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All The Lonely People: From the Richard and…

All The Lonely People: From the Richard and Judy bestselling author of… (edition 2021)

by Mike Gayle (Author)

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718303,681 (4.44)3
Title:All The Lonely People: From the Richard and Judy bestselling author of Half a World Away comes a warm, life-affirming story – the perfect read for these times
Authors:Mike Gayle (Author)
Info:Hodder Paperbacks (2021), 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle


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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Oh my! Mike Gayle's new book All the Lonely People is one I'll be recommending to everyone. If you liked A Man Called Ove, you're going to want to meet Hubert Bird.

Hubert is an eighty something widower living on his own in London. His daughter in Australia does make a weekly phone call to check in with him. Hubert shares with her what he and his friends are up to, meals, activities and outings. This latest call brings unexpected news - Rose is coming home to visit. But, here's the problem - Hubert has made it all up. He has distanced himself from friends, neighbours and his community over the years. And now, his only friend is Puss the cat. What is he going to do? In four months he needs to find some friends. And it would be even better if their names were Dotty, Dennis and Harvey.

What a great premise! Loneliness truly is an issue and it's very easy for someone to fall through the cracks. Even more so in these Covid times.

Before Hubert has thought of what to do, a new neighbour comes knocking at his door. Ash is a single mother to toddler Layla - and she too is looking for friends. "...Hubert realized something he hadn't quite understood before now: he was lonely, really lonely and most likely had been for a very long time." But that's just the beginning....

Gayle tells his story in one of my favourite methods - alternating between past and present. Hubert is a wonderfully rich character, truly someone I'd like to have a cuppa with. We meet Hubert as he emigrates to England from his native Jamaica in the late 1950's. He is full of hope for a better life and perseveres despite the racism he encounters. But it is meeting Joyce that makes life wonderful for Hubert. We're privy to their lives even as Hubert struggles to find connections in the present. Gayle has done an amazing job creating Hubert - I cared about him and felt so much empathy. And the same goes for the supporting cast - Ash is just as well drawn, as are the others who cross Hubert's path.

Gayle's writing flows so easily and kept me so engaged. (Why have I not read him before?!) I laughed, I cried (more than once), I cheered, I empathized, I got angry, I crossed my fingers and well, I loved each and every page.

All the Lonely People is hands down one of my top reads for 2021 And hey - say hello to your neighbour... ( )
  Twink | Aug 5, 2021 |
  GirlWellRead | Jul 30, 2021 |
This was fantastic! I decided to read this book because I liked the sound of it and it was better than I could have hoped it would be. I was drawn into this story of Hubert Bird’s life right away and became more and more enthralled as I worked my way through the book. I am so glad that I took a chance on this book!

Hubert Bird is an older gentleman living alone and he rarely sees or talks to anyone except for his cat. Once a week, his daughter calls, and he makes up stories about his life that he believes she wants to hear. When she tells him that she plans to come for a visit and wants to meet all of his friends, he knows he needs to find some friends quickly. Meanwhile, his new neighbor and her little girl seem determined to work their way into his life. Before he knows it, he has a rather active life and is part of a group hoping to end loneliness for everyone.

I love the characters in this book. Hubert immigrated to England from Jamaica as a young man. The racism that he faced was eye-opening. When he meets Joyce and they fall in love, they both went through a lot because of the reaction to their interracial relationship. Hubert goes through a lot of really difficult things over the course of his life and there were times my heart broke from him. The twist took me completely by surprise which was a big point in this book’s favor.

Ben Onwukwe did an amazing job with this book. After listening to this book, I couldn’t imagine experiencing this book in any other way. I really felt like he brought Hubert to life. I loved the accents and the different voices that he used in narrating this story. I thought that he had a very pleasant voice and was able to bring out the emotion in the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I found this to be a wonderful story about the life of a man with an interesting story to tell. I definitely plan to read more of this author’s work in the future.

I received a copy of this audiobook from Hachette Audio via Libro.fm. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Jul 21, 2021 |
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Because the truth was Hubert Bird was a liar. And a practiced one at that.

All the Lonely People is the story of Jamaican immigrant Hubert Bird. With alternating chapters that show Hubert in the present time and past, readers get an encompassing look at Hubert's life. I thought the alternating chapters was a perfect structural choice as it pulled readers in with questions in the now, why is Hubert alone and answers revealed in the past chapters.

A whole week had gone by since Rose's announcement and now, because of his lack of friends, Hubert was faced with an almost impossible choice: disappoint his darling daughter or force himself back out into the world from which he had retreated.

The main plot has octogenarian Hubert wanting to make friends because for the last couple years he has been lying to his daughter Rose during their weekly phone calls. He has a notebook filled with notes about his friends and all that they do, but it's all lies. Rose suddenly tells Hubert that she is coming to visit from Australia in a few weeks and Hubert panics, not wanting Rose to feel bad or worry about him and leave her job to come take care of him in England. So when a new neighbor, single mother Layla knocks on his door to introduce herself, he starts his mission to try and gain some real friends.

And in that moment, as he attempted to stem his tears, Hubert realized something he hadn't quite understood before now: he was lonely, really lonely, and most likely had been for a very long time.

I thought the first half of this really showed what we'll do for the people we love but not for ourselves. Through Hubert and all the characters that have been in his life, his friend Gus, his wife Joyce, children Rose and David, neighbor Layla, and even the delivery man he befriends Emils, the reader gets welcomed into Hubert's world and who and what makes a life. The author opened up Hubert in a way that I felt he was real and that I knew him. While the majority of the chapters are from Hubert's point-of-view, there are a handful from secondary characters and I thought those greatly colored in Hubert's world even more.

“You mean you don't think it's a daft idea?”
“What? Helping lonely people? There's nothing daft about that, darling. Nothing daft at all. Count me in.”

The second half delves more into Hubert's world and begins to answer the questions of how he lost touch with his circle of friends and why he doesn't like to talk about his son David. There was also Hubert's new circle of friends creating a group with the mission to end loneliness in their city. This group and the promoting of it takes over for a while and I'm not sure it completely fit in the flow of the story. It works to add some uplifting flair but it all felt a little idealistic and taking over a story in which it was a plot thread that didn't completely feel like it fit. With this though, there were also some latter second half shocking reveals that amp up the emotion and will get your eyes watering.

“Joyce Bird,” said Hubert between fits of laughter, “featherweight champion of the world!”

Overall, this is a story that will have characters who stick with you long after you've closed the book. It's a story about a life, it was uplifting and tragic and it was heartbreaking and reaffirming. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Jul 14, 2021 |
Hubert Bird is alone. After his wife died and his daughter moved to Australia for a job, he lost touch with most of his friends, and he hardly ever goes out. Instead, he spends his time alone with his cat while he invents stories about imaginary friends to tell his daughter Rose over the telephone. He doesn't want her to think he's lonely. One day his new neighbor, Ashleigh, needs help and Hubert reluctantly agrees to babysit while Ashleigh goes to a job interview. This one act changes the course of his life, and he soon learns that not only does he have new friends but a new purpose in life as well.

I loved All The Lonely People, and especially its main character Hubert. I couldn't help but hope all the good things he deserved would come his way. I enjoyed this novel's back and forth structure, which gave me the chance to learn about Hubert's experience as an immigrant and his life with his wife Joyce as they set out to start a family and the hardships and hurdles they had to overcome. Mr. Gayle has a lovely writing style that makes this a story that is sad, funny, charming, and utterly absorbing. It gives one hope that all will be well if we open the door and let someone in once in a while. I'm so glad I got to read this one.

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
More reviews at www.susannesbooklist.com ( )
  SUS456 | May 28, 2021 |
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