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The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle

Details are important when a day is special to you. But the difficult thing is that quite often you do not know a day is special until long after it is over.

‐ Mike Gayle, The Man I Think I Know

It’s the best feeling in the world knowing there’s someone in your corner. That no matter what and no matter how badly you mess up, they will always be on your side.

‐ Mike Gayle, The Man I Think I Know

Sometimes I struggle to get the thoughts out of my head because they are stuck behind one another like cars in a traffic jam.

‐ Mike Gayle, The Man I Think I Know

Review 1

Despite reading a lot, it’s not very often I go through a whole book in a day but this little delight proved an exception, no sooner had I put it down. I couldn’t wait to get stuck into it again.

Mike Gale’s writing style keeps you fully engaged on every page, its easy to read, beautifully simplistic and totally enjoyable. I’ve read many books that try to “jump” between the viewpoints of two (or more) characters in consecutive chapters and a lot just leave the reader confused. Not so here. I never doubted whether it was James or Danny ‘talking’ which made the story so easy to follow – straightforward and very effective. Gayle introduces a veritable multitude of characters, but wastes no superfluous lines/pages/chapters giving more information than is absolutely necessary. Best of all, his ‘less is more’ methodology lets the reader’s inquisitiveness roam free, thinking of so many possibilities, many of which do not get answered. Rather than this leaving you deflated, the uncertainty adds to the fascination.

The story is highly believable, reflective of modern day life, emotive, heartbreakingly sensitive, entertaining and well written. (It is such a marked contrast to the last book we were offered!) Thoroughly enjoyable, I wanted more when I’d finished. A well-deserved 5/5

Review 2

A very surprising read, it was utterly charming in all the right places. Gayle managed to strip away the superfluous elements of humanity leaving characters that were at the same time strong and vulnerable.

The honesty and emotion was refreshing and captivating. At times you could not help but smile and laugh at the scenarios the characters created.

When I began to read it I felt that this was not the book for me but after a couple of chapters I was hooked and invested in the lead characters. The happy ever after ending seemed to wrap things up a little too neatly but given the suffering in the rest of the book it provided balance.

I would recommend this book on many levels. It does not portray those with disabilities as helpless and indeed shines a spotlight on the everyday issues faced by the individuals. It is a story of redemption, of family, of love and of joy.

Vicky made me smile, a complete scene stealer her mischievous mannerisms and complete openness and honesty was so refreshing. There was an innocence there that was genuinely heart-warming.

A great little read 4 ½ out of 5

Review 3

What a charming read. I thought the link between the two main characters, James and Danny was really uplifting, with both pathos and humour in abundance. I genuinely enjoyed it.

3 ½ / 5

Review 4

I began reading this with promise and enthusiasm, having read the “cover” review.

However I quickly got confused and continued reading it but then the boredom set in and I put it to one side.

The bits I read were very confusing switching back and forth and not having a plot to follow.

Please send next months.

Review 5

I loved this!

After a slow start, when I disliked James laziness sitting in the flat being quite horrible to his girlfriend. Getting into the past we got to understand his personality.

I felt real empathy towards all characters and their stories.

Really great uplifting read.

Review 6

Absolutely fantastic book with a very novel approach to narrative. I like the way the author has mixed who is the story teller with the different chapters although it took a while to get into a rhythm with it.

This is an interesting book that was easy to pick up and work through with each chapter offering something new.

Apparently the characters each represent a different aspect of the authors personality, although I’m not sure that plays out that way.


Review 7

A truly heart-warming and inspirational read. I felt genuinely moved by the journey of James and Danny. It made me contemplate many things but also really made me laugh out loud at some points. I very much enjoyed reading this book and would readily recommend it.