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.
Londoner Jason Priestley may share a name with the cute, former cast member of Beverly Hills 90210, but the excitement in this thirtysomething’s life starts and ends there. The lackluster lad spends his days writing snarky reviews for a local rag sheet and pining over the girl who left him. (She’s marrying someone else; wouldn’t you just know?) Then a chance encounter with a lovely lass on a busy downtown street turns Jason’s life upside down. Her smile leaves a lasting impression. But there’s more: she dropped a disposable camera, whose undeveloped pictures would undoubtedly provide clues to her whereabouts. Is it ethical to have them processed? Jason pushes the limits of propriety in pursuit of romance, along the way receiving dating tips from his roommate Dev, a quirky video-game-shop owner also obsessed with a woman well beyond his reach. Will Jason find love or have his heart broken yet again? Award-winning British writer Wallace (Friends like These, 2009) serves up a mildly amusing tale of an innocuous stalker who meets a beautiful girl. --Allison Block
“Delightful . . . witty . . . The combination of Dickensian plot twists and Hornbyesque humor and hope makes for a thoroughly entertaining read.” (Publishers Weekly )
“Though lighthearted in tone, [CHARLOTTE STREET] speaks to a nostalgia for a time when photographs were authentic and unsullied by smartphone filters . . . Readers who enjoy the work of Nick Hornby or Stephen Chbosky will enjoy this.” (Library Journal )
“An amusing tale of an innocuous stalker.” (Booklist )
“Unmissable... will have you laughing out loud and melt your heart, all at once.” (Cosmopolitan (UK) )
“One of Britain’s great writing talents.” (GQ (UK) )
“[Danny Wallace is] as funny as Bill Bryson used to be.” (The Independent on Sunday, on YES MAN )
“Danny Wallace may well have stumbled upon the future shape of spirituality… hilarious.” (Daily Telegraph (London), on JOIN ME! )
“Another comedy masterpiece.” (Bookseller (London), on FRIENDS LIKE THESE )