Friday 29 November 2013

Review: Turning forty by Mike Gayle

How to turn forty:

1. Set yourself a personal challenge.

2. Clear wardrobe of all age-inappropriate clothing.

3. Relax.

How not to turn forty:

1. Have a complete meltdown . . .

High flier Matt Beckford's sole ambition is to turn forty with his life sorted. And with a Porsche on the drive and a job that requires him to spend more time in BA's club lounge than his own lounge, it looks like things are going in the right direction. But when Matt's wife unexpectedly calls time on their marriage, a chain of events is set in motion that very quickly sees him facing forty broke, homeless and completely alone.

But all is not lost because Matt has a plan . .

Review: I got this book on audiobook after enjoying one of Mike Gayle's previous novels on audiobook. I really liked the idea of the storyline, a guy who thinks he has every but as he approaches forty it all egging to unravel. This is a reality facing a lot of people as they reach milestone birthdays. There is high redundancy and a high rate of divorce in th country and so people find themselves starting from square one again more often than we realise. 

The book got off to a really good start, it made me laugh in several places. When Matt returns home he finds himself in his local supermarket bumping into people left right and centre, I know that every time I return home, this happens to me and so I found myself really chuckling at these parts of the book. Other parts of the storyline were much more touching and I found a different kind of emotion being evoked. Some of the scenes where he is speaking to his soon to be ex wife are particularly touching, and the reconciliation he attempts to have with his childhood girlfriend made me feel quite uncomfortable and almost sorry for him. 

The characters in this book were all easy to get along with and, although I didn't particularly like Matt, I found myself sympathising with him and wanting to succeed in his goals. His parents are absolutely hilarious and somenofthe friends he catches up with along his journey provide some hilarious moments too. All the characters were realistic and all supported the storyline in their own way. 

I found this a particularly pacey read and it didn't take me long to get into it. I really liked the ending, it was totally realistic and not the cop-out I was worried might bring the novel to a close. I didn't fall in love with the book but I found it very entertaining and am glad I got it off my wish list and onto my read list. I have a few more Mike Gayle novels sitting on my shelf and I am very much looking forward to reading them having enjoyed two of his novels in fairly close succession! 

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