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Just good friends?
Brand New Friend - Mike Gayle
Member Name: kingfisher111
Brand New Friend - Mike Gayle
Date: 02/07/09, updated on 21/08/11 (154 review reads)
Advantages: Fabulous read
I love Mike Gayle's books. They are so relaxed and easy to read and as they are written by a bloke they give a different perspective compared to the books I usually read. His style is so conversational that it almost feels that you are just having a chat with a mate. I definitely felt like this when I read 'Brand New Friend'.
Unsurprisingly, this book is all about friendships, particularly the kind that exists between lads and mainly consists of going down the pub for a pint and talking about a strange array of subjects. It might sound like nothing to anyone else but it's very important to decide who was the best looking screen actress of all time of whether Paul or John was the most influential Beatle! This is the type of relationship that Rob has with his mates in London but he also loves his girlfriend Ashley and she lives in Manchester. This is where the problem lies because if their relationship is to work out one of them has to move, and for a number of practical reasons it makes more sense if it is Rob.
That is how finds himself in Manchester and all of a sudden he is 'Billy no-mates!' Ashley introduces Rob to her friends' husbands and boyfriends but for various reasons they just don't click. Rob becomes quite miserable and desperate in his quest for some male bonding which leads him to some quite bizarre actions. What he soon realises though is that it's extremely hard to start making new friends in your thirties. Ashley is so worried about him too that she even puts a personal ad in the local paper - 'newly arrived bloke in the area seeks mates for drinking!' - that sort of thing! At first Rob is entirely aghast particularly as he thinks that it's all a bit 'gay' but he goes along with trying to meet some likeminded friends! However at the same time he keeps bumping into a girl called Jo who for some reason reminds him more of his London mates than anyone else he has met. They actually start hanging out together and at last Rob feels more settles and even Ashley approves. The big question is though - can they really just be good friends or is it bound to lead to something more?
The rest of the book charts their friendship and features lots of interesting 'laddish' conversations but all the time there lies lurking that unanswered question that I have just mentioned. It all makes very enjoyable reading.
I really loved this book. I thought all the characters were great - both likeable and believeable and they felt like the sort of people I wouldn't mind going to the pub with! I liked all the insights into Rob's way of thinking which were often very funny.
It's a good storyline which is very successful due to lots of misunderstandings and it's also very funny although often in quite an excrutiating way - for example when Rob goes along on his 'bloke-dates'. The story is written in nice short sections too so it's always very easy to read just a bit more! In fact I read most of the book on two one hour train journeys and the time just flew by.
I really do recommend this book - it's enjoyable, light and lots of fun! It's well worth reading!
Brand New Friend is available on Amazon for £5.49.
Summary: A very enjoyable book!