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  • Published: 6 August 2024
  • ISBN: 9780241993163
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

Good Material


Every relationship has one beginning.
This one has two endings.

Andy loves Jen. Jen loved Andy.
And he can't work out why she stopped.

Now he is. . .
1. Without a home
2. Waiting for his stand-up career to take off
3. Wondering why everyone else around him seems to have grown up while he wasn't looking

Set adrift on the sea of heartbreak at a time when everything he thought he knew about women, and flat-sharing, and his friendships has transformed beyond recognition, Andy clings to the idea of solving the puzzle of their broken relationship. Because if he can find the answer to that, then maybe Jen can find her way back to him.

Andy still has a lot to learn, not least his ex-girlfriend's side of the story.

  • Published: 6 August 2024
  • ISBN: 9780241993163
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Dolly Alderton

Dolly Alderton is an award-winning author, screenwriter and journalist based in London. She is a columnist for The Sunday Times Style and has also written for GQ, Red, Marie Claire and Grazia. She is the former co-host and co-creator of the podcast The High Low. Her first book Everything I Know About Love became a top five Sunday Times bestseller in its first week of publication, won a National Book Award (UK) for Autobiography of the Year and was made into a BBC One TV Series. Ghosts, her first novel was published by Fig Tree in 2020. Dear Dolly, a collection of her agony aunt columns from the Sunday Times Style magazine, was also a Sunday Times bestseller.

Also by Dolly Alderton

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Praise for Good Material

Leaves you heartsore but happier. Irresistible

Richard E. Grant

Have you ever wondered what a lost love was thinking? In this ingeniously constructed and endlessly amusing novel, Dolly Alderton flips the script on everything we think we know about romantic loss, to bring us an unforgettable character on a deeply relatable downward spiral. Wise and relatable and pee-your-pants funny. I cried by page 5. Dolly Alderton is, quite simply, the bard of modern day love

Lena Dunham

A funny, tender novel about human relationships. By turns, laugh-out-loud, eye-roll relatable, and 'stop you in your tracks' heart-wrench. A thoroughly modern romantic masterpiece.

Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina

WONDERFUL ... Shot through with Dolly's characteristic emotional intelligence ... Very funny ... Such a pleasure to read. I devoured it ... I award it 13/10 on my QWJ scale (stands for Queasy With Jealousy that I didn't write it)

Marian Keyes

Dolly Alderton just gets better and better. Good Material is both heartbreaking and hilarious with an ending that has you holding your breath. With the wit of Nick Hornby and the emotional scalpel of Nora Ephron, Alderton is one of our greats and this is sure to be an absolute classic

Emma Gannon

The bestselling author brings her warmth, emotional intelligence and wry observation to bear on her second novel ... Refreshing

The Bookseller, Editor's Choice

Made me laugh while punching me in the gut. Loved this book

Aisling Bea

Highly relatable for millennials navigating dating in London, and hugely insightful for those generations wanting to understand them. Packed with sharp observations and wisdom. A triumph

Sathnam Sanghera

I adored it! I ... Dolly is THE comic writer of our generation. This feels like her most ambitious book yet, and it delivers on every single page. She uses humour so brilliantly to underpin the quiet roar of romantic despair - this book is raw, smart and human. This makes me believe Dolly knows everything there is to know about love.

Daisy Buchanan

It's so good. I loved it

Sharon Horgan

Relatable, funny and refreshing


Dolly Alderton is the Adele of writing

Esther Coren, The Spike

A relatable, laugh-out-loud story of a thirtysomething failed comedian struggling with a break-up

Sunday Times Style

[A] book to be devoured, adored, underlined, and passed on (but only to the friends you know will give it back) ... [Alderton] proves herself once again as having both a deep understanding of the intricacies of relationships and the ability to articulate it better than the majority of us ever could ...Good Material showcases Alderton’s knack for rich characterisation and zippy dialogue like never before ... Genuinely funny – if only more books made you laugh as much as this

The i

Laugh-out-loud dialogue on every page ... No-one has a firmer grasp on the themes she explores. Good material, indeed

Sunday Express

Funny, sad and true; a book she has clearly poured her soul into ... Cements her status as a fiction heavyweight

inews, The best new books to read in November 2023

All of Alderton's considerable gifts as a writer are on display here: her wit, her ability to capture exchanges that feel real, and her skilful characterisation ... Alderton's work truly shines when she writes about friendship

Sunday Independent

Sharply written and acutely observed ... A beautifully nuanced portrayal of modern love that will have you racing to the last page


Alderton entertains with observational quips about thirtysomething life ... There's a Hornby-esque charm to her well-meaning characters and their relatable dramas

The Observer

Alderton is perceptive about how men deal (badly) with emotional pain

The Times

The author of Everything I Know About Love nails the zeitgeist with a witty, relatable and acutely insightful page-turner about the trails and tribulations of the lovelorn

Daily Express

Witty, warm and well-observed

Fabulous Magazine

With distinct notes of Helen Fielding, Richard Curtis and Nick Hornby ... Warm and generous ... A writer very much in control of her material


Alderton is excellent at fusing poignant tenderness with wry observations about modern life, and that talent is on full display here. Good Material is a highly enjoyable exploration of the messy, non-binary nature of many break-ups, and how two people can simply make a terrible couple ... If you're on the hunt for a readable romcom to inhale in a few sittings, this is very good material


Funny, tender and astute on heartbreak

Mail on Sunday

This is Dolly Alderton's best book yet ... Alderton is a great social chronicler: her observations here about thirty-something friendship and the differences (or not) between millennials and Gen Z feel particularly true. But most crucially, this is a tender, bittersweet portrait of the addictive fug of longterm monogamy – and the crushing pain when it ends

The i – All I want for Christmas: Which books should you buy for your loved ones this year?

Brilliantly observed ... addictive

Daily Mail

Comical yet warming


A brilliantly observed portrait of a break-up, which examines how miserable it is to become obsessed with the unknown reasons a relationship has ended. Andy can’t understand why Jen no longer wants to be with him. The more he thinks about it the madder he feels but he can’t stop. Addictive

Daily Mail – Christmas Books: Best way to survive Christmas? Read a really good book!

I’ve already bought several copies of Dolly Alderton’s Good Material for the men and women in my life, and I will continue the rampage through the festive season. It’s the perfect blend of easy to read, funny and extremely astute

The Observer – Books of the year 2023

Failing stand-up comedian Andy is devastated when his girlfriend Jen breaks up with him out of the blue. Alderton explores the trials and tribulations of finding yourself unexpectedly single in your mid-30s in a novel as witty as it is perceptive

Daily Express – Stocking fillers: What were the must read novels of 2023?

The most book-based fun I had this year ... It’s the most I’ve laughed while reading about heartbreak since Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. A complete delight

The Sunday Times – My favourite read of the year, Charlotte Ivers

Funny – of course it’s funny – but also smart, insightful and sincere about heartbreak

David Nicholls, author of One Day

Like Nora Ephron, with a British twist … Delivers the most delightful aspects of classic romantic comedy—snappy dialogue, realistic relationship dynamics, humorous meet-cutes and misunderstandings—and leaves behind the clichéd gender roles and traditional marriage plot

The New York Times

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