Friday, 12 February 2016

Unforgettable by Charlie Maclean

Reviewer: JJ Marsh

What we thought: A romantic comedy from the male perspective is less common but not unheard of. Previous experiences have been a pleasant surprise, so I began Charlie Maclean’s Unforgettable with some optimism.

I devoured this book in a couple of days and when finished, I felt I’d seen the whole thing, observing from the sidelines. Not surprisingly, as the novel is perfect for the screen. The premise is similar to Sliding Doors, where a character misses/catches a moment and the narrative follows both alternative lives in parallel. Alex meets Julia at a bus stop. Does he follow her and get her number or go on to his job interview and forget her? It’s a life-changing decision. Either way, she’s unforgettable.

The effect of this meeting on him and his resulting actions are likeable, funny, sad, occasionally dark and often thought-provoking. Alex’s personality takes off in two different trajectories, both wholly believable, and the supporting cast of friends and relatives and locals of The Crown are consistent in either version. My particular favourite was young Billy, who turns out to be more mentor than mentee.

Shakespearean references, London landmarks, witty dialogue and a fallible hero makes this book an easy, satisfying read with considerable depth on the subject of human relationships and those you love. Perfect for a winter's night curled up by the fire.

You’ll enjoy this if you liked:
Scratch by Danny Gillan, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby or One Day by David Nicholls

Avoid if you don’t like: Dual narratives, London, love stories

Ideal accompaniments: Dry cider, roasted peanuts and Sandie Shaw singing Always Something There To Remind Me

Genre: General fiction

Available on Amazon

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