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Mr Commitment

Mike Gayle

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (3 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Published : 1999

Copyright : Mike Gayle 1999

ISBN-10 : PB 0-340-71826-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-340-71826-1

Publisher's Write-Up

Mike Gayle returns with this hilarious second novel about modern relationships: does Mr Irresponsible have what it takes to become Mr Commitment?

Duffy is engaged. He accepted Mel's proposal. But the trips to Ikea, dinner parties for couples and talk of babies are giving him itchy feet and now he's not sure if he can say goodbye to his extended adolescence and can face up to that final walk down the aisle. How does he know if she's The One? Can he cope with responsibility? Does he have what it takes to become Mr Commitment? Because if he doesn't, he may just find that he's lost Mel - forever...

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (280201) Rating (8/10)
Review by Nigel (280201) Rating (9/10)
Review by Ru (301200) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This was the first book by Mike Gayle that we came across, when Ru sent us the review. So, of course, we had to get a copy and have a read, because Ru really enjoyed it. (This is Ru who did not used to read at all so you can imagine it was a bit of a shock to get a review and a recommendation!)

Mr Commitment is a book about a man and a woman at that point in their life, i.e., do they move in or move on. Mel (woman) thinks it is time, and tells Duffy (bloke) so. He gets a bad case of cold feet, thinking how it would spoil everything, and citing examples of other people he has known who have undertaken this move.

Duffy's flatmate, for example, used the treat 'em mean, and they'll give up and go away tactic, and she did, but it appeared that it was her who dumped him, rather than him just dumping.

The relationships that are not like this are Jules, Mel's friend who hates Duffy because she feels that he is not good enough for Mel, and Duffy's sister and her husband. Duffy is a nice bloke but he lacks motivation and direction. He temps for an agency because he believes that he could make it as a comedian. Unfortunately he sees Comedians with (he feels) less talent than himself making it big, and he thinks that maybe it is just a matter of time. He deludes himself that he will be able to make a better life for himself and Mel if he does it his way, but it is always some way off.

Well, it all comes to a head in Ikea, with a stand up row while looking at Wardrobes, and Mel ends the relationship in spite of the fact that she loves him, because he shows no sign of changing in this lifetime. Wardrobes have that kind of effect on women, you know, they symbolise all sorts of stuff like that, you know, his and hers sides, they lead to arguments about why have you got all the hangers and comments like "what do you mean you have nothing to wear, the wardrobe is full of your stuff!" Point made?

Mike Gayle has the ability to make you laugh and sympathise with his characters, because they are all, on some level, like you or people you know.
Chrissi (28th February 2001)

Review by Nigel
Rating 9/10
Following Ru's recommendation I picked up a copy of this book and once I started it I couldn't put it down. It tells the story of Duffy, a typical bloke put under pressure to marry his girlfriend when really all he wants to do is move from day to day with as little hassle as possible.

The story unfolds well and you will laugh out loud at times while at others be moved by what are familiar events that have probably happened to you.

Not to give too much away but Duffy only realises what he wants when he has lost it and then moves heaven and earth to get it back. A very funny book which everyone should read.
Nigel (28th February 2001)

Review by Ru
Rating 8/10
I bought this book at Amsterdam airport as I had a couple of hours to kill before I boarded the plane.
I'm not normally very lucky when it comes to picking a good book but I exceeded myself this time. Apart from nearly missing my plane and embarrassing myself in public with sudden sniggers and bursts of laughter.

I can say that this is an excellent book that I believe nearly everybody can relate to, either personally or through friends.

Duffy has been proposed to by his girlfriend Mel, who had had a change of heart and couldn't wait any longer. Unfortunately this took Duffy bit by surprise and he wasn't able to come up with the right answers, either for himself or Mel.

The book tells the story of how Duffy deals with the sudden shock which he never anticipated it in million years and wonders how he can keep everybody happy (including himself). He has opposing advise, which is always freely given, from his bachelor best mate Dan, Mels 'perfectly engaged couple' and best friend Julia (a.k.a. 'Nosferatu') and his divorced mother.

He is being shown a completely new world of regular outings to Ikea and having social dinners with other couples, talking about babies and marble fireplaces. It scares him.

It's a hilarious and sad, uplifting and depressing. This will get everybody's moods swinging on every page. I have now ordered and await Mike Gayles' other books My Legendary Girlfriend and Turning Thirty with great anticipation.
Ru (30th December 2000)

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