Customer Reviews


69 Reviews
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (18)
3 star:
 (15)
2 star:
 (12)
1 star:
 (9)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Philips
Mr Phillips, a 50-something year old accountant, lives in suburban London with Mrs Phillips. They have two sons, and live a fairly routine life. Every weekday morning Mr Phillips gets up, gets ready for work and walks down the street to get the train into the office. There he works with his “horrible immediate boss Mr Mill” and his “horrible ultimate...
Published 4 months ago by Keen Reader

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different from Capital
A lot of this book takes the form of the main charachter's thoughts at a time when he has found himself at a crossroads that he didn't choose. In a way it is a middle aged Ferris Bueller's Day Off. To be honest I think it is probably a good idea to take a day off to sort your thoughts out and look at the ordinary from a different angle but maybe I don't need to know...
Published 18 months ago by Kirkintilloch John


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Philips, 12 July 2014
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
Mr Phillips, a 50-something year old accountant, lives in suburban London with Mrs Phillips. They have two sons, and live a fairly routine life. Every weekday morning Mr Phillips gets up, gets ready for work and walks down the street to get the train into the office. There he works with his “horrible immediate boss Mr Mill” and his “horrible ultimate boss Mr Wilkins”. He is an active member of the Wellesley Crescent Neighbourhood Watch Association, and quite often has inappropriate dreams about his secretary at Wilkins & Co., Karen. But this morning is different – because Mr Phillips is not going to the office. Where he is going, and why is the story that unfolds for the reader.

We get to hear all about Mr Phillips and his life as thoughts experienced by Mr Phillips from the time he wakes up. There are a lot of random thoughts, and a lot of statistics and calculations that Mr Phillips (a man eager to use his accounting skills at any time) works out, and I did wonder at times what the point of the novel really was going to be; was there even any point? (Oh, now I sound like Mr Phillips).

I think by the end of it all Mr Phillips has realised that nothing in life is ever going to turn out quite how you might have expected it, and you might as well just head through each door as it comes to you. A pleasant and often humorous ramble through life as experienced by one middle-aged ordinary man.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different from Capital, 20 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
A lot of this book takes the form of the main charachter's thoughts at a time when he has found himself at a crossroads that he didn't choose. In a way it is a middle aged Ferris Bueller's Day Off. To be honest I think it is probably a good idea to take a day off to sort your thoughts out and look at the ordinary from a different angle but maybe I don't need to know everything about everyone else who does the same. His obsessions with statistics and sex are maybe not the most interesting for everyone but they are realistic. If this had been the first book of his I had read then I might not read another. But I enjoyed Capital (my first and only other Lanchester) and Mr Phillips is sympathetic in some ways so I will keep an open mind and try again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, 7 Jan 2004
By 
Graham Figg (Hertfordshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quirky novel, 23 Dec 2013
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life on Mars, 22 Dec 2013
By 
MisterHobgoblin (Melbourne) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
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. Mr Phillips doesn't actually want the freedom he has suddenly acquired whilst, paradoxically, not seeming to be overly concerned at his unemployment. If you wanted a classic diagnosis, you'd have to say Mr Phillips is in extreme denial.

What makes the novel work is the counterpoint between an unlikeable man at the personal level, and the unpleasant traits of London and wider society laid out for analysis and dissection. You can see the greed, the lack of morality, the extreme politics, the general decadence and the white vans. All the while, set in a place where everybody judges everyone else on their relative wealth and/or status. Or, perhaps more accurately, where everyone assumes that other people are judging them on these grounds when, in fact, nobody is noticing them at all.

Mr Phillips is not really a plot novel. Things happen, but there's no connecting narrative drive although there are hints of Ulysses about the pointless journey and filling of time. Mostly, it is a character driven novel that relies on the humour and understatement of the narrative. Plus, there's the Salmon of Wisdom.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed, 13 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Kindle Edition)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self indulgent and tiresome, 16 Oct 2013
By 
S. Rayner (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good narrative, 8 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly a masterpiece, 2 Feb 2005
By 
Dee-Dee (Ely, Cambridgeshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
Mr Phillips isn't at work today, he's having a day off, a day out. In his pinstripe suit, briefcase in hand, he wanders around London striking up the occasional conversation, catching buses, taking his son unawares for lunch and witnessing various oddities including a robbery at the bank. Why is he out and about in this way? Because Mr Phillips was made redundant last Friday and hasn't told anybody.
The book takes us through the rich landscape of everyday trivialities, as seen against his own sinking sense of futility and emptiness. It perfectly captures the beauty of the mundane, the fascination of other lives fleetingly glimpsed, the spotlight-on-the-moment magic of nothing in particular, the exotic and the banal.
The book's only fault - and I would guess this is what kept it off the shortlists - is that we never quite understand the need for secrecy, why he has to hide his redundancy from his wife to the extent of getting suited and briefcased, and toddling off out of the house for the day. Granted, some men do exactly that under the same circumstances, but given that this is the novel's premise we need more of a clue - especially since we learn quite a bit about the wife, and she appears no less supportive than most. Still, it remains a wonderful read, deeply memorable and at times frankly hilarious. Worth four-and-a-half stars if the sytem allowed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Who? Who cares?, 17 Jun 2014
This review is from: Mr Phillips (Paperback)
The only fresh thing about Mr Phillips is the day. It is the first day of his redundancy. The rest of Mr Phillips is old hat observation, flimsy philosophising and soft fantasies about unobtainable women.
The day of Mr Phillips lacks the amusement of The Diary of a Nobody (Grossmith) and is bereft of the originality and insights found in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (Nobbs). Indeed, Mr Phillips is in want of a Mr Phillips with character development and dramatic high points.
Mr Phillips arrives back at his front door after a day drifting round London, with “He has no idea what will happen next.” The reader has no reason to care.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Mr Phillips
Mr Phillips by John Lanchester (Paperback - 3 Jan 2013)
£7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews