Who is Tom Ditto? was a book I first mentioned on this blog in my 2014 Releases I’m looking forward to. I’m a huge fan of Danny Wallace’s work and have been for years. Yes Man is one of my favourite books (I got very excited about his cameo in the film adaptation!) and I enjoyed his first fiction book, Charlotte Street, back in 2012.
As with Charlotte Street, the book has a beginning that simply lures you in. Tom, an early morning radio news presenter, returns home one day to find a note from his girlfriend reading
I have not left you. But I am gone.
Please carry on as normal.
This immediately intrigued me, as I was now really curious about what this meant and where Hayley was gone. Tom frantically tries to find any answers, ringing up Hayley’s old friends to find out if they knew where she was gone. In doing so, he discovers that she may not be all she thought she was. Tom finally comes across a phone message from a man called Andy, telling Hayley about a meeting at ‘the place’. Eventually Tom finds out that ‘the place’ is a meeting for a group called CC, or Carbon Copiers, who spend their lives following people in order to experience life through other people. Freaked out by this, Tom leaves, only to discover later he’s being followed himself. Enter Pia, a very kooky character who eventually becomes friends with Tom. Pia uses following to experience new things, which leads herself and Tom drinking in an exclusive members only club with Britain’s most famous actor, to getting a rickshaw to Chinawhite to tag along with a minor reality TV star to enjoying a cocktail on the balcony of the Oxo Tower. Pia helps Tom comes to terms with Hayley’s disappearance and to heal.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, I loved the characters. Pia definitely has a Manic Pixie Dream Girl thing going on but she’s really interesting and has her own story. I really enjoyed Tom’s work place scenes, especially with Cass as it was nice to see him grow in his workplace. I loved how the book flowed and Danny’s writing is so fun and conversational. I wasn’t hugely keen though on the few flashback scenes peppered throughout the book (flashing back to an interview with Ezra Cockroft, the man who invented following). This book is satisfying in that all the mysteries throughout get solved, so nothing leaves you frustrated! It definitely has a Danny Wallace vibe, it’s something I could see him doing. It’s got elements of Yes Man and Join Me and Are You Dave Gorman?, mixed with a bit of Gone Girl meets Nick Hornby and a dash of Charlotte Street! I really enjoyed it, even more so than Charlotte Street. If you’re looking for something fun, fast and funny to read this summer, I’d recommend picking up a copy of this book and giving it a whirl!
I got a copy of this from NetGalley to review. Readers who are approved for titles from NetGalley are under no obligation to post reviews. I chose this book to review, wasn’t asked to review it, and I definitely would have read it anyway (come on, it was on my 2014 releases list!). All opinions are my own, I think it’s important to be honest about items you review.