David Nicholls Books

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David Nicholls, full name David Alan Nicholls is an English screenwriter and novelist from Hampshire, England. He studied English and Theater Studies in college and acted in many roles during his college days. Even as he lacked the most rudimentary of essentials for an acting career, it was not until someone got him a copy of the Perfect Stranger, a memoir of PJ Kavanagh, that he decided to quit acting and turn to writing.

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Order of David Nicholls Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Starter for Ten / A Question for Attraction 2003 Description / Buy
2 The Understudy 2005 Description / Buy
3 One Day 2009 Description / Buy
4 Us 2014 Description / Buy
5 Sweet Sorrow 2019 Description / Buy
6 You Are Here 2024 Description / Buy

David Nicholls Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Too Much Too Young 2012 Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

Born on November 30th, 1966, David Nicholls is the middle child of three siblings. Throughout his time at school and college, Nicholls’ career path was evident. As well as studying the sciences at A-Level, Nicholls also opted to take them in Theatre Studies and Drama, and he continued his love for the stage at Bristol University, from where he graduated with a BA in Drama and English. After graduation, Nicholls then headed to New York, where he studied acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He attempted to put his acting training to good use, but struggled to make a real success of it, landing mainly small roles on stage.

After deciding to move away from acting, Nicholls turned his hand to writing screenplays, where he achieved success, especially for his contributions to the ITV series Cold Feet in 2000. Nicholls then created to series of his own, I Saw You, and Rescue Me. Upon the cancellation of Rescue Me, Nicholls then decided to pursue his other interest, fiction writing.

The first book that Nicholls wrote, Starter For Ten, was published in 2003. The book features the character of Brian Jackson, who finds himself a bit of a fish out of water in his first year at university, as he comes from a working-class background, and the students are from predominantly middle-class backgrounds. However, his love of general knowledge and the television quiz programme University Challenge set in motion events that make his first year at university one that he will never forget, including not just his attempts to get on the iconic quiz, but also his attempts at starting a relationship with a woman who does not seem to reciprocate his feelings. The title of the book comes from the famous opening phrase from the quizmaster (in 1985, when the book is set, it is Bamber Gascoigne). The book was also adapted into a film, for which David Nicholls wrote the screenplay, with the name Starter For 10, starring James McAvoy in the lead role of Brian Jackson.

Nicholls followed Starter For Ten Up with the novel The Understudy in 2005, and then the book One Day in 2009. One Day is set across several cities over many years and focuses on the relationship between the lead characters Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley, he first meet each other at Edinburgh University in 1988. One Day went on to be a commercial and critical hit, winning the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year Award, and then being turned into a film in 2011, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.

While Nicholls achieved some critical success with One Day, it was his book Us, which was released in 2014, that garnered him the most critical success, as well as continued commercial success. Us was put on the long-list for the 2014 Man Booker Prize Award, and David Nicholls won the Specsavers UK Author of the Year Award for the book. It follows a couple, Connie and Douglas, and their son, Albie, on what Douglas describes as a ‘grand tour’ of Europe, following Connie’s revelation that now their son leaving home, she wants to leave Douglas. The narrative shifts between their trip around Europe and how their relationship initially blossomed.

David Nicholls would get into scriptwriting for TV, radio, and theater where he came into his own, writing many great scripts for a number of organizations the most prominent of which was the BBC. It was after one of his situational comedy scripts was made into a film that he decided to become a full-time writer. Nicholls’s first novel was “Starter for Ten”, which was once a reader for the Richard and Judy Book Club. He would go on to write several very popular novels that have made him one of the most respected authors of contemporary romance thrillers genre.


Despite not having that many novels, Nicholls has won many accolades in his career. In 2010, “One Day” was voted Popular Fiction Book of the Year by the United Kingdom’s Galaxy National Book Awards. His 2014 novel “Us” was nominated for the 2014 Man Booker Prize and went on to win the United Kingdom’s Author of the Year Award by Specsavers.


Nicholls’s first novel “Starter for Ten” was adapted into a novel that went by the name Starter for 10. Nicholls wrote the screenplay for the movie, with Tom Vaughan as director and Joseph Friend in the lead role of Young Brian. “One Day” another of Nicholl’s novels was adapted into a film in 2011 by Focus Features and Random House Films. It cast Jim Sturgess as Dexter and Anne Hathaway as Emma with Lone Sherfig in the director’s chair.


Three of the most popular books by David Nicholls include:

Starter for Ten: David Nicholls’s debut novel is undoubtedly one of his most popular that it was made into a movie. The novel is set in 1985, where Brian Jackson is starting his studies at university. Brian’s schooling is paid for through a scholarship, given that he comes from a struggling working class family. But the young man has a long-held secret, his one dream is to appear in the University Challenge, a very popular quiz program broadcast on TV. Now that he is finally in university, he may just get his chance as he has made the university team after acing the rigorous qualifying rounds. The thought of participating makes him giddy, though this could also be because he has been fallen hard for Alice Harbinson, the intimidating, brainy, and beautiful girl that is one of his teammates. His life seems to be on the up, but soon he learns that he may have become overconfident too soon.

One Day: Another excellent novel by Nicholls that was also made into a movie. The novel is set in 1988, where Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew are two college students that bump into each other on the night of their graduation. While they are strangers having known each other for a few hours, they feelings for each other are so intense that they cannot bear the thought that they have to go their separate ways the following day. Following the two lovebirds over twenty years, the author reveals snapshots of their relationships in one day – the 15th day of July of every year. Em and Dex have their fights and squabbles, missed opportunities and hope, tears and laughter among other things. With their lives revealed in one day, the two must face their realities of life and the nature of love and use it to better themselves.

Us: The 2014 published novel is a slightly witty, endearingly honest and sometimes naïve viewpoint of love and life from the perspective of the chief protagonist, Douglas Petersen. Petersen is a mild-mannered man who three decades ago had managed to charm the beautiful Connie into marrying him. Connie is getting bored of life in the suburbs and now wants a divorce; much to the anguish of her husband Douglas. But her timing could not have been any worse, given that they had promised to take her artistic son on a month-long tour around Europe, and she cannot bear the thought of disappointing him. For Douglas, he believes the trip is that one last chance to rekindle their romance and save the marriage.

David Nicholls FAQs

Q: When was the author David Nicholls born?

A: The author David Nicholls was born on November 30th, 1966 in Eastleigh, England.

Q: What was the first book David Nicholls had published?

A: The first book David Nicholls had published was Started For Ten, which was published in 2003.

Q: Did David Nicholls write the screenplay for Starter For 10?

A: Yes, David Nicholls did write the screenplay for Starter For 10. He also wrote the screenplay for the adaptation of his book One Day.

When Does The Next David Nicholls book come out?

The next book by David Nicholls is You Are Here and will be released on May, 28th 2024.


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