The Man I Think I KnowThe Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Man I Think I know by Mike Gayle is the first book ever to have brought me to tears. I think because it hit too close to home with me. Early on I could see some of my lost self in Danny; then I found out how James suffered his brain damage and it hit me hard. It hit me very hard having had the same thing happen to me in 2001 but with different consequences. Everybody has told me how lucky I was but for some reason, I have never felt lucky about surviving. My mind used to tell me I wasn't meant to survive, and on occasions it still does.

Things can happen in our lives that can change our whole being. Who we are now and who we were meant to be. For James and Danny, this was exactly the case. Two young men coming head on to help each other confront two very different tragedies. If the pair had not met by chance and a change of circumstances in their home lives they would never have met and their lives would have remained the same.

Destiny! Does it play a part in our lives? It certainly does for these two.
Two brilliantly written characters: Danny, who starts off looking like a tragic case of 'What's the point of it all? Why bother working when I can just sit on the sofa watching tv? There is nothing out there in the world I want or need.' Danny though hides a past of high intellect and family tragedy.

Then there is James, who suffered a brain injury after being hit from behind while out celebrating being elected as an MP. Two men who were destined for great things derailed by the actions of others.
When I first started reading the way the Character of James was written I thought, Hmm! I don't know if I can be dealing with what seemed like awkward writing making for awkward reading. I couldn't have been more wrong. A new voice in my head took on the role of James in the book. I put that down to superb writing.
Mike Gayle has done an amazing job here. He shows how so many peoples lives can be affected by any single incident.
It doesn't necessarily take a bad man to commit an action that can have serious repercussions to many: it can just take a good man making a bad decision. There are many touching and heartfelt moments in this novel. I personally loved It.

I could see parts of myself in both characters, not the clever parts but elements of their lives and minds trying to come to terms with and deal with unexpected tragic events that can occur throughout life. I loved it and could see myself taking on a role if it's ever turned into a movie or television drama. Wink Wink! Right, where's that number for acting lessons?

No, in all honesty, you should read The Man I Think I Know. Awesome work Mr. Gayle.


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