A Moment With… David Nicholls.

Wordsworth Editions, New Ed: 1993

Wordsworth Editions, New Ed: Dec 1993

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Penguin Classics, January 2003

As part of Booktober, one of the books I’ve been reading is Us by David Nicholls. We asked David the following question: if he were only allowed to own three books, which three would he pick? Here are his choices…

The first would be a Dickens – if not a single volume complete works then ‘Bleak House’, his masterpiece, a great, brilliant, rich and endlessly complex novel that’s also endlessly moving.

The story is told partly by the novel’s heroine, Esther Summerson, and partly by an omniscient narrator. Memorable characters include haughty Lady Honoria Dedlock, the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn, the realistic John Jarndyce, and the childish and disingenuous Harold Skimpole, as well as the imprudent Richard Carstone. At the novel’s centre is long-running litigation Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which has far-reaching consequences for all involved. This case revolves around a testator who apparently made several wills. Dickens’ satirization of the English judicial system is based in part on his own experiences as a law clerk, and in part on his experiences as a litigant seeking to enforce copyright on his earlier books.

Secondly, I’d probably go for Shakespeare’s complete works, including the sonnets.

Finally, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, simply because I’ve never read it and always pretend that I have.

Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters

David Nicholls

David Nicholls

Hodder Paperbacks, May 2015

Hodder Paperbacks, May 2015

the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike, and soon brings jealousy and bitterness in its wake. Contrasting with this tale of love and self-destruction is the vividly observed story of Konstantin Levin, a man striving to find contentment and meaning to his life – and also a self-portrait of Tolstoy himself.

About Us by David Nicholls.

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into 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 hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?

(US is available to buy now in most major UK bookshops and online where sold.)

For more information about David and his books, visit his website: http://www.davidnichollswriter.com

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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