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Five Days Apart [Hardcover]

Chris Binchy
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 28.08
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Book Description

June 2010
In bestselling Irish author Chris Binchy’s first U.S. publication, a lifelong Dublin friendship is strained to breaking when two young men fall in love with the same unforgettable woman. The Irish Independent Review has called Binchy’s writing “wide-ranging, complex, profound, and very satisfying,” and this classic tale of friendship and romance is a perfect showcase of his formidable talent.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review

“Binchy writes with a slow-burning intensity about social isolation and loneliness, workplace politics, and romantic triangles.” (Booklist)

From the Back Cover

When bright but tongue-tied David sees the magnetic Camille at a party, he plays it safe, asking his smooth and charming best friend, Alex, to make the introduction. But even though David was the first to notice Camille, it’s ever-confident Alex who walks away with the girl.

Painfully aware of what he has lost through his hesitant, overcautious approach to life, David leaves home in search of a new beginning. But neither distance nor time can erase the memory of Camille. Buoyed by a fresh perspective and newfound self-assurance, David is ready to face the would-be love of his life again and finally act on his feelings. But what happens when love gets in the way of lifelong friendship?

In the tradition of Nick Hornby, Roddy Doyle, and Michael Chabon, Chris Binchy delivers a witty and wise tale of the misfortunes of bad timing and the power of love.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Slow, Dry Read Dec 23 2011
By Lydia - Novel Escapes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I found Five Days Apart an interesting view on male relationships and the women that come between them. It was well written and had an intriguing premise, but after my initial interest, I grew weary of waiting for something to happen. I was intrigued to find out how the trio would end up and did like the main character enough to care what happened to him, but was ultimately disappointed.

At times I wanted David to do something, to figure things out and to get on with it. He gradually does, but the progress was slow, which slowed the plot. I can see though, having known many men who move like turtles, how accurate Binchy's portrayal might actually be, but it didn't help keep my interest. I didn't love David's character. I disliked Alex even less and didn't even warm much to Camille.

Nephew of the infamous Maeve Binchy, Chris Binchy shows adept writing skills with impeccable scenes, dialogue and description in his American debut. There were scenes in Brazil I could vividly picture and practically taste, but even here action was lacking. Overall I wasn't as pleased with Five Days Apart as I wanted to be, finding it a dry, slow read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heartfelt and heartbreaking May 29 2011
By Alexandra - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Five Days Apart is a novel many people will be able to relate to. David's unrequited love for Camille and his life in Alex's shadow come through beautifully, and readers will empathize and want him to break free. Although it would be easy to make them so, no character is entirely unlikable; even Alex has his moments. Still, David is clearly the hero, and quite a lovable one. Binchy does a great job describing all situations in great detail, causing the reader to fall in love with David, even if Camille fell in love with Alex first.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A monochromatic bromance novel (3.5 stars) June 5 2010
By Techie Evan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
What happens to two decades of friendship when two good-looking college buddies with opposite personality traits who have come to depend on each other for mutual support fall for the same woman? Should finder's keeper rule, or should the "better" man prevail?

This "bromance" novel is narrated by David and is, therefore, told from his point of view. David was the first to make eye contact with Camille, but being the shy, introverted, and socially awkward one, he initially let gregarious Alex do all the work for him -- striking up conversations with her, getting her name and phone number, introducing him to her.

Should it come as a surprise then that Alex made more of an impression on Camille than David?

At the end of a subsequent get-together one evening, David walked in on Alex and Camille making lovey-dovey moves. Silently furious, David walked out on them. When he and Alex next caught up with each other, David accused Alex of stealing Camille from him, but Alex tried to explain that Camille wasn't even aware of David's interest in her, that she was the one who initiated the moves, and that they both had just realized they had fallen for each other.

Distraught, David tried to shut both Alex and Camille out of his life, but that didn't last for long. Realizing that he might not want to throw away 20 years of friendship with Alex, he decided to reconcile with Alex, who had persisted in reaching out to him, assuring him that Camille wasn't just a fling like the many ones David had known Alex to have had.

But did David really put his friendship with Alex above his strong feelings for Camille, like he had thought Alex should have done for him? Could David really trust Alex to love Camille the way he would have? Would he ever let Camille know his love for her? Would his friendship with Alex really survive?

The turn of events that leads us to the somewhat abrupt ending had me telling myself: Hmmm ... I think I can accept that resolution.

With such a promising plot, this novel could have been a really compelling one had the writing and storytelling, in my opinion, been less flat and monochromatic. By this I mean, instead of every other encounter starting with repetitive and dull pleasantries such as "I haven't seen or heard from you for a long time. How are you?", maybe the author could have conjured up something more imaginative? Also, I can understand the intense longing that David has for Camille, but could we enliven things up a little bit and have the characters show a wider range of emotions? Finally, given that mixed signals and misconstruals were important plot elements in this novel, I thought that letting David, Alex, and perhaps even Camille take turns sharing their own intimate thoughts with the readers, relating how certain incidents might or might not have impacted them personally, in a point-counterpoint style could add texture to the story. Some authors (for example, Peter Hedges in The Heights) have used this interesting storytelling device to good effects; I thought it could work well for this novel as well.

My rating: 3.5 stars!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at a love triangle May 28 2010
By Bearette24 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is the story of a love triangle between David, Alex and Camille. David is the serious, kind of depressive, hard-working type, while Alex is a charmer who never follows through with his plans, and goes through a girl a week. David falls for Camille after seeing her at a party, and enlists Alex's help in talking to her; but then Alex ends up with Camille.

The book is pretty much exclusively about the three of them, with only minor breaks to talk about David's work and his work-related trip to Brazil. I enjoyed the dialogue and the descriptions of how difficult relationships can be. I would have enjoyed a little more levity, some comic relief, as David's depression could sometimes be hard to take. Still, I liked the ending.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ten days from this one would be better June 2 2010
By Margie Read - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Summer reads should be light and entertaining. This one is neither and sinks like the proverbial ton of bricks. The characters are flat, the dialog is stilted and uninteresting--i.e. "How are you?" "Fine, how are you?" "Pretty good, thanks." and on and on. Throwing in four letter words does not make good conversation especially if one has nothing to say. The plot is weak and flimsy and what little movement there is in the story drags and comes to the point of who cares? How can a reader relate to this loser and these limp people or care what happens in their boring lives? Can it be the writer's last name got his manuscript through the door of a publisher? Aunt Maeve who writes so beautifully and creates outstanding characters surely wasn't consulted on this book. If you are looking for a beach read, go buy a good romance novel--you will enjoy it more.
2.0 out of 5 stars Puzzled about the title Sept. 16 2012
By wendy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I haven't tried very hard but am puzzled about the meaning of the title. What am I missing, how does it connect as a theme or is it a plot piece that I missed? I thought this a very thin book in terms of emotional depth, hard to care about the characters. Fred O'Toole and Frank, both minor players, seemed to be more interesting because there was some mystery to them.
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