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The Best a Man Can Get [Hardcover]

3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday; paperback / softback edition (2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0385600844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385600842
  • ASIN: B002C1GR7U
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,069,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John O'Farrell is the bestselling author of several novels including The Best A Man Can Get, This is Your Life, May Contain Nuts and The Man Who Forgot His Wife. He has also written the very successful history books An Utterly Impartial History of Britain and An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain, as well as a political memoir, Things Can Only Get Better. A former comedy scriptwriter for shows such as Spitting Image and Alias Smith and Jones, he is the founder of the satirical website NewsBiscuit and is well known for appearing on TV programmes including Grumpy Old Men, The Review Show and Have I Got News For You.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Few books make you laugh out loud... 22 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
But… this is one. Featuring English humour at its best and similar to, but even better than, Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity”, “The Best a Man Can Get” surrounds a clever storyline with more superb “one liners” than any other book I’ve read. Well written, and genuinely reflective on the dichotomies facing men when their lives become totally disrupted by childbirth, it’s addictive and above all “funny”. How good?... well my wife, children & I watched with great amusement as our male friend (one loving wife, two loving children) completely disrupted a day and a half of a recent holiday as he raced through it, accompanied by regular and wholly disconcerting hoots of laughter. Once finished, I picked it up and read it straight through in similar time accompanied by similarly uncontrolled outbursts. It’s totally “non-PC” but it’s honest, brilliantly witty and, in the end, charmingly tender. If you’re male, if you shared a flat when you were younger and if you’ve had children, you will definitely relate to it – if not, well… treat it as an instruction manual on how men in that situation really think.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny book, well worth a read 2 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, it drew me in at the start, and kept me laughing throughout. While the ending is arguably weak, and the funnier parts are at the start, the book is about a journey of self-awareness.
Michael Adams is essentially a good father and a loving husband, caught up perhaps in his own selfishness and always aware of the mess his own father made of being there for him. As he tells the story, O'Farrell adds observational, sardonic humour but still manages to produce a tale that should resonate with any father, or anyone who has ever questioned their commitment in any long term relationship.
Well worth a read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Best a Man Can Get 14 May 2006
Format:Paperback
I've always been fairly wary of the influx of "thirty-somethings relationship" books that seem to have bombarded the shelves at the local bookstore over the past couple of years or so. I have dipped my toe into this style of novel a couple of times and whilst some of my experiences have been very enjoyable (Nick Hornby, Tony Parsons) there have been some real howlers along the way as well (Ben Elton, Jamie Holland)

Having just read John O'Farrell's first book "Things can only get better" which is a light hearted and humorous look at life as a Labour Party supporter and really enjoyed it I thought I would give one of his other non-fact books a try.

"The best a man can get" is the story of Michael Adams who is finding the modern pressures of fatherhood all a little bit too much. With two young children already when his wife Catherine announces she's pregnant again it looks like this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Michael works as a composer of TV advert jingles, which does allow him the luxury of working irregular work hours, a theme which Michael takes to the extreme as he begins to spend more and more time in his bedroom studio located on the other side of London. His flatmates don't know about Michael's family life and Michael enjoying a pseudo-bachelorhood for half his waking life doesn't see any point in putting them straight.

As expected things are going to get a lot worse for Michael especially when in one of the most blindingly obvious plot moves ever Catherine finds out about Michael's duplicity.

OK, let's get the bad things about the book over with first.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tears of Laughter 26 July 2004
Format:Hardcover
An excellent book exploring the countless stresses of the man who wants it all, the happy family life and the free single one. The main character is pulled in both directions throughout the book with funny, touching and life-changing consequenses. I recommend this book to anyone, especially those familiar with the constant demands of young children, it made me realise I wasn't alone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a load of dribble 23 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback
This book has a great idea - man lives two lives BUT the result is 300 odd pages of tedious dribble about a mans dull life.

There is very little real story
There is lots of rubbish about his likes and dislikes

The book is like watching reality tv - soul destroying listing to dull people who turn a potential cracking adventure into the mundane.

Would give this book 0 if I could.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laugh-out-loud funny. 20 Feb 2010
By Zara
Format:Paperback
I bought this a few years ago because I was looking for something in the same vein as Nick Hornby's earlier books. I found it hilarious. The main character is a total waster living a double life and thinking he is getting away with it. Like many blokes, and indeed some women, he seems to be constantly chasing mythical 'fun' and thinking the grass is greener elsewhere. He is selfish, lazy, dishonest and immature and yet I laughed reading about him because at least he is human. I felt sorry for his poor wife living across the river and doing all the housework/childminding while believing her husband is off working when in fact he is living a bachelor life with a few other single blokes across the river and doing sweet little work. I've read some of O' Farrell's subsequent books but definitely think this was his best one. I even passed it on to my dad after I'd read it and he enjoyed it as much as me. A light-hearted, non taxing, read that both sexes should find amusing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great light reading
Great story, made me laugh out loud many times which doesn't happen often for me when reading. Think many fathers of young kids can really relate to the story.
Published 2 months ago by anthony mcalindon
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Very funny. It rare that a book can really make me laugh, but this was brilliant. I hae recommended this to my friends and family
Published 3 months ago by Annaliese
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest book i've read
This is without doubt the funniest book I’ve read for a long time. If you are a man of a certain age contemplating a bit of a mid-life crisis or just a bit disillusioned with it... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Steve Barrett
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother!
Found myself quite irritated with all the characters, didn't like any of them. Shallow storyline and not especially challenging. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs A J Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Gives lots of important and amusing insights to the relationship between a man and woman when the kids come along.
Published 5 months ago by Graham
4.0 out of 5 stars Growing up the hard way
'The Best a Man Can Get' is a comic novel that plays around with concept of the 'double life.' The lead character is a rather selfish individual who escapes from the pressures and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Supportyourlocallibrary
5.0 out of 5 stars the best a man can get
Very funny, very well written. It all seems a good idea, untill in good literary fashion, it all goes wrong, and then comes good in the end!! Read more
Published 6 months ago by TRACEY WOODCOCK
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather runs out of steam in the second half
This is a good read with a lot of laughs, particularly in the first half, but they get fewer as the book goes on. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Terrahurtz
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
This book was an enjoyable read, but not as funny as The man who forgot his wife, by the same author.
Published 10 months ago by Mrs BD Ledley
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
A very enjoyable book.made me laugh out loud at times. Easy to read and taught me something about why our family holidays never fully worked when the children were young.
Published 13 months ago by MRS SUSAN READ
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