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Turning Thirty

Mike Gayle

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Published : 1999

Copyright : Mike Gayle 1999

ISBN-10 : PB 0-340-76794-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-340-76794-8

Publisher's Write-Up

Thirty means going to he pub if there's somewhere to sit down. Thirty means owning at least one classical CD, even if it's 'Now That's What I Call Classical Vol 6'. Thirty means calling off the search for the perfect partner because now, after all these years in the wilderness, you've finally found what you've been looking for.

Unlike most people Matt Beckford is actually looking forward to turning thirty. After struggling through most of his twenties, he thinks his career, finances and love life are finally sorted. But when he splits up with his girlfriend, he realises that life has different plans for him and Matt temporarily moves back home to his parents.

Within hours, his mum and dad are driving him up the wall just like the old days. Feeling nostalgic and desperate for sanity, he decides to get in touch with his old school mates. So one by one, he tracks down the rest of the magnificent seven - Gerswhin, Pete, Bev, Katrina, Elliot and Ginny, his former on-off girlfriend. Back together after a decade apart. But things will never be the same for any of them because when you're turning thirty nothing's as simple as it used to be.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (280201) Rating (7/10)
Review by Nigel (280201) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 7/10
This was bought because Ru did a review of Mr Commitment for us, I had not heard of Mike Gayle before but when we saw this and Mr C together in Waterstones, we bought them.

I chose to read this one first because I had, in fact, just experienced that very thing, no bells or whistles or mid-life crises for me, it was curious to know how others may have viewed this momentous occasion.

Turning Thirty is about Matt, 29, looking towards thirty as a time when he will own one classical music CD, and a wine rack with wine in it. He works in America, and has an American girlfriend at the beginning, but this relationship has settled into a platonic rut. When she breaks it off and he is offered a job in Australia, Matt decides to accept the job, and have a month off as a holiday / break in Birmingham with his parents before starting his new post.

As they are friends, some of the book is in the form of e-mail between Matt and his ex, Elaine, and allows us to see some of his thoughts without strange dream sequences or talking to a cat.

It has overtones of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, but is very well done. I think I quite enjoy these quasi-fuzzy male books, not that they provide a user's guide, just because they make a weird kind of sense.

I do not know anyone who has had a major crisis upon turning 30, but I suppose that it is as good a time as any to have a funny episode. However, it is understandable to want to see how the lives of other people have developed, I suppose that Americans do this rather better than we do, what with High School reunions and stuff like that, but we uptight English do not do that kind of thing. Pity, really...
Chrissi (28th February 2001)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
Do you ever read a story and at the end get that sad feeling that you want to know more, about what happens next in the world the author and your mind has created? help nutter :)

I read this book straight after Mr Commitment for that very reason. Not because it's a sequel, it isn't, but because the author made me care about his characters and I liked the way he made me laugh.

This time we see Matt Beckford approaching his thirtieth birthday and a somewhat early mid-life crisis. Although he is successful in the career he knew he wanted to do from school it is his relationships that seem to be in question.

Matt is spending 3 months in England while he moves between jobs in America and Austrilia. We are lead through his past life as he meets up with old friends since returning home.

This novel is very funny, especially where Matt deals with living with his parents for a few months. Anyone who has found himself or herself in the position of having to return home to their parents, having left many years before, will be in stitches.

Another great book. Can't wait to get hold of My Legendary Girlfriend.
Nigel (28th February 2001)

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