Good Material

Good Material

by Dolly Alderton

Narrated by Arthur Darvill, Vanessa Kirby

Unabridged — 9 hours, 54 minutes

Good Material

Good Material

by Dolly Alderton

Narrated by Arthur Darvill, Vanessa Kirby

Unabridged — 9 hours, 54 minutes

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ¿*A TODAY SHOW #ReadWithJenna BOOK CLUB PICK ¿ NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR SO FAR FOR 2024 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW ¿ From the best-selling author of Ghosts and Everything I Know About Love: a story of heartbreak and friendship and how to survive both

“Like Nora Ephron, with a British twist....Delivers the most delightful aspects of classic romantic comedy-snappy dialogue, realistic relationship dynamics, humorous meet-cutes and misunderstandings-and leaves behind the clichéd gender roles and traditional marriage plot.”
-The New York Times

Andy loves Jen. Jen*loved*Andy. And he can't work out why she stopped.

Now he is. . .

Without a home

Waiting for his stand-up career to take off

Wondering why everyone else around him seems to have grown up while he wasn't looking

Set adrift on the sea of heartbreak, Andy clings to the idea of solving the puzzle of his ruined relationship. Because if he can find the answer to that, then maybe Jen can find her way back to him. But Andy still has a lot to learn, not least his ex-girlfriend's side of the story...

In this sharply funny and exquisitely relatable story of romantic disaster and friendship, Dolly Alderton offers up a love story with two endings, demonstrating once again why she is one of the most exciting writers today, and the true voice of a generation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


“Like Nora Ephron, with a British twist….Good Material…delivers the most delightful aspects of classic romantic comedy—snappy dialogue, realistic relationship dynamics, humorous meet-cutes and misunderstandings—and leaves behind the clichéd gender roles and traditional marriage plot…..Alderton excels at portraying nonromantic intimate relationships with tenderness and authenticity….Alderton deserves comparisons to rom-com legends like Hornby.”
The New York Times

"Alderton is one of this generation’s preeminent oracles for love, romance, and heartbreak....[She] exposes the inevitable misfortunes of singledom while never neglecting its inherent beauty....To readers, she’s like an older sister, guiding us through breakups, fights, and first-date mishaps with something like grace."
—Swarna Gowtham, Elle

"Hilarious...Hurts so good...Surprising and sharp...[Alderton's] ability to create complex characters and tell the story with a varied perspective is masterful...Perfect endings are nearly impossible to find—especially in the break-up genre—but this comes pretty dang close. To quote the great Nicole Kidman, in her iconic AMC prologue, 'Heartbreak feels good in a place like this.'"  
—Clare Mulroy, USA Today

“Hilarious…Refreshing… Her witty, tender story of a newly single comedian finding his footing among smug marrieds… rigs a tightrope across a familiar chasm, then dances across it with Philippe Petit-like grace.”
—Elisabeth Egan, The New York Times

"With distinct notes of Helen Fielding, Richard Curtis and Nick Hornby....Warm and generous....Alderton captures the myopia and obsessiveness that sudden heartbreak can bring, using both satire and compassion....A writer very much in control of her material."
—Michael Donkor, The Guardian

"Funny and electrically honest....Dolly Alderton is the closest person we have to a modern-day Carrie Bradshaw....[In] Good Material, Alderton expands her reach and uncanny ability to distill the intricacies of being a human alive today with every joke, text conversation, and heartbreaking thought....Alderton dispenses gems of life advice you have to sit back and appreciate." 
Sam Franzini, Shondaland

"Genuinely laugh-out-loud funnywith characters straight out of a Richard Curtis film (the elderly lodger who’s prepping for doomsday is a highlight)whipsmart dialogue and relatable millennial themes (Alderton’s forte) mean there’s never a dull moment. Despite it being a pleasingly easy read (we tore through it in a single day), Good Material still manages to be thought-provoking and wise."
The Independent (UK)

“Have you ever wondered what a lost love was thinking? In this ingeniously constructed and endlessly amusing novel, Dolly Alderton flips the script on everything we think we know about romantic loss, to bring us an unforgettable character on a deeply relatable downward spiral. Wise and relatable and pee-your-pants funny. I cried by page 5. Dolly Alderton is, quite simply, the bard of modern-day love.”
—Lena Dunham

“Dolly Alderton has always been a sparkling Roman candle of talent. She is funny, smart and explosively engaged in the wonders and weirdness of the world.”
 —Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times best-selling author of City of Girls
“Wickedly funny and, at turns, both cynical and sincere, Dolly Alderton’s voice feels like your very favorite friend.”
—Taylor Jenkins Reid, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Carrie Soto is Back

“One of the foremost ‘it’ writers of our time . . . Whatever ails you, Alderton can fix it with her intimate wisdom . . . There is no writer quite like Dolly Alderton working today and very soon the world will know it.”
 —Lisa Taddeo, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Three Women

“The male perspective is rarely the focus in romantic comedy, but Dolly Alderton’s new novel corrects the imbalance… Relatable, funny and refreshing.”
Elle (UK)

“Like so many twentysomething women, I have turned to Dolly Alderton’s writing for solace… Written from the perspective of someone recently heartbroken, but this time it’s a man… The detail is luscious… Radical.”
Annie Lord, The Sunday Times (UK)

“It’s so good. I loved it.”
—Sharon Horgan

"Alderton is excellent at fusing poignant tenderness with wry observations about modern life, and that talent is on full display here.  Good Material is a highly enjoyable exploration of the messy, non-binary nature of many break-ups, and how two people can simply make a terrible couple."
Stylist Magazine

"Alderton absolutely nails it...beautifully nuanced portrayal of modern love that will have you racing to the last page."
Heat Magazine

“[A] book to be devoured, adored, underlined, and passed on (but only to the friends you know will give it back)… Alderton explores friendships beautifully, probing the anxieties around being left behind while other friends reach milestones, and the bittersweet pain of seeing a friend’s career soar while your own is flailing… Good Material showcases Alderton’s knack for rich characterisation and zippy dialogue like never before. It is also not just a shrewd portrayal of lost love, it is genuinely funny—if only more books made you laugh as much as this.”

Kirkus Reviews

A struggling 35-year-old British comedian navigates a breakup with his long-term girlfriend.

With unmissable echoes of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, Alderton examines Andy Dawson’s excruciating inability to accept the fact that Jen Hammersmith no longer wants to be with him, which leads to various self-destructive behaviors—drinking before noon, cyber-stalking Jen, and embarking on a morally dubious sexual relationship with a woman in her early 20s. Andy is a man who suffers simultaneously from an enormous ego, poor self-confidence, and little self-awareness—character traits that combine to produce mortifying moments. His relationship with Avi, his long-suffering best friend, brilliantly captures the stereotypical male reluctance to express platonic love and to retreat to the pub in times of need. Andy’s mum—a single mother who isn’t keen on displays of emotion but will readily offer up a medicinal whiskey—deserves more airtime. Pep talks from a more successful comedian friend and an overzealous personal trainer provide a respite from the monotony of Andy’s misery, which begins to bore his closest friends and the reader alike. Echoing her earlier novels, Alderton examines how bewildering it can be for single people to find themselves alone in a crowd of married friends who suddenly have more pressing commitments than another pint of lager. But save for a couple of quips about Boris Johnson and the wealth disparity between Andy and Jen, the novel lacks any meaningful social commentary. The way the book makes a late switch to Jen’s perspective might remind readers of Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, but Alderton lacks Groff’s mastery and Jen’s point of view is dull. While the book is hardly original, it displays a quintessentially British sense of humor (ironic, self-effacing, coarse), and Alderton has a talent for depicting love, flaws and all.

An easy read for those with a soft spot for the hopelessly doomed romantic.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159361431
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 01/30/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 261,949
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