book cover of Whatever Love Means

Whatever Love Means

(1999)
A novel by

 
 
Vic is a nearly-famous rock guitarist thinking about shacking up in south London with his foul-mouthed thirty-something girlfriend Tess; Vic's best friend Joe is a geeky, AIDS-researching biochemist who shares a son and a flash yuppie pad with the beautiful and slightly Irish Emma. On the day of Princess Diana's death Vic falls into bed with Em; a few months later Joe sort of does the same with Tess. If that were all there was to this book, it would hardly be worth bothering with: just another Hampstead (or rather, Herne Hill) adultery novel. What raises it up a considerable notch, quite apart from Baddiel's obvious gift for very good jokes, is his less expected gift for deadpan but dryly insightful prose, and his even more unexpected talent for fleshing out character. Every player in this touching, tragic tale: female as well as male, minor as much as major, villainous alongside virtuous, is eminently believable, and harrowingly feasible. Not quite so convincing is the Princess-Diana-death subplot that forms a background to the early chapters. Like the hysteria over the Queen of Hearts itself, the whole thing rather peters out, and provides little more than an excuse for the book's well-chosen title (it's a famous Prince Chuck quote apropos his then fiancee Diana). Taken as a whole, small misgivings aside, this is a fine and impressive novel: funny, sad, warm, dark, tender, wise, and bleakly memorable. --Sean Thomas

Genre: General Fiction

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Used availability for David Baddiel's Whatever Love Means

Hardback Editions

November 1999 : USA Hardback
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Title: Whatever Love Means
Author(s): David Baddiel
ISBN: 0-316-64857-4 / 978-0-316-64857-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

November 1999 : USA Paperback
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Title: Whatever Love Means
Author(s): David Baddiel
ISBN: 0-316-85267-8 / 978-0-316-85267-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


October 2000 : UK Paperback
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Title: Whatever Love Means
Author(s): David Baddiel
ISBN: 0-7515-2989-3 / 978-0-7515-2989-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sphere
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2000 : UK Paperback
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Title: Whatever Love Means
Author(s): David Baddiel
ISBN: 0-349-11392-0 / 978-0-349-11392-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Abacus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1973 : UK Paperback
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Title: Whatever Love Means
Author(s): David Baddiel
ISBN: 0-349-11325-4 / 978-0-349-11325-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Abacus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU