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Member Name: Essexgirl2006
William Walker's First Year of Marriage: A Horror Story - Matt Rudd
Advantages: Quick, witty read
Disadvantages: Implausable in places, two-dimensional characters
William Walker is 29 and has just married the love of his life, Isabel. This book, by Matt Rudd, is the account of the first year of his marriage. The book is written as diary extracts by William, which makes the book a quick read and easy to get into.
William is a hapless bloke, whose life is looking up after he has got a better job on a decent magazine, instead of Cat World and who loves Isabel dearly and wants to do whatever makes her happy. He is unsure that having goat's milk in his tea and taking showers instead of baths is the way to go, but he is happy to go with it. He has two equally hapless best mates in Andy and Johnson, and he detests Isabel's beat (male) friend Alex.
Obviously the path of true love doesn't run smoothly, otherwise it would be a pretty dull read. Despite William's best efforts things tend to go wrong, Alex does things right (and better) and an unfortunate encounter with one of his ex's (Saskia, The Destroyer of Relationships) means his first year of wedded bliss is actually quite stressful.
Matt Rudd is a writer for the Sunday Times and this is his first novel and has been followed up by a second - William's Progress.
I enjoyed this book; it was pacey and witty and made me laugh in places. Rudd has a great sense of humour, even if the plot got a bit far-fetched at times, whilst also being predictable so that even I picked up on the 'twist'. Whilst I found it a witty and entertaining read, it is not the male equivalent of Bridget Jones' Diary. Whilst diary formats often mean you can introduce characters and plot devices quickly without betting bogged down in descriptive passages, I found the characters to be a bit two-dimensional. Nice enough but not as charming as Bridget Jones for me. For a bit of lad-lit with cross-gender appeal this works well enough.
However I may be being a bit harsh on a book that I downloaded for free. If you are looking for a light holiday read, something witty and non-challenging this definitely fits the bill. I read it in no time and overall enjoyed it. I had no expectations of my brain being taxed, and these expectations were met. If this is the sort of thing you are looking for then I have no hesitation in recommending it. For me, it was a great come-down following a more challenging read, and it was easy to pick up and made me laugh. If I got the sequel for the same amount or a special price then I would definitely consider down-loading it.
I read the Kindle edition which I got free through a promotion. Currently the Kindle version sells for £3.99 but prices often change, so it is worth keeping an eye out if you are interested in reading. It is also available in paperback, large print hardback and audio form.
Summary: A good read if you can get it for a bargain