Us: A Novel

  • by David Nicholls
  • Narrated by David Haig
  • 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that seduces beautiful Connie into a second date...and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades later, they live more or less happily in the London suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.
The timing couldn’t be worse. Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, and she can’t bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie.
Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a stranger.


What the Critics Say

"Haig's portrayal of a straitlaced middle-aged scientist who is trying to fit in with his artistic, laid-back family is flawless, and listeners will be impressed with his ability to seamlessly transition among the characters, capturing each one's personality. This bittersweet comedy of errors and self-discovery is destined to be one of the most talked about audiobooks of the year." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great novel - my favorite in years

This novel was a great one. The story is simple - a married English couple in their 50's is dealing with a marriage in distress. The story is from the man's point of view. Their 17 year-old son, ready to head off to college, is the other main character. The husband is a scientist; the wife an artist. The conservative man has a rocky relationship with his son. It sounds almost stereotypical. It is anything but that. The novel alternates between the present and the past in their relationships. The characters are all so believable and interesting. It is an incredibly engaging and emotional story. In addition, the narrator is great, with perfect voices for all three main characters. If you like real life relationship novels, they don't come better than this. I hated to have this end. It has been years since I have enjoyed such a great novel, and I read and listen to a lot. I wish I could give this 6 stars.
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- Mark

This Guy Tries So Hard, I Felt Sad For Him...

David Nicholls novel, "Us", was an inside look at a marriage written from the male perspective. Douglas, the husband and protagonist, is a man working hard to save his long-term marriage. The author was able to bring me so close to the husband that I longed to talk with him and tell him to stop trying so hard and stop letting Connie make all the decisions. I felt sad for him as he tried too hard to please his beloved wife and sad for the wife that she could not see her husband for the gem that he was. This was a book of angst and frustration; often moving too slowly for my taste. My favorite part of the book was watching Douglas work towards rekindling his relationship with his son and watching him make some hard-won changes in himself towards the end of the novel. As a marital portrayal, the novel is a fairly accurate picture of what could and/or does go on in some marriages. The listening experience was improved through the clarity of voice provided by David Haig. This novel would be an interesting read for a book group that was ready to discuss male/female roles in marriage; other than that, I am not sure I would recommend this due to the long and tedious story line. The listening experience was improved through the clarity of voice provided by David Haig.
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- Marjorie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-28-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio