The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle

The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
Reviewed by Sophie Diamond
Summary: An incredibly moving story about resilience and the best parts of humanity. A must, must, must read!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: April 2018
Publisher: Hodder & Stroughton
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781473608986

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James DeWitt and Danny Allen are both men in their early thirties whose lives haven't taken them where they were supposed to go. At an all time low time for both of them, the two men reconnect and slowly find they're exactly what the other needs. Together, they help each other put their lives back together. This is a beautiful story about friendship and what it really means to help another person.

What an incredible book! It's so deeply moving and honest. The story alternates between James and Danny and their very different perspectives and problems, both men were such wonderfully vivid and realistic characters that it felt like Gayle was describing a real story. Danny's tale and perspective is brilliantly written, but James's is out of this world. My hat is truly off to Gayle, he's crafted something amazing.

I'm not going to tell you too much about the book, because I think it's one best left vague until you read it and let the story unfold. But I can tell you that it includes past tragedies which have had huge impacts on both the central characters. I think it must be very difficult to write any story which has tragedy at it's epicentre without the book being very sad, but Gayle has managed it. Although parts of the story are necessarily sad, mostly it's not. It's actually very uplifting and hopeful and in parts it's funny. You are cheering for the characters the whole the way through as though they've become your friends and I was left marvelling over the human ability to pick oneself up when given a hand.

This book deals with a lot of modern issues like class structures and the heavy weight of expectations and the awful feeling of when those expectations aren't met. It's a very stripped back and honest look at a lives of people of who it seems, for one reason or another, have had a waste of potential. It's at it's core a character story, well plotted, well paced and beautifully concluded. Nothing written here is over dramatised, it's quiet and insightful. You don't always need wild twists and turns to write a good book and Gayle is proof of this. And I was always keen to keep picking it up and desperate to pass this book on to someone else when I was finished.

Although very different books, there are some similarities to Me Before You and After You by Jojo Moyes, so if you enjoyed these books, I really think you'll love this one. Or if, like me, you're going to start reading all the other books by this author, try picking up The Life and Soul of the Party.

Buy The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle at

Buy The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle at


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Last modified on 23 April 2018, at 17:23