: “Nicholls is a deft craftsman, a skilled storyteller and a keen observer of contemporary mores. It would be interesting to see him challenge himself to dig deeper under the surface of contemporary life. Us will probably be welcomed by his legions of fans, though it’s unlikely to surprise or challenge or unsettle them in any way — or to provoke them to look at each other with a wild surmise.”

 

Author David Nicholls’ Books

Starter for Ten (2003)

The Understudy (2005)

One Day (2009)

Us (2014)

Sweet Sorrow (2019)

Screenwriting

Nicholls co-wrote the adapted screen­play of Sim­patico and con­tributed four scripts to the third se­ries of Cold Feet (both 2000). For the lat­ter, he was nom­i­nated for a British Acad­emy Tele­vi­sion Craft Award for Best New Writer (Fiction). He cre­ated the Granada Tele­vi­sion pilot and minis­eries I Saw You (2000, 2002) and the Tiger As­pect six-part se­ries Res­cue Me (2002). Res­cue Me lasted for only one se­ries be­fore being can­celled. Nicholls had writ­ten four episodes for the sec­ond se­ries be­fore being told of the can­cel­la­tion. His anger over this led to him tak­ing a break from screen­writ­ing to con­cen­trate on writ­ing Starter for Ten. When he re­turned to screen­writ­ing, he adapted Much Ado About Noth­ing into a one-hour seg­ment of the BBC’s 2005 Shake­speaRe-Told sea­son. He wrote a screen adap­ta­tion of his novel, One Day, which was made into a film star­ring Anne Hath­away and Jim Sturgess.

 

In 2006, his film adap­ta­tion Starter for 10 was re­leased in cin­e­mas. The fol­low­ing year, he wrote And When Did You Last See Your Fa­ther?, an adap­ta­tion of the mem­oir by Blake Mor­ri­son. His adap­ta­tion of Tess of the D’Urbervilles for the BBC aired in 2008. He has also adapted Great Ex­pec­ta­tions; the screen­play has been listed on the 2009 Brit List, an an­nual in­dus­try poll of the best un­made scripts out­side the United States. He wrote The 7.39, which was broad­cast on BBC One in Jan­u­ary 2014.

 

In 2015, he wrote the screen­play of Far from the Madding Crowd for BBC Films of Thomas Hardy‘s 1874 novel of the same name. It is the fourth film adap­ta­tion of the novel.

Nicholls worked on the ini­tial script for Brid­get Jones’s Baby (2016) but the script was re-writ­ten and he was not cred­ited in the film. He wrote Patrick Mel­rose (2018), a five-part tele­vi­sion se­ries based on Ed­ward St Aubyn‘s nov­els.

 

Aftersun

In 2005, he wrote Af­ter­sun for the Old Vic‘s 24-Hour Play fes­ti­val. The play, star­ring James Nes­bittSaf­fron Bur­rowsCather­ine Tate and Gael García Bernal was just 10 min­utes long. Nicholls de­vel­oped Af­ter­sun into a one-off com­edy for BBC One. It starred Peter Ca­paldi and Sarah Parish and was broad­cast in 2006.

 

TO ME

We have loved  the BBC 1 dramatized series of “Us”.

Only one problem for me is the ending. I will not describe it in case you wish to read the book or watch the series on TV and do not want it spoiling.

I do lots of writing myself and manage to handle most parts of a story but always struggle with the ending. I think the ending is so important and makes a story. Consequently, I find it difficult to find suitable perfect endings for my writings. And end up over analysing everyone else’s ending.

I love an unexpected twist from nowhere. but it has to be realistic. Not easy to do.

I have to say if I was David Nicholls I wouldn’t be satisfied with this ending. Although I read Tim Auld in The Telegraph’s critique above which made me understand more about the ending.

I would have enjoyed it more with a good clever unexpected twist at the end.

But all in all an excellent novel. I love it.

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH EVERYDAY

 

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY

“My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.” m — Charlie Chaplin

HAPPINESS IS…

Happiness is…is a book titled Us by David Nicholls

GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY

“Two monkeys were getting into the bath. One said: ‘Oo, oo, aah.’ The other replied: ‘Put some cold in then.” – Harry Hill

LOVE IS…

Love is…your family.

WHAT IS THERE A SEASON FOR TODAY TURN, TURN, TURN …

A time to read Us by David Nicholls…A time to read One Day by David Nicholls

SOMETHING TO BE POSITIVE ABOUT & GRATEFUL FOR IN THE WORLD

I am grateful for long distance walks

SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT

Morecambe & Wise

Eric Morecambe (John Eric Bartholomew, 14 May 1926 – 28 May 1984) and Ernie Wise (Ernest Wiseman, 27 November 1925 – 21 March 1999), known as Morecambe and Wise (and sometimes as Eric and Ernie), were an iconic English comic double act, working in variety, radio, film and most successfully in television. Their partnership lasted from 1941 until Morecambe’s death in 1984. They have been described as “the most illustrious, and the best-loved, double-act that Britain has ever produced”.

 

In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, The Morecambe and Wise Show was placed 14th. In September 2006, they were voted by the general public as number 2 in a poll of TV’s 50 Greatest Stars. Their early career was the subject of the 2011 television biopic Eric and Ernie, and their 1970s career was the subject of the television biopic Eric, Ernie and Me in 2017.

 

In 1999 the comedy pair were posthumously awarded the BAFTA Fellowship. In 2013, the two were honoured with a blue plaque at Teddington Studios where their last four series of The Morecambe and Wise Show were recorded.

Years active          1941–1984

VIZ MAGAZINE TOP TIPS

Reduce wear and tear on your work clothes by 20% by simply staying in bed on Mondays and not going to work.

TOTAL STAIRWAY TO EVEREST CLIMB CHALLENGE

Wednesday 14/10/2020 DAY 193 – 12 Times – 120 Feet  Cum Total – 23,160 Feet – (Goal 29,035 Ft)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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