Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle


Paperback: 310 pages                                                                                                 
Genre: Humorous Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton  2018
Source: LoveReading Review Panel Member
First Sentence: Prologue, Headmaster's Speech, King's Scrivener Boys' School, Warwick. 16th June 1997. 'Thank you, Chairman of Governors, esteemed guests, governors, parents and last but by no means least, boys of King's Scrivener upper sixth.
Review Quote: 'Beautifully written, thought-provoking and completely charming...reminds us that the everyday things we take for granted without realising how precious they are, can be snatched away in an instant with catastrophic consequences' Ruth Hogan
Main Characters: James de Witt and Danny Allen
Setting: England
My Opinion: Mike Gayle is one of Britain's favourite authors, I have to admit that is the first book of his that I have read! Thanks to LoveReading for giving me the opportunity to read and review 'The Man I Think I Know' I will now be looking out for more of his work.
Having not read this author before or seeing any reviews prior to reading I was able to pick this up with absolutely no preconceptions and to be honest I was surprised as it was not what I expected. A completely for me anyway, new approach to male friendship, an emotional rollercoaster, yet also realistic and humorous.  Two young men with difficult experiences in their recent past reconnect after having not seen each other since schooldays. Chapters alternate with James and Danny recounting the story, which works as the reader can see that although they at first do not realise it themselves, they are really good for each other. To say anymore would spoil the impact so I urge you to read this for yourself as it provides plenty of emotive issues for you to think about. Highly recommended for those that enjoy relationship novels. 

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Whatever happens to those kids at school who are always being tipped to be stars in adult life?

It's a question all of us find ourselves asking at some time and Mike Gayle's powerful, poignant novel answers it with regard to Danny Morgan and James McManus - rivals for top honours in everything throughout their school years in Birmingham.

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.

The respite home, as it turns out, where Danny has just got a job.

What is the path that has brought these two people to this unexpected place, and where will it take them next?

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.

Author Profile

MG_colour.jpgMike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology Mike moved to London with ambitions of becoming a music journalist. This didn't happen however and following a slight detour in his five-year plan he ended up as an agony uncle for teenage girls' magazine Bliss before becoming Features Editor on the now much missed Just Seventeen. Since those early days Mike has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Cosmopolitan.

Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by The Independent as 'Full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,' and by The Times as 'A funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic.'

To date Mike is the author of twelve novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here. His books have been translated into over thirty languages.

After stints in Manchester and London Mike now lives in Birmingham with his wife, kids, two sheds and a rabbit.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I indulge my love of books with this blog and it makes it all worthwhile when you leave comments. I really am interested in what you think so do let me know. I have decided as the nature of this review blog makes for conversation in the comments, just to reply here and not individually, so please subscribe to comments or call back again to stay in the conversation. Thankyou for your continued support.