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My Legendary Girlfriend

Mike Gayle

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Published : 1998

Copyright : Mike Gayle 1998

ISBN-10 : PB 0-340-71816-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-034-071816-2

Publisher's Write-Up

Meet Will Kelly. English teacher. Film fan. Pot noodle expert. Ex Boyfriend.

Still in love with The One, Will is desperate to discover if there can be An-Other One. In his decrepit flat where he can't even manage to cook spaghetti hoops without setting off the communal smoke alarm, his lifeline is the telephone. Will realises that with a single call, friends can either lift him from the depths of depression or completely shatter his hopes.

There's Alice (who remembers his birthday), Simon (who doesn't), Martina (the one-night stand), Kate (the previous tenant of his rented hovel). And of course his Ex, Aggi - the inimitable Aggi. His Legendary Girlfriend.

Or is she?

Two men, three women and a donkey called Sandy...basically it's your classic love hexagon.

Previously an Agony Uncle, Mike Gayle is a freelance journalist who has contributed to a variety of magazines including FHM, Sunday Times Style, Just Seventeen and Bliss. MY LEGENDARY GlRLFRIEND is his First novel.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (310501) Rating (8/10)
Review by Chrissi (300401) Rating (6/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
I have to disagree with Chrissi on this one (ouch). I enjoyed Mike Gayle's first novel immensely. Anyone who has lost a true love will understand Will's problems and how he is dealing with them.

Will was dumped by his first true love after a three year relationship and the story looks at a weekend in his life and how the event has shaped his entire existence. Chrissi thinks he should have got over it and pulled himself together and I agree to some extent but this is a work of fiction and I suppose the premise has been taken to its extremes for the sake of a good laugh (black humour).

The fact the novel is also partly set in Nottingham, where I grew up, and all the places mentioned I also frequented in my younger days (such as Selectadisc - a record store) gave the story a very vivid edge for me.

All in all a very good read. Perhaps not ideal if you have just split up (then again it may help) but I'm sure you will see one or two things that are familiar.
Nigel (31st May 2001)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 6/10
This was Mike Gayle's first novel, and unfortunately, had it been the first one I read, I would not have read the others. It is the story of Will Kelly, an English Teacher in London who loved and lost (i.e. was dumped by) Aggi three years ago, and has never recovered.

I am unsure why I did not enjoy this book as much as his others, other than the fact that Will is such an annoying character to me - he moans and whinges and yet does nothing to help himself. He went to University rather than get a job, after getting his degree he went on the dole, and only went to Teacher Training College because it put off getting a proper job, and now, working in his first job since college, he hates it and is thoroughly depressed by the prospect of working for the rest of his life, wanting to spend all day in bed hiding from the world.

Perhaps I am being unfair, but he is someone in whom I would want to get hold of by the shoulders and give them a right good shake, tell him that he is wasting his life using the excuse that someone had dumped him - what is the point?

I don't sound very sympathetic, do I? Will is feeling particularly down, with his 26th Birthday looming when he receives a phone call from someone just as down as he is, the previous tenant of his poky rented flat, (N6. A luxurious self-contained studio flat with own kitchenette, bathroom/shower - aka a glorified studio flat, minus the glory, on the second floor of a decrepit Edwardian house in crappy archway) calls, asking about a letter that has been posted to the wrong address, and Will finds himself talking to this woman on the phone about all that is wrong in his life. They speak a few more times on the phone and become friends.

I know that I am not being very charitable about Will Kelly, but the book does have its charm, Mr Gayle makes all these lovely little observations about people in relationships which do ring true - right up until the last revelation which I am sorry, did not do anything for me, it just made me feel sorry for the people who will get hurt by rebound relationships at the very end of it all.
Chrissi (30th April 2001)

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