‘Made me laugh while punching me in the gut. Loved this book’ AISLING BEA
'This is the greatest. You'll cry and laugh. I read it though the night. And I never, ever avoid sleep' CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN
‘I award it 13/10 on my QWJ scale (stands for Queasy With Jealousy that I didn't write it)’ MARIAN KEYES
Every relationship has one beginning.
This one has two endings.
Andy loves Jen. Jen loved Andy.
And he can't work out why she stopped.
Now he is. . .
1. Without a home
2. Waiting for his stand-up career to take off
3. Wondering why everyone else around him seems to have grown up while he wasn't looking
Set adrift on the sea of heartbreak at a time when everything he thought he knew about women, and flat-sharing, and his friendships has transformed beyond recognition, Andy clings to the idea of solving the puzzle of their broken relationship. Because if he can find the answer to that, then maybe Jen can find her way back to him.
Andy still has a lot to learn, not least his ex-girlfriend's side of the story.
From the bestselling author of Ghosts and Everything I Know About Love: a sharply funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely relatable story of heartbreak and friendship, and how to survive both.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Breakups are always hard, and coming out of a four-year relationship in your mid-thirties, with your friends all coupled-up and raising young children, is possibly harder than average. Witty yet tender observations about this predicament are among the most charming elements of Good Material. For the most part, it’s from the perspective of Andy, a not-particularly-successful comedian whose girlfriend, Jen, has just broken up with him, as he tries to make sense of what’s happened. There’s beauty, anguish and a fair bit of comedy in people trying and failing to understand each other—everything is clearer when we hear Jen’s side of the story too—and loving each other but not always knowing how to put that love into practice. There’s also plenty of frisson and palpable fun in the couple’s recollections of the good old days, so even if we get why they broke up, we also get why they were together. Dolly Alderton knows how to write chemistry just as well as despair—and ultimately hope, too.
Alderton (Everything I Know About Love) delivers a flat anti-love story focused on flailing comedian Andy Dawson and his ex, the "annoyingly loquacious" Jen Bennet. The action kicks off with Andy making a list of justifications for ending the relationship, including Jen's smugness, snobbery, and childishness. He continues to obsess over Jen during bouts of day-drinking and comedy gigs in London, vacillating between fond memories and frustration. Despite his insecurity about his career and his growing bald spot, his treatment of the breakup is awash in arrogance and selfishness. Over several months, Andy and Jen separately come to terms with the direction their relationship was headed (the latter's perspective is provided later in the novel). Andy wanted children and to pursue his artistic dreams, while Jen didn't want a life centered on being a mother or wife. Alderton stitches in attempts at zany humor, such as Andy's brief stint living on a houseboat and his interactions with his best friend's children, but the jokes don't quite land. While the subversion of the typical love story intrigues, the unpalatable characters extinguish its charm. This misses the mark.