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36 Reviews
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4 star:
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars catching the sun
This a very different kind of book from the ones I have read of Tony Parsons. I found it to be a serious book but one that I could not put down. I have never been to Thailand but I felt his descriptions of the place and the people made me feel as though I had. His characters are well drawn and I felt a lot of sympathy for the main character. His description of the Tsunami...
Published on 17 Jun 2012 by rose Howard

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over hyped
Catching the Sun
This book leaves the reader feeling frustrated as though having been invited to a friend's house and then ignored for the duration. We don't get to know the characters as we are given nothing. The characterisation is one dimensional and repetitive. The style is rather like reportage with some overblown descriptions of place. The storyline...
Published on 31 July 2012 by Ceb1960


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over hyped, 31 July 2012
This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
Catching the Sun
This book leaves the reader feeling frustrated as though having been invited to a friend's house and then ignored for the duration. We don't get to know the characters as we are given nothing. The characterisation is one dimensional and repetitive. The style is rather like reportage with some overblown descriptions of place. The storyline provides lots of opportunities to develop the main characters which are systematically ignored, sometimes blatantly. How could the author tell us that the main character is bitten by a gibbon and then proceed to tell us that the gibbon is to be tested for HIV but follow with absolutely nothing of what Tom might feel or think about such a situation? There is no depth. The first page tells us that Rory is lying on his front in the sand with a book in his lap! How does that work then? Was there an editor at HarperCollins looking after this book, or was it an experiment in publishing a book without an editor? We are also given rudimentary and patronising lessons in the societal issues of Thai beach culture, such as how the bar girls are exploited by rich foreign businessmen, yes thanks I think we knew that. I could go on but you get my drift. Disappointing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, 17 July 2012
This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
It rolls along as a story but never seems to get anywhere. There were no particular questions answered. There was little power of emotion or description. Despite incorporating the most devastating natural disaster to afflict humanity in modern times this seemed to fall rapidly into the background within a few pages. Some concrete details just weren't realistic or accurate. (For example, the never ending pallets of water bottles or his stored petrol in his hut ... for his, ahem, diesel powered motorbike!)

Here's the story to save you some time and money: The family had some problems in the UK so chose to live in Thailand for a while ... we note that Thailand is different to the UK ... some (mostly unlikely) events took place, and without any particular good reason they decide to go back home.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd borrowed if from the library, not bought it. Disappointing, 5 July 2012
This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
Like everyone else, I loved 'Man and Boy' and keep hoping for a similar read from Tony Parsons. I've read each of his books since and this was probably the least interesting yet. Unlike some other reviewers, I liked the setting and thought it was described well but I couldn't become interested in the characters. The narrator's children were meant to be cute but the boy was so irritating and both came across as much older than they were. Unrealistic dialogue and the plot wasn't much better. What a shame.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 27 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
I heard the author on radio 2 talking about this book and having been to Thailand on a number of occasions ordered the book as it sounded like something I would enjoy. The book is very easy reading but ultimately unbelieveable and one-dimensional.
There is little depth to the characters and the story unfolds with many cliches and things that just do not make sense.
I found it really hard to believe what the author ws trying to tell me. Disappointed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So bad it was painful to read, 26 Jun 2012
This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
I hate starting a book and not finishing it ... so I struggled through this one to the end ... and it really was so bad that it felt painful to read. Anybody who has spent any time in Thailand will cringe at the picture painted of life here ... really really disappointing book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time, 14 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
I have read Tony Parsons before & really enjoyed him, but this book is not worth bothering with at all.

It seems like he's trying to cram 100s of different things into the book, but doesn't expand or spend much time on any of them.

The main character just came across as really pathetic & irritating rather than the hard done by modern hero that I think he was intended to be. There was no depth to any of the characters and the book left lots of unanswered questions.....except I didn't care at all about the answers!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 2 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
Have been a Tony Parsons fan since the early days. Man and Boy absolutely blew me away. Had the pleasure of meeting Mr Parsons at the Time Out book club a couple of years ago which only enforced my opinion of the man and his works. Rather sadly I feel his last couple of books have gradually gotten worse, to the point that I never even bothered to finish this one, which is something I couldn't have comprehended a couple of years ago. I feel like I have lost my favourite author. The story splutters along, often backfiring, the characters do not develop, and the usual heart rendering emotional moments are missing.
No doubt I will still pre-order the next and await in anticipation for delivery, I just hope he is back to his best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overhyped and boring, best as a doorstop, 29 Sep 2012
This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
This is such a dull and cheesy book. I was really bored. I was given it by a hotel guest, who never got to grips with it, but I thought I would give it a go. I only read a few chapters. It was a waste of my time. I thought I should spend less time reading this dull book and concentrate on having a good time on my holiday.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A stereotypical mess, sadly., 25 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
Catching the Sun is a boring, mind-numbingly simple and idealistic tale of a family who flee recession-hit Britain, after their house is robbed by chavs (naturally, eugh), and head to Thailand, where Tom has been offered a driving job. Their neighbours are, naturally, adorable - operating a seafood restaurant on the beach, where the wife cooks and serves, while the husband goes out to fish for the menu in his traditional boat. Tom's wife, Tania, is a school teacher and spends her days tutoring their two children, Rory and Keeva, as well as some unruly Thai kids, from bad neighbourhoods. Unfortunately for the Finn family, it turns out that the company Tom has found employment with turns out to be involved in some pretty shady property deals, and Tom ends up in a Thai prison for a brief spell. Another bad moment arrives in the form of a brutal tsunami, which kills thousands around the world and destroys the village in which they live.

Catching the Sun is a thinly-veiled attack on Britain in the most stereotypical, hackneyed fashion - an attempt, on Parsons' part, of tapping into the currently trending notion that Britain is faulty, spineless and populated with crazed youths out to kill the middle classes. For a writer of his talents, I was deeply disappointed with the quality of the plot, the writing and the characterisation on display in this book. It can't even be described as harmless holiday fluff, because I think Parsons does Thailand, as well as the UK, a disservice here too, in his reliance on stereotypes (nasty Thai prisons, Thai brides, women besotted with Western money, almost feral children in need of teaching), etc - really rather unsavoury, lazy stuff. When Tania falls pregnant at some point in the book, the whole thing falls apart, as they start to bleat about returning to London, where there are 'good schools' - an alarming insult, not to mention a complete contradiction to their previously fierce rejection of Britain as dangerous and depressing. I mean - what is this book really about? There's no substance, no point, that I could discover whatsoever. The whole thing just isn't feasible, nor does it make any sense - with a host of predictable, cardboard cut out characters, which exist, largely, only in idealised adverts and pop psychology.

Very, very disappointing stuff from a writer of considerable talent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the pretty money spinning 'summer read' cover is the best part, 7 Aug 2012
By 
N Myatt "tilly30" (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Catching the Sun (Paperback)
Having read a couple of Tony Parson's novels before I expected more of the same from the blurb- likeable familiar characters exploring what it means to be a parent, a spouse, make big life changes etc etc. what I found was absolute nonsense. One minute he's a dad on the run from broken Britain, next he's part of a crime organisation and in prison, next he's part of a Thai family, next he's a hero in the tsunami, next he's matchmaking some orphaned kid with his mate from home,next he hears the call of a gorilla he liberated from a brothel in the jungle and follows it (I'm not making this up) next his wife's pregnant and so on and so on. Just because he describes a dish as 'wrapped in a wafer thin ommelette' 5 times doesn't add credibilty to the notion he spent any time getting to know the land, the culture or the people at all. It reads as though he had a notebook titled 'good ideas for a holiday book' and in the absence of any plot or character development used every single idea. Most frustrating book ever, especially if you have the same curse as me that you must read the whole sorry thing to the end.
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Catching the Sun
Catching the Sun by Tony Parsons (Paperback - 7 Jun 2012)
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