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Man and Wife [Paperback]

Tony Parsons
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

4 Aug 2008

Harry Silver returns to face life in the “blended family.” A wonderful new novel about modern times, which can be read as a sequel to the million selling Man and Boy, or completely on its own.

Man and Wife is a novel about love and marriage – about why we fall in love and why we marry; about why we stay and why we go.

Harry Silver is a man coming to terms with a divorce and a new marriage. He has to juggle with time and relationships, with his wife and his ex-wife, his son and his stepdaughter, his own work and his wife's fast-growing career.

Meanwhile his mother, who stood so steadfastly by his father until he died, is not getting any younger or stronger herself.

In fact, everything in Harry's life seems complicated. And when he meets a woman in a million, it gets even more so…

Man and Wife stands on its own as a brilliant novel about families in the new century, written with all the humour, passion and superb storytelling that have made Tony Parsons a favourite author in over thirty countries.

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  • Men from the Boys 5.59
  • Man and Boy 6.29

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New Ed edition (4 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006514820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006514824
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello - and thanks for checking out my page at Amazon Author Central.

I'm not going to drone on and on - I know you have books to read - but this is the perfect place to tell you a little about me, and something about my new novel - THE MURDER BAG, which will be published in its first edition in May 2014.

THE MURDER BAG is my first crime novel and features the debut of Detective Max Wolfe of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command at London's West End Central - 27 Savile Row.

My first job in journalism was at New Musical Express - there's a shot of me with Bruce Springsteen on this page, when we were young and stepping out into the New York night wearing only our vests - but my first journalism that didn't involve hanging out with rock stars was soon after I left the NME when I was embedded with the Vice Squad at 27 Savile Row, West End Central. The roots of THE MURDER BAG start there.

When I was creating the world of Max Wolfe, I knew that one of the things I wanted to do was give my crime novel an evocative sense of place - like Los Angeles in the novels of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy, or Edinburgh in the Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, or Brighton in the Roy Grace novels of Peter James - and my home city is London.
27 Savile Row felt like an original location - and it had a nice ring to it, like Sherlock Holmes at home strumming the violin in Baker Street. The London of THE MURDER BAG is contemporary London but the past weighs heavily because London is full of ghosts - so it is also the London of Jack the Ripper, the Krays and the Black Museum - which is Room 101 at New Scotland Yard, closed to the public, where the relics of 150 years of terrible crimes are kept to remind policemen that they risk their lives every time they go to work. The Black Museum is important to THE MURDER BAG and crucial to my detective - the Black Museum is where Max Wolfe goes to seek wisdom and guidance from a man who is to become his greatest ally. But I don't want to spoil the book...

I have loved crime fiction all my life and I know that the very best of it honours the form while adding something fresh, an unexpected twist. That's what I tried to do with THE MURDER BAG at every step of the way.

With the murderer. With his crimes. With the weapon. With the location. With The Black Museum. And most of all, with my detective - a single parent, an amateur boxer, a coffee-addicted insomniac who is a good man but who wants to be better.

Max feels very real to me, and I think that's why the book has been supported by some of the greatest thriller and crime writers in the world. If you will forgive me for a solo on my own trumpet for a second - the great Lee Child said of THE MURDER BAG: "Spectacular! Tense but human, fast but authentic - maybe this is what Tony Parsons should have been doing all along." I wanted to create a serial hero - one of those mythic characters like Sherlock Holmes or Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe or Harry Hole - so to get the nod from Lee Child is great, because nobody has created a more brilliant serial hero in recent years than Lee Child with his Jack Reacher.

A bit about me. I always knew that I would write. I knew that nothing would stop me. I always loved stories, I always found that books engaged me like nothing else, and helped me to make sense of the world.
I left school at 16, did a number of low paid unskilled jobs, and I was working on the night shift in Gordon's Gin Distillery in Islington when I was offered my first job in journalism on New Musical Express. Since then I have had my lean years as well as my good years - careers are never linear, you have to expect set-backs along the way - but I have become an award winning journalist and bestselling novelist, and my books have been published in over 40 languages, most recently Vietnamese. My semi-autobiographical novel, MAN AND BOY, won of the Book of the Year prize.
Other novels that did pretty good include ONE FOR MY BABY, MAN AND WIFE, MEN FROM THE BOYS, MY FAVOURITE WIFE and CATCHING THE SUN. Julia Roberts liked my novel THE FAMILY WAY so much that she bought the film rights. I also wrote a novel about my wild years at the NME, called STORIES WE COULD TELL, which all takes place the night that Elvis died.

But the next few years are all about Detective Max Wolfe for me. THE MURDER BAG is the first of a trilogy of crime novels featuring Max and his world - his 5-year-old daughter Scout, their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the Black Museum and 27 Savile Row and the Max Wolfe lair - their home is a big loft that overlooks Smithfield meat market. I am currently working on the second Max Wolfe book, THE SLAUGHTER MAN, which will appear in 2015. The third Max Wolfe book will be published in 2016. I have the title and the plot but I will keep it under my hat for now.

I live in London with my wife, our daughter and our dog Stan - who has provided the model for Max Wolfe's fictional dog, also called Stan, funny enough, and who will now only speak to me through his lawyers.

I really hope that you like THE MURDER BAG. Thanks again for checking out this page, and for sticking with it to the end. Love and luck. Tony Parsons.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Man and Wife, the sequel to Tony Parsons' bestselling debut Man and Boy, follows the marital and parental misadventures of Harry Silver, a mawkish North London television producer. Harry has remarried. Second wife, Cyd, and her feisty daughter, Peggy, provide him and his Phantom Menace obsessed son, Pat, with a family. Harry's luck couldn't be better. His television show, Fish on Friday, is a hit and Cyd's posh catering company, Food Glorious Food, is thriving. However, Harry is not the only one starting again. His ex-wife Gina has also remarried. Her partner Richard (who must be the only thirtysomething male on the planet who hates Star Wars) is Pat's "new father." When the couple announce they are moving to America--taking Pat with them--Harry reacts, in time-honoured fashion, by attacking Richard. Separated from his son by the Atlantic and struggling as Peggy's stepfather, Harry begins to yearn for a good old-fashioned "normal, family life"--the kind his lovely old mum and dear departed dad enjoyed. Rather surprisingly, he decides that Kazumi, an attractive Japanese photographer friend of Gina's, could be the answer to his prayers.

Male frailty and the perils of modern parenting are Parsons' forte, but Man and Wife, although occasionally touching, is overburdened by plot twists, unlikely conceits and whiffs of reactionary sentimentality. Parsons' fans are unlikely to be disappointed but, to indulge in a vaguely pertinent comparison, this follow up is definitely more Attack of the Clones than The Empire Strikes Back. --Travis Elborough,


Praise for Man and Boy:

‘Wistful, touching and funny, it looks back at the glory days of the family without losing hope for the future. In the end, it is a deeply touching book: a love letter to a son from his father, and to a father from his son’
Mail on Sunday

‘One of the finest books published this year… Hilarious and tear-jerking in turns’ Express

Praise for One for my Baby:

One for my Baby… covers almost the entire spectrum of human emotion with the same combination of self-deprecating humour and well-intentioned bafflement that endeared Man and Boy to millions of readers.’ The Observer

‘One For My Baby is stylish, polished, complex and it really gets its teeth into the big issues of sex, love, family and friendship.’ The Mirror

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear........ 9 Sep 2002
By Daz
What a disappointment. Anyone expecting the sequel to Man and Boy to be anywhere as entertaining and readable will be sorely let down.
‘Man and Wife’ continues the story of Harry and his adorable son, his new wife, ex wife and potential new lovers. Unfortunately, where Man and Boy was genuinely moving, funny and believable, Tony Parsons has turned this into a collection of clichés, unlikely plot twists and sugary emotion ready to turn you diabetic.
There is much in the book that made me laugh aloud – but for all the wrong reasons. I just do not believe people talk like they talk in this book and I just couldn’t believe the coincidences that help the help the formulaic story along.
You can’t help thinking Tony wants to throw a bit of everything into the story. Harry was unfaithful in the first book…that worked well so lets do it again in this one. Dad died of lung cancer…… lets give mum breast cancer and so on. It just doesn’t work second time round.
The signs were there with ‘And One for My Baby’. That wasn’t anywhere near as good as ‘Man and Boy’. This is not much good either. Come on Tony, we expect better of you!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dismal sentimental rehash 8 Jan 2008
I can't believe I got through this book. It was like a Craig Brown parody of a Tony Parsons book. "Becase that was her. My wife. The woman I loved. Wife. My wife. who loved me." etc. The whole thing is like being cornered by some godawful self-obsessed drunk at a party, mumbling about how he's just an old romantic and if only women understood that he just wants to be loved- meanwhile the women who tried are left abandoned because they're not thrilling enough for Our Hero. To read this, you'd think the author knows nothing about children (did a child in the universe ever speak like the appalling Peggy? Did one ever radiate as much joyful sunlight as His Pat?) and nothing about women. Kazumi is nothing but a puerile male fantasy (ooh, gorgeous Oriental creative with her 'curtain of black hair' and her 'childlike innocence..') Frankly, the whole cynical misogynist rehash of every 'sensitive' lad-lit book ever written made me want to vomit. All over Harry's family. Family. His. Who he loves. Who love him. Good- because nobody else will.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tripe 22 Jan 2008
Tony Parsons has been adopting the Chick lit approach of writing novels & passing them off as "blokish" as its from the mouth of a chap. Its just a repackaged Sophie Kinsella/Marion Keynes/Jill Mansell under a guy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Make this man stop all this drivel 18 Aug 2007
Yes, Parsons knows how to string simple (creative writing course) sentences together - ad nausiam. I truly hate this novel, which is entirely steeped in self pity and self worship- it is all about the writer signalling to the reader what and where he comes from and why he shouldn't be held accountable for his own mistakes.

Behind this disco ball of fancy words and half-digested, second-hand research there is only emptiness - no emotion, no truth, or honesty, no genuine idea and no character development. The writing, to put it mildly, is weak. The author's style is hardly any style at all, unless you can call watered-down and clichéd a "style." Even the very few moments of the story that threaten to become interesting are dealt with so clumsily and pretentiously that they devolve into the same witless and lackluster mess that surrounds them.

It is a second-rate writer (tabloid hack), Parsons, asking himself: "What kind of challenge will I set myself for this next venture of a novel to impress my readers after the success of Man and Boy?"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Less good than "Man and Boy" 13 Feb 2006
Tony Parsons made his name with "Man and Boy" depicting a modern British bloke with feelings and paternal affection. In "Man and Wife" he repeats that formula, but the book is unconvincing and overly sentimental: after 200 pages hearing about central character Harry's love for his dead father, his sick mother and his lovely son I was longing for an exciting plot twist. Yet there are none: the plot is repetitive, improbable and predictable.
Summary: not terrible, but sentimental and rather dull.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad and worse 21 Sep 2011
"Bad and Worse" is how i think of "Man and Boy" and "Man and Wife". the former was passable, if simplistic and fairly amateurish. This second one is as if the first got put into a blender. The exact same words come out in a slightly different order. (the blender sometimes leaves two words joined together, so "Pat" is always "darling Pat"). There is no artistic merit in this sad waste of a tree and the fact this sort of trash can get published is just depressing. I've read better fiction on the back of cereal boxes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars utter rubbish, I kid you not 1 April 2005
Like most others who have reviewed here I also enjoyed Man and Boy, which was a breath of fresh air and nice easy reading. Then I picked up the alarmingly similar One for my Baby, which had so many plot points that mirrored Man and Boy and showed up Parsons as a man bereft of new ideas. Man and Wife was the real low point though. It is awful, simplistic writing and a story that holds no thrills and no insights into modern life. I felt outraged that a/ I'd spent money on it, and b/ that the publisher hadn't handed it back to him saying, this really is not good enough. Like the similarly ghastly How to be Good by that hyped media darling Nick Hornby, there has to be better stuff out there than this. It was an insult to my intelligence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this story
Published 25 days ago by davillia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant. If you enjoyed Man and Boy you will love this too.
Published 29 days ago by Susan
4.0 out of 5 stars Man o man
Good read true to life all the twist and turn of life enjoyed every minute will probably read time and again
Published 7 months ago by stephen grail
2.0 out of 5 stars Self congratulating and deeply disappointing
I loved the first book- despite some misgivings towards the mmain character (i found him weak and impossible to sympathise with). Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kindle Customer
Whether it is because I have read two books by the same author one after the other, or it was just the quality of this book I do not know, but I did find it hard, at times very... Read more
Published 12 months ago by bibliophile
3.0 out of 5 stars man and wife
Not pristine. Not such a good storyline as Man and boy. (Not your fault) Would not pass it on to my friends. Just my opinion.
Published 13 months ago by Mrs. P.A. Goodall
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
Real life magic captured perfectly,Tony Parsons talks to me just as my grand dad or my dad or my mum or my gran would making the book cosy and familiar.
Published 19 months ago by Kate Mcilwee
1.0 out of 5 stars Please somebody make him stop
Just about as cynical as you can get - Mr Parsons writes with nothing more than money in mind - and it shows, oh how it shows. Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2012 by D. Sedgwick
3.0 out of 5 stars It just could have been better...
Page 162 of.... 297. Half way through Tony Parson's 'Man and Wife' I found myself looking up from the book, looking out of the train window at the scenery rushing past and with a... Read more
Published on 20 Sep 2011 by JJ
5.0 out of 5 stars OLD COUPLE
Published on 7 Jun 2010 by Kindle Customer
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