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Publisher's Summary

The person you are with is just like you: same background, same age, same interests. The perfect match. And it is an unmitigated disaster. 

Then, when and where you least expect it, you meet someone new. You seem to have nothing in common and yet, somehow, it feels totally right.

Nick Hornby's brilliantly observed, tender but also brutally funny new novel gets to the heart of what it means to fall surprisingly and headlong in love with the best possible person - someone who is not just like you at all.

©2020 Nick Hornby (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Just Like You

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

Hilarious! Finished it in a day! Loved it. The pacing, the wit, Lucy and Joseph.... everything!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Rachel Redford
  • Rachel Redford
  • 09-23-20

TV drama-ready!

42 year-old Lucy is Head of English as well as raising her two young boys and living through the final stages of her divorce from an alcoholic husband. She's comfortably off living in a 'nice' middle class white area of the city. In the local butcher's shop where loud-voiced women queue for their £100 worth of fillet steak and marinaded chicken pieces, Joseph works as one of his part-time aimless jobs. He's a 22 year old young black man living with his Christian church-going mum.

Lucy's action which follows and on which pivots the whole of the novel's story is totally unrealistic. She asks Joseph to come and look after her two sons whilst she goes out to dinner one evening (do middle class mothers really invite completely unknown men into their homes to look after their children, whatever their colour or culture??) Anyway, from this initial baby-sitting evening, their relationship develops, ending (after a raft of totally predictable difficulties and embarrassments), in Joseph living in as Lucy's 'boyfriend', loved by her two boys for his cool knowledge of football & X-box, living each day as it comes, enjoying being each other, having sex and watching The Sopranos for as long as it may last. Taken as a gentle love story and not taken too seriously, it's bold, quite touching in places, filled with cringe-making social occasions where the differences between the two are played out, and the typical Nick Hornby screen-play dialogue is fast (and brilliantly narrated) and in places funny. It will / would makes a great TV drama.

BUT I have two important criticisms which is why I've given it only a 3. The first is the setting: 2016 Referendum time. There's FAR too much about the divisions caused by the Referendum Vote all of which were played out ad nauseam at the time until over-ridden by Covid. We've HEARD and experienced ALL these views and conflicts and certainly I don't want to listen to them rehearsed again and again as they are throughout this novel. The gaping cultural voids between Lucy and Joseph's worlds are obvious enough and plentifully detailed. They would have been much sharper without all this endless stuff about Brexit, Leavers and Remainers. It just makes the novel tired and tedious - even in the touching Epilogue set in 2019 Hornby's characters are still banging on about Brexit.

The other shortcoming I felt was that some of the potentially serious divisions caused by Lucy and Joseph's relationship were left dangling undeveloped - presumably in the interest of keeping this novel something of a light-hearted romp. What happened between Lucy and her parents after that meeting when they were left reeling having learned of their daughter's choice of partner? And what happened to Lucy's school reputation after the Head teacher was clearly unhappy that Lucy's classes were all in raptures of gob-smacked amazement at their Head of English having sex with, as they were saying, a 17 year-old black boy? How did that play out? For me, I'd have liked the entire Brexit theme to have been junked and a more serious development of the reality of the situation.

But it's a brave scenario which throws up plenty to think and talk about. I'm looking forward to that tv drama.

4 people found this helpful

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  • papapownall
  • 09-23-20

Latest Nick Hornby novel is up with his best work

In a recent interview Nick Hornby lamented the fact the 80% of readers of novels are women but his books Fever Pitch (football), High Fidelity (music), About of Boy (coming of age) are mostly read by men. His latest novel, Just Like You is a kind of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner for the 21st century and covers the themes of age gap relationships, race and class.

Possibly most uncomfortable and controversial of all, the novel is set in 2016 in the midst of the UK Brexit referendum with its associated tribe like mentality and accusations of lies, fear, stupidity and racism. This is a heart warming story of the complications of modern life and how love always wins in the end. Excellent as always from Nick Hornby and this is a story that would appeal to anyone. 5 stars.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-01-21

Nice relaxing listen

It is a little political but if you just accept everyone has different opinions and it’s just a story then you’ll be fine! I really enjoyed it and thought the characters were executed very accurately :)

1 person found this helpful

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  • s. shaw
  • 10-05-21

Brief Encounter for the modern age

Brilliantly observed, witty and wry, with genuine out-loud laughs, and as full of tenderness and yearning as any classic. Brilliantly read by both performers - I was hooked. Would love to see this as a movie.

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  • diana lowe
  • 08-20-21

Great story.

I really enjoyed listening to this story because it dealt with current issues in an interesting way.

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Profile Image for Floriana Cardilli
  • Floriana Cardilli
  • 07-27-21

A tender love story

A tender love story about waiting and seeing how far you can get. Loved it.

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  • ALK
  • 05-17-21

Loved it

Loved the characters, loved the narration, loved the ending – just what I needed for a bit of escapism.

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  • Laura
  • 02-21-21

Easy to listen to

Easy to listen to, enjoyed the book and the narrators on the whole. Feel now the book has ended it didn’t go anywhere so I’ve lost a few hours listening to a book which didn’t come to anything at the end.

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  • Christopher Dickinson
  • 12-02-20

classic Nick Hornby

excellent, will make you laugh and cry. the book to me is like a warm familiar hug

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Profile Image for Foxylox
  • Foxylox
  • 10-20-20

Poor plot outline

Had the plot outline told me this was a story about Brexit & Racial stereotyping then I’d have given it a wide berth. Please do better Audible.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-23-20

A fun read

I enjoyed this book. It moved along well. Often made me laugh.
Best line for me was something like ...”one is disgusting and the other is a basic human right”
I won’t spoil it for you... you’ll just have to listen to it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sinead
  • 10-08-21

Just didn't draw me in

From the very beginning all the way to the end, it was a slog to "read". I was not invested in either character. They both seemed flat and uninteresting. Could this be because a white female character and a black male character were both written from a white man, who doesn't completely understand what is like to be either? Just something I thought while reading as they didn't feel like they could or would be real characters. I had high hopes as it covered racism, agism, politics - all topics I love to be challenged in a book. I feel like the climax of the story could have been the ending and wasn't impressed by the ending when it did come. Felt pushed. I didn't love it, but I hope you do.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-31-21

slow beginning but a wonderful build

I almost gave up reading this but once you get through the first couple of chapters the story really unravels and you get a real look in the insecurities and anxieties of modern couples. Read this book for a lovely journey, with a unique ending.

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  • Andrew Aspden
  • 04-23-21

Loved the actors, added such depth to it

Really liked the characters, until a bit of 'boys will be boys' crept in. I'm English but live outside of the UK, so the brexit narrative was really interesting to me - underlined how much division it created that's going to be very long lasting. Would recommend it, thoughtful but not heavy.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-21

Not my favourite, but still an interesting read

I liked it but didn't love it. I feel like it acknowledges political points of interest (brexit, trump), ageism and racism, but it didn't hit me as hard as other similiar books like 'such a fun age'. Maybe I was looking for more scandalous details? I'm not sure.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-03-21

a pleasant listen

I enjoyed this to some degree. An easy listen and brought up some relevant issue around age, race, class and politics.

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 12-11-20

Just the best

What a joyous book. I truely loved every word. I haven’t read a Nick Hornby book for years he is a marvellous writer. The narrators were perfect and the writing sublime.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-20

great narrators

The two narrators were perfect. One of Hornby's top 3 books for sure. All done in one week's commute. Recommended.