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Mr Phillips

Mr Phillips [Kindle Edition]

John Lanchester
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 8.99
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Product Description

Amazon Review

Fiftysomething Victor Phillips is a senior-ish accountant with respected City firm Wilkins & Co. Or rather, he was: unbeknown to his sons, his saintly wife and his nosy suburban neighbours, Mr Phillips has lost his job, and doesn't know what to do next. So what he does do is the most sadly predictable: pretend he's still in work. On the morning of the day's events that comprise the entirety of this novel he rises as per, breakfasts as per and steps out into the city, as per. From then on, though, he embarks on a bizarre odyssey around London, doing various sad, strange or aimless things: if he's not ogling schoolgirls on buses, he's being accosted by nutters in the Tate or trying to meet TV celebs during a bank robbery.

Taken as read, the whole might sound odd: a Diary of a Next To Nobody. What saves from the book from being weirdly boring is Lanchester's skill in capturing Mr Phillips' inner voice: as the ex-accountant schleps around town he is constantly working out, for instance, how many women take their clothes off for money, or how much more likely it is one will die on any given week than win the National Lottery (about 3,000 times more likely). All this is very witty and very well done--and very much the meat of the book. If the novel is ultimately aimless, that is, of course, the point. John Lanchester has taken an average day in an averagely tragic life and made from it, if not great art, a readable, amusing and perceptive novel. --Sean Thomas

Book Description

The perfect companion to Capital, this is John Lanchester's tale of a businessman's life unraveling in a day.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 447 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140298363
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction; Export ed edition (2 Feb 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0077ROKIW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,108 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious 7 Jan 2004
I think reviewers who dislike this book have completely missed the point. Its not about how accurate office life is depicted, or whether the correct accountancy and word processing programmes are name checked, its about how out of control we feel about modern life and how this is reconciled in somebody's head. I first read this book when my accountancy career took a bit of a wobble, and always return to it for a bit of comfort! It is absolutely convincing on the consistency, the character, and the expression of Mr Phillips thoughts. I particularly enjoyed the calculation of the chances of dying compared to winning the national lottery. Its also stunningly accurate in respect of men under stress thinking constantly about sex (sorry ladies) and also on the sheer pointlessness of about 90% of modern life. As this review appears to be becoming more about me than the book, I'll stop right here!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quirky novel 23 Dec 2013
Like other reviewers, I caught on to John Lancaster after reading (and enjoying) Capital. Unlike Capital's main characters, Mr Phillips is neither portrayed as a hero or a villain, but as a rather inadequate character whose mind is preoccupied with sex and statistics.

Although the novel is introspective and largely mundane, it is lifted by some episodes, including a hilarious account of a Neighbourhood Watch meeting. The bank robbery scene on the other hand seemed to add little more than to a sense of drama to an otherwise slow plot.

Nevertheless, Mr Phillips retains interest in providing a perceptive insight to a flawed human character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life on Mars 22 Dec 2013
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's Monday morning and Mr Phillips puts on his suit, takes his briefcase and heads off for the station for his daily commute into London. The thing is, Mr Phillips lost his job on Friday.

Mr Phillips is a man caught in the wrong era. He was perfectly crafted for the 1970s - sexist, lazy, conservative. Unfortunately, he finds himself out-evolved in the 1990s, 50 years old and trained in yesterday's accountancy skills. He has spent his life wearing blinkers, going to work, coming home, reluctantly raising children and avoiding his neighbours. In this novel, John Lanchester lets us see the Monday through Mr Phillips's eyes, giving us an interior soundtrack of Mr Phillips's brain. It's actually a revelation. Yes, there's heaps of sex - or fantasies of sex because, as Mr Phillips explains, if you put a penny in a jar for every time you did it in the first year together and then took a penny out every time you did it after that, the jar would never empty. In fact, Mr Phillips spends much of his time working out little mathematical puzzles including the amount of downtime he will have in his life and the time before each lottery draw he should buy a ticket to have the probability of hitting the jackpot exceed the probability of dying before the draw.

Having decided to set out for the city as though going to work, Mr Phillips inevitably has to break out of his rut - since his rut has made him redundant. This gives him a chance to notice things he has never noticed before. He notices parks, tennis players (of the female persuasion), sex clubs, bus routes, people. He has a whole series of new experiences, most of which he struggles to ignore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed 13 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read a book by the same author ( Capital) that was excellent I purchased this book expecting the same quality. However, this is a rambling story full of middle age male hang ups and little else. Very disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self indulgent and tiresome 16 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this self indulgent and tiresome. Obsession with sex may be appropriate for Mr Phillips but how pathetic! Could just be I don't relate to male life-crises or his view of his sad little world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good narrative 8 Oct 2013
By webbo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well crafted narrative about the small and large, good and bad things that happen in someone's day. It was so-so and kept me engaged but I didn't identify with the protagonist which spoiled my enjoyment of the happenings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read 19 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Written in John Lanchester's quirky style, Mr Phillips is an easy an interesting read - but it is not quite as good as Capital
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book 15 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
highly readable and very perceptive. I felt that I knew Mr Phillips' thoughts, dreams and emotions by the time he and I finished.
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