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The Family Way [Hardcover]

Tony Parsons
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Jun 2004

It should be the most natural thing in the world. But in Tony Parsons’ latest bestseller, three couples discover that Mother Nature can be one hell of a bitch.

A hard-working trainee doctor, Megan Jewell finds herself accidentally pregnant. She wants a baby one day – but God, not now! Can Megan really bring a baby into the world when she can hardly look after herself?

Megan’s happily married sister Jessica wants a baby – immediately. But her husband Paolo is worried. He loves his wife and he sees what a baby is doing to his brother’s marriage.

Cat Jewell, the oldest sister, is scarred by the memory of their mother walking out. She wants a baby – maybe. But what’s a girl to do when the man in her life has seen and done it all before? Rory already has a teenage son. The last thing he wants is to start changing nappies.

Tony Parsons shows us once again the dilemmas and decisions that confront men today.

Modern-day relationships are tested in this very realistic, contemporary story about procreation and new life.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (28 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007151233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007151233
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 16.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,286,457 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


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

Book Description


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but needs a change in style 18 Dec 2006
The Family Way is about three sisters ranging from their mid 20s to 30s, pregnancy and children. Oldest sister Cat more or less brought up her siblings when her mother left and doesn't want children of her own...or does she? Mid-sister Jessica meanwhile has a loving husband but they can't manage to conceive whereas the academically-gifted youngest sibling Megan becomes pregnant after a one-night stand. The Family Way reflects their different attitudes towards motherhood though it is also, as much as this, an illustration of the very strong bond between the three siblings.

Tony Parsons' fourth novel is good with the author being one of the very best writers on modern families and their relationships and values, albeit with sentimental and arguably reactionary undertones. The downside of this though is that, having read Parsons' previous three novels, The Family Way continues the trend of slowly diminishing returns. It would be great to see Parsons try something stylistically or emotionally different like his near contemporary Nick Hornby has with both How To Be Good and A Long Way Down rather than ploughing the same artistic furrow.

The Family Way is still a good, contemporary lifestyle novel though the author's unchanging prose style and subject matter is beginning to get a bit tiresome.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sexist portrayal of womanhood, infuriating read. 3 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tony Parsons asks on the back of his book 'can a modern woman really find happiness without ever being in the family way?' According to him, the answer is no. All three of his main characters, even the one who does not want children, get pregnant and it becomes the best thing that has ever happened to him. The characters are utterly unbelievable and kind of pathetic. Does he really think women are this way? If you are a woman, whether or not you have children, I can't imagine you will put down this book without feeling hard done by. I have not read any of Parson's other books but this has put me off. He clearly doesn't understand women and, judging by some of his other titles (Man and Wife, One for my Baby), he seems to think all that women are interested in is starting a family, not so. Very dissapointing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Family way a great read 21 July 2004
By A Customer
After reading most of his other books and enjoying them all,looked forward to reading this one too, similar in style and just as good. Tony Parsons manages to write from a women's point of view very well too.The only downside is that its quite easy to read and is over too quickly and wants you wanting another book to find out how the characters manage with the next stage of their lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars prejudices confirmed 21 Oct 2009
Format:Audio CD
People like having their prejudices confirmed so Tony Parsons is on to a good thing with this book. The woman who abandons her children is an actress; the Italian brothers import flash cars; the boxer is fiddling his urine samples; the Australian is a swimmer and diving instructor; and when he cheats on his partner it's with, yes, a Swedish girl. Then there's the vasectomy. Any man who's had one knows that there's very little pain during or after and that the most sensitive parts of a man's body are not involved. But our Tony can't restrain himself from getting all the music hall humour out of it that he can, which is all right if there's some basis for it. How many cliches can you squeeze into one book?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A huge disapointment. 13 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I've read his first three novels, they were enjoyable to read and I thought that I would give this one a shot. I have only read a third of this tripe and that was a struggle. Tony Parsons trying to write from a female perspective is laughable and really quite tedious to say the least. From what I have read it is a cliched mine field. Tony Parsons should really get off his backside and visit east London, particulary Homerton and just see what the area is actually like instead of sitting behind his desk and dreaming up a really horrible picture of a really quite decent area of London. He claims through one of characters who works at Homerton Hospital that the Hackney has yearly riots. Rubbish. It's the details that let this guy down, if you are going to write about something then you should do your research. And he obviously hasn't researched into what it is like to be a mother, expectant mother, or even what it is like to be a mother unable to have a child. Very poor indeed. This is a story about women from a blokes view, being a bloke I have given this a huge thumbs down. Do not waste your money! I had to give this one star because there isn't an option for no stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Whenever I start a book by Tony Parsons I know I'm in for a few late nights ... or even an all-nighter.
Parson's characters are extremely easy to get attached to - they are so "real" that you can project someone you know to almost every single one of them and you can't help but feel for them. Plus, no-one deals with the intricacies of family quite like Parsons.
This book focuses on three sisters: one is desperately trying to get pregnant, one finds herself accidentally pregnant following a one-night stand, while the third has decided that there's no room for a baby in her life ... but of course life is what happens to you while you're busy making plans!
Very few writers, especially male writers, write about (and for?) women quite so well. Parsons has a talent for exposing raw nerves and then applying soothing balm to them all in the space of a few pages, but in this book, I think he's a little too generous with the balm and the result is a slightly soppier and more sentimental than in some of his previous work. Though he never strays so far so as to lose touch with the 'real' feeling you get from his work the way the book rounds up to a somewhat "they lived happily ever after" ending was a bit cornier than is usual for Parsons.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read
I really enjoyed this book, it had everything in it i enjoy in a book, couldnt put it down. A must buy.
Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth Bettis
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I particularly like how Tony Parsons writes this book from the womans perspective. He has a good understanding of what makes us tick.
Published 9 months ago by Maisie
1.0 out of 5 stars Patronising and boring
I was extremely disappointed with this book. Tony Parson's views on women seem more than a little sexist, and certainly one dimensional. Read more
Published on 13 July 2011 by IK
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing!
I started reading this book on a long coach journey and had to pace myself not to finish it before the journey was over. Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2010 by M. J. Tilley
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having read many Tony Parsons books I decided to catch up with this one.

I found it hard to believe they were written by the same person who wrote Man and Boy, etc. Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2010 by Bookaholic
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Tony Parsons novel
I'd heard the name but not read anything by Tony Parsons before. I really enjoyed it and if I hadn't known that the writer was male I wouldn't necessarily have known. Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2010 by P. J. Parker
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a letdown
I'd read Man and Boy before I picked up The Family Way and had love it, thought it was a really great read. But Family Way never really won me over. Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2009 by C. Lochhead
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read.
I have read a few of Tony Parsons' books but would not describe myself as a particular fan. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Read more
Published on 7 July 2008 by BM
4.0 out of 5 stars The real meaning of Family
It is unusual to read novels about such emotional issues as families and parenthood that are written by men. Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2008 by LindyLouMac
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible novel
Try as I might, I still can't stifle my perpetual yawn having read this garbage. Excited to see if the author (Tony Pratsons) improved on his other poor novels (all best sellers),... Read more
Published on 21 Aug 2007 by Billy Ray Cyrus
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