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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly flawed in places but packs a strong emotional punch
Having finished this book I was left with mixed feelings. Whilst it started promisingly enough, the development of some of the characters seemed to stall a little midway through. I was left slightly confused by the actions of Gina, who claimed to be so opposed to any infidelity that she willingly threw away an apparently happy 7 year marriage, yet still felt comfortable...
Published on 23 Aug. 2000

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a turgid kramer vs kramer without the flares
I am a great fan of tony parsons - hence the more reason why i was terribly disappointed with the book - despite what others say i was more likely to laugh (or cry) witnessing the political angst of the teletubbies than reading this story of father losing wife, is unable to cope with job and son, loses job, boy has minor accident whilst father is mildly involved with...
Published on 9 Jun. 2000


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly flawed in places but packs a strong emotional punch, 23 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
Having finished this book I was left with mixed feelings. Whilst it started promisingly enough, the development of some of the characters seemed to stall a little midway through. I was left slightly confused by the actions of Gina, who claimed to be so opposed to any infidelity that she willingly threw away an apparently happy 7 year marriage, yet still felt comfortable in getting involved with a married man. I would also have expected Harry to fight a little harder to save his marriage than he actually did and the time scale in whih everything happened (just over 6 months) seemed unrealistically fast. However I still found this book to be funny, endearing and very very touching. The high point was most definitely Harry's relationship with his Father which was beautifully written and had me in floods of tears far more times that the 4 promised by a reviewer on the jacket. I've always thought of Tony Parsons as a somewhat cynical writer, so this aspect of the story came as a very pleasant surprise.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a turgid kramer vs kramer without the flares, 9 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
I am a great fan of tony parsons - hence the more reason why i was terribly disappointed with the book - despite what others say i was more likely to laugh (or cry) witnessing the political angst of the teletubbies than reading this story of father losing wife, is unable to cope with job and son, loses job, boy has minor accident whilst father is mildly involved with other woman, father and son find themselves.....(fell asleep at this point).... HAven't we heard it all before?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty poor, 3 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
As a happily childless 23-year-old woman, who is likely to remain 'sans enfant' for some years yet, I have to conclude that either this book was completely awful or else I missed something due to my age and 'young & free' lifestyle. Do women like Gina and Cyd actually exist? I think not! Mr Parsons, what world do you live in? A world where highly intelligent women willingly sacrifice their careers to have a baby, but then throw it all away immediately at the slightest provocation without even trying to patch up what seems to be an otherwise good marriage? The same world where women who are not so intelligent but nevertheless really sweet and affable and sexy work as waitresses and name their children after ageing Eastenders characters? The women in this novel were just laughable, the author hasn't even tried to make them real.
And the descriptions of 'darling' Pat, the 'angel' with the 'eyes from tiffany', I mean, excuse me while I throw up. I'm sure fathers do think the sun shines out of their sons' rosy bottoms, but Tony/Harry really went overboard with the shameless starry-eyed adoration. However, saying that, I thought the parallels between Harry and Pat and Harry and his dad were quite good, and some parts were poignantly written. But as for crying and laughing out loud, I'm afraid the novel was just too weak and sloppy. And over-hyped. Harry was a self-obsessed bore and was too busy wallowing in self-pity to be a remotely engaging character. It's a shame because if the characters had been good and the dialogue realistic, I may have enjoyed it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. Simplistic and insubstantial, 9 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Man and Boy (Hardcover)
It is always surprising when someone you consider to be bright and having lived an interesting life produces such sentimental nonsense. The book offers no insights into the subject; a family break up. The characters generate no strong feelings and by the end, I was glad to be shot of them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hornby-esque vomit-inducing political-correctness, 5 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
I must say I had thought that Nick Hornby had a monopoly on the new-man-finds-self-with-help-from-ankle-biter type of novel with his unerringly dreadful 'About a boy'.
But no.
Obviously, there is a huge market for politically correct nonsense. I don't know what is more annoying. The utterly unrealistic (or virtually non-existent) characterisations (which, to be fair you have to expect in a politically-correct novel); the sludgy self-indulgence of the relationship between man & boy; or the blatently obvious, sickening happy-ending.
I feel the PC novelist is a bit stuck here. He doesn't want his character to appear too PC so he shags his workmate and drives an MGF. But everything else he does is utterly PC and new-laddish. And he must give him a happy ending because otherwise all that PC drivel and finding himself stuff has been a complete waste of time.
Can no-one write a non-PC book with a really miserable ending - it would be so life-affirming.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cynical and calculating, 10 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
Although hyped as an upmarket slice of lad lit this novel is in fact as cynical a piece of writing as I've read in a long time. Almost every line seems calculated to push the reader's emotional buttons, but it's done in such a trite and clunkingly obvious way the book soon becomes extremely irritating. Parsons has obviously been told that women are mainly responsible for driving word-of-mouth book sales and appears to have sat down and thought, "Hmm, let's see, slightly vulnerable man + cute kid = big sales!" At one point the narrator's divorce lawyer says, "This isn't KRAMER VS. KRAMER, you know" but that's exactly what it is. It's transparent, predictable, not funny...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kramer vs Parsons, 3 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
Tony Parsons is a fairly obnoxious, self-righteous, pretentious, hubristic and weasel-faced writer - the kind of man who would accept an award from FHM magazine, then write an article the next morning about how magazines like FHM degrade women; the kind of man who assumes that being asked to present his thoughts on Newsnight Review is analogous to being praised from the heavens for his intellectual acumen and the earth-shattering significance of his opinions, when in fact, he is just a journalist from Essex, who would go to the opening of a packet of crisps, or write 500 words about anything for whatever publication asked him.

It stands to reason, then, that Man and Boy is a hackneyed rehash of a 1979 film that he obviously had on repeat whilst writing this book. If you have seen Kramer vs Kramer, you don't need to read this book, you already know the plot and most of the integral scenes. The fact that Parsons hasn't been sued for this is beyond me, but it shows there is hope for us all to become published authors - just stick on a DVD and write down what you see.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly annoying sack of cliches, 14 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
I found this more annoying because so many people like it. All the time I was thinking, what are they finding here? I found it trite, shallow, obvious, cheap, predictable and dull. It's some sort of attempt to show that men are sensitive and complex, yawn. We know that already, tell me something new. Very very poor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, but readble, 9 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
I bought this at same time as Mike Gayle's Turning Thirty and, as an account of the male passing through that landmark date this has to be the better book in terms of realism and feeling. If you put aside the cringing media luvvy setting, the gross and gratuitous use of the F-word in every piece of dialogue, the zero-dimensional son and the two dimensional wife this isn't at all a bad read.......if you really have nothing else to read that is.
It had some good moments and I could empathise with the emotion which real men in real books aren't supposed to have. That apart the rather thin plot rolled along in an unchallenging sort of way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many leaps of faith, 5 July 2011
This review is from: Man and Boy (Paperback)
I bought this book, along with a few others to take on holiday but started to read it early. It is one of those books that you see on the shelves, hear about and think one day I will read it. Having just finished it, I feel a bit cheated.

It did not live up to the hype, the tears and laughter did not come. Yes, it is well written in parts, but there are too many leaps of faith required to sew the book story together.

Now, if I read a pure fantasy fiction book I can accept massive leaps in the plot that in reality would not happen. But this is supposed to be a "real life" situation.

Without giving too much away, the fact that a waitress who gets sacked ends up working just around the corner and his son makes friends with her daughter and he goes to a lap dance club and sees a dancer who is a girlfriend of his girlfriends ex are just not realistic, there are many more, in particular the list of invitees to Marty Manns wedding. Is this book set in London or a village with only ten residents?

It only cost me a couple of quid and was a quick and easy read but not enjoyable at all. Sorry Mr Parsons, I will not be getting any of the follow ups.
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Man and Boy
Man and Boy by Tony Parsons (Paperback - 4 Aug. 2008)
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