This Is Life


Dan Rhodes’ seventh book came out in 2012. You can, and should, buy a signed copy here.

“Hair-raising and hilarious. This is the mad-yet-logical world of Dan Rhodes, possibly Britain’s most idiosyncratic writer… Delightfully unique.” The Times.

“This may be the book that makes Rhodes a massive mainstream hit. A genuinely funny and moving novel. Superb.” The Scotsman.

“What has happened to Rhodes? It is as if Samuel Beckett had suddenly come up with a glorious, high-spirited comedy.” Michael Holroyd, The Guardian (warning – this review gives away the ending of every single plotline).

“Dan Rhodes, where have you been all my life? This novel was a revelation. By turns comic, dramatic and touching; the wit is spot-on, the writing immaculate, the atmosphere so French you can smell the Gauloises. I loved it.” The Daily Mail

“A comic confection perfectly suited to lulling even the most cynical into willingly suspending disbelief. You even start relishing the fact that it is similar in tone to Amélie, and just like that film it is irresistible.” The Daily Telegraph

“Rhodes is sharp, witty and endlessly clever, and, as the plot deftly sidesteps from the ridiculous to the sublime and back, there’s little that isn’t charming along the way.” Irish Times

“For those in the know, the arrival of a new Dan Rhodes book is something to revel in. This is Life is sharp, satirical, heart-warming, at times silly, knowing and hugely enjoyable. This is his most mainstream book by some margin, yet it doesn’t sacrifice any of the author’s intelligence, skill or empathy for his characters. If you like love, art, Paris and the joys of life, This is Life is the book for you.” The Big Issue

“Dan Rhodes’s heavily quirky, warmly improbable feel-good novel is romantic and satirical by turns, with a serious, sentimental core.” The Sunday Times

“His comic timing is impeccable and his ability to create hilariously up-ended set pieces is unsurpassable. Dan Rhodes may just be the funniest author writing today.” Booktrust

“Rhodes has produced another wonderful work with his latest novel… Rhodes displays his talent for finding the wonder in small moments. Often comic and sometimes tragic, readers will be immersed in these characters, each with a different rhythm; even the least significant of supporting players are brought to life.” Publishers Weekly (U.S.)

“Fun and romantic, ironic and ingenious, touching and human; Dan Rhodes shows us a crazy world with its own incontrovertible logic, and gives us a taste once again, with his unique, explosive writing, of the dizzying beauty of life.” Il tempo (translated from a review of the excellent Italian hardback edition)

Czech edition:


Here’s the first edition:

this is life

[Author’s note: This is an edition of two halves. When it first came out it was printed – fabulously – with illustrated wraparound flaps. That glorious edition sold out, and the publisher decided to save a few pounds on the reprint by ditching the flaps and using the cheapest paper they could get their hands on. It’s a horrible edition – it looks and feels like a pre-publication proof copy, right down to the washed-out lettering inside. I went absolutely apeshit when I found out they had done this, and though these crappy editions were pulled at my insistence, sadly an amount of them entered circulation. These were printed under the same ISBN, so it’s hard to tell which is which. Please don’t part with money for this edition unless you know for sure that it’s the one with flaps. In all my years in the book trade (starting at Waterstone’s in 1994) I’ve never known a book to plummet in quality so dramatically on the same ISBN. That first printing was one of my finest editions, and I was so proud of it; the reprint is an abomination and a stain upon my oeuvre – all for the sake of a few quid. My relationship with the publisher never really recovered, and I left shortly afterwards.]

And the Italian edition from our friends at Newton Compton:

bello della vita

The Danish version:


Large print hardback:


And here it is in one of its two natural habitats (the other being a bus):