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Charlotte Street

A Novel

Danny Wallace

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Jason Priestley (no, not that Jason Priestley) is in a rut. He gave up his teaching job to write snarky reviews of cheap restaurants for the free newspaper you take but don't read. He lives above a video-game store, between a Polish newsstand and that place that everyone thinks is a brothel but isn't. His most recent Facebook status is "Jason Priestley is . . . eating soup." Jason's beginning to think he needs a change.

So he uncharacteristically moves to help a girl on the street who's struggling with an armload of packages, and she smiles an incredible smile at him before her cab pulls away. What for a fleeting moment felt like a beginning is cruelly cut short—until Jason realizes that he's been left holding a disposable camera. And suddenly, with prodding and an almost certainly disastrous offer of assistance from his socially inept best friend Dev, a coincidence-based, half-joking idea—What if he could track this girl down based on the photos in her camera?—morphs into a full-fledged quest to find the woman of Jason's dreams.

Publishers Weekly Review

Nov 19, 2012 – Wallace's delightful debut is the story of the hapless Jason Priestley (no, not that Jason Priestley), formerly an uninspiring teacher of uninspirable youth, now a reviewer of, among other things, "irritatingly forgettable" restaurants with names like "AbraKebabra" and "Pizza the Action." Although he's been dumped by girlfriend Sarah, Jason can't bring himself to unfriend her on Facebook; consequently, he is forced to read Sarah's "having the time of my life" status updates, while the best he can muster is "eating some soup." He now shares a questionable flat above a videogame shop with the owner and Jason's best friend, Dev. A chance encounter with a pretty stranger on Charlotte Street leaves Jason accidentally in possession of her disposable camera, though not of her name. At Dev's insistence, they develop the photos. Thereby hangs a tale, which wends its witty way through a road trip to Yorkshire with an auto mechanic, several run-ins with an angry political puppeteer, and a foray to a posh event promoting juices with acai. A lively supporting cast, including the Polish waitress Dev pines for, helps and/or thwarts Jason in pursuit of his mysterious stranger. The combination of Dickensian plot twists and Hornbyesque humor and hope makes for a thoroughly entertaining read.

Customer Reviews


I felt this novel was a bit lacking. The prose style was direct: no colorful use of language, no symbolism, and the story went in a simple predictable trajectory. It was a quick read but I had a hard time digesting all the pop cultural/social media references. I don't think that they enhanced the story, but maybe I'm just weary of things that are "too now" in regards to fiction. I want to read something that's going to age gracefully, not soon be dated by references. My favorite character was definitely Abby, but even she fell flat: the archetype manic pixie dream girl, who's quirky nature heals and motivates the men she befriends to wake up and pursue their dreams. Overall, I took a gamble and read Charlotte Street, but I don't think this novel is for me.

Charlotte Street
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Oct 23, 2012
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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