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William Walker's First Year of…

William Walker's First Year of Marriage: A Horror Story

by Matt Rudd

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398292,072 (2.53)2



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William and Isabel are newly married and living in a small flat in Finsbury Park. But Isabel′s 'best friend' Alex is obviously in love with her and William's old flame Saskia has just moved in downstairs - two people who are bound to cause trouble for the newlyweds. A light read with a few funny bits. Struggled to finish it as I was more irritated by William's reactions to the situations he found himself in than anything. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | May 12, 2016 |
This was an accidental download (thank god it was free!) as I was browsing on my phone which I checked out to see what it was like before deleting but continued to read instead. I was sucked in. ("Oh it's going to be 4 stars at least!")

A third in and I was tiring of the amazing writing style that had me reading in the first place. It was quirky and journalistic (both William and the author are journalists) that has you smirking and laughing as you nod your head in agreement with whatever calamity has just befallen this poor couple. This style meant the tone of the book remained the same throughout which led to it becoming monotonous. For a short article this would be fine but not for a novel.("Maybe 3 stars?")

William and Isobel face numerous challenges as they settle into married life including besotted best friends (Alex's unrequited love for Isobel) and crazy stalker ex-f*ck buddies (Saskia who mistakes herself for an ex-girlfriend).

Later, I became exasperated with the Alex situation and later the Saskia problem. It was obvious Alex was more of an evil mastermind than William thought. How could he know the things he did otherwise? I predicted the ending but not the way in which previously evil characters turned around, apologised and sobbed their way into becoming the architects for a happy ending. ("Oh dear, 2 stars.")

Being from the UK and a regular visitor to the London setting helped me understand the humour. I related to and sympathised with these aspects but I wouldn't say that this book has international appeal because there are too many references to British culture and it's icons, for instance the Ann Widdecombe sex gears gag. Not many people are going to know who she is without reaching out to Google for help.

Basically this book is a string of amusing observations, most of which are common anecdotal stereotypes. However, there are some absolutely hilarious ones which made this worth reading but I doubt I'll buy the sequel [b:William's Progress: Another (sleepless) Horror Story|8081223|William's Progress Another (sleepless) Horror Story|Matt Rudd|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21SVAYSKzIL._SL75_.jpg|12806541], which plays on the ending of this one. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
Amiable enough ( )
  annesadleir | Feb 1, 2012 |
“She sings like someone being stabbed in a shower: all commitment, no tonal control. This is not being she’s singing and fighting back the urge to vomit. This is how she normally sings. It is one of her endearing qualities.”

This is pretty much the story of an angry man not coping with his wife’s male best friend. He does ridiculous things, like throw cold tea over work experience peons, and get trashed and play computer games instead of showing the flat to the estate agent, and is basically the worst stereotype of a useless husband that there is.

We started out with such promise, a new husband being a rather unusual (from my experience) protagonist, but the entire plot was patently ridiculous and the witticisms were the only aspect of this dire work that kept me going to the end.

“I expected some sort of fanfare, going back to work. To be treated differently. I feel different. Very grown-up. Last time I saw everyone, I was Single Man, now I’m Married Man. I speak the language of Married Man. I’m part of the Holy Order of Married Men. I know the Code. I can do mother-in-law jokes”

“This is something that Isabel is good at: twisting an argument so that what a minute ago sounded fair and reasonable coming out of your mouth sounds like something about as acceptable as kitten-stamping.”

“Before Johnson ‘went soft’ and came to work on Life & Times magazine with me, he was a hard-bitten crime reporter... somewhere along the line, he has muddled his time working the sink estates, covering stories of social decay, organised crime and young lives wasted with marriage. He sees them as the same thing.”

The final nail in the coffin of clichés in this book was the atrociously twee ending. I won’t say what it is, but as I got towards it, and release from this prison of a book, it did occur to me that the last chapter might reveal a next step, a future as an ending, and lo and behold, a beautifully neat conclusion just wrapped itself in a bow and jumped into my eyes.

It gets two points out of ten and two points only because there are some funny lines. ( )
  readingwithtea | Aug 4, 2011 |
Another cheap Kindle acquisition; again, read on a miserable afternoon while I was ill. I can’t quite set it into a particular genre, as it bridges the gap between chick-lit and humour – it starts out as very much the latter, but the ending segues into a slightly cheesy chick-lit. I’m not sure that I would have finished it if I hadn’t been ill, because the characters are a bit on the annoying side. A couple of weeks on, I’m struggling to remember much of it at all – I think there were a few giggles along the way, but nothing amazing to recommend this one, really. ( )
  pokarekareana | May 31, 2011 |
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For anyone who has ever dreamed of finding true love only to discover that happy endings are just the beginning comes this brilliantly comic novel about marriage, ex-girlfriends, 'performance anxiety', and what it takes to make happily ever last beyond the honeymoon.… (more)

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