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Good Material by Dolly Alderton

Until this year, I had somehow never read a Dolly Alderton book. She’s always been one of those authors who I’ve been meaning to read (and am sure I’d like), I just never got around to it. That is, until I got my hands on an early copy of her newest book Good Material. I had barely closed it before I fell down the rabbit hole of all her previous work – it’s that good.

Good Material tells the story of Andy, a somewhat unsuccessful standup comedian in his mid-thirties. For the past six years he has been in a happy and loving relationship with Jen until she turns around one day and tells him it’s over. In the blink of an eye, Andy is back at his mum’s house, wondering where it all went wrong and when all his friends grew up without him. He is certain that if he can just get to the bottom of why Jen stopped loving him, he can win her back and fix his entire life. …Right?

I didn’t expect to fall for Andy as hard as I did, but Alderton depicts his character in a way that is both sympathetic and critical. It was also an interesting and nuanced take on men’s feelings and coping mechanisms after a breakup; Andy struggles without the support of a group of friends that women are generally more used to.

Good Material is brilliantly funny, painfully relatable, and above all, deeply heartfelt.


Recommended by Siobhán

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