Customer Reviews


2 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure delight
I don't often reread book but I've just read this for the second time. Everything about it is a delight from the New York setting to the characters and dialogue. Henry and Todd are so lovely you want them as your best friends, and with these two in charge the plot careers merrily along, touching on some quite deep subjects - loneliness, abandonement, caring for elderly...
Published on 15 Oct 2011 by Claretta

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "He's very happy which makes me happy"
In this Austen-esque comedy of manners, filled with a bubbly assortment of likeable characters, The Family Man focuses on the middle-aged lawyer Henry Archer who finds himself caught up in a new kind of parenting situation that seems to be totally beyond control. After sending a letter of condolence to his ex-wife Denise, after her new husband suddenly dies of a heart...
Published on 14 May 2009 by Walter Hypes


Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "He's very happy which makes me happy", 14 May 2009
This review is from: The Family Man (Hardcover)
In this Austen-esque comedy of manners, filled with a bubbly assortment of likeable characters, The Family Man focuses on the middle-aged lawyer Henry Archer who finds himself caught up in a new kind of parenting situation that seems to be totally beyond control. After sending a letter of condolence to his ex-wife Denise, after her new husband suddenly dies of a heart attack, Henry doesn't realize that he's surreptitiously thrown Denise a lifeline. Finally catching up after several years, their meeting is full of recriminations even as Henry continues to wonder why he'd been young and selfish when he'd suddenly relinquished his rights as a parent. Adding to Henry's complicated retirement is Thalia, the coat-check girl who works at his local hair salon and who turns out to be his long-lost step daughter, and who innocently became the collateral damage in Henry's rather messy divorce from Denise. Thalia, an aspiring actress, appears well adjusted and content, but as the two pore their heart out to one another over a glass of wine (without Denise's knowledge), Thalia unfurls her secret plan to enter in to type of faux engagement current horror luminary and budding young movie star Leif Dumont.

Leif who aches to break into the big time, but so does Thalia, who will stop at nothing to use this as a way to get exposure. Determined to act like she's in love, Leif is trying to do his best to reciprocate in a way that repackages him as a desirable and attractive actor. Henry is initially supportive of Thalia's plan and glad officially re-meet with Thalia, but he chooses keeps the bourgeoning friendship with his neglected and estranged daughter from Denise who is still in the bad books for mortally offending everyone with thoughtless remarks at the funeral of her husband. While Denise whines about being left with nothing, she hooks Henry up with lovable Todd who eventually becomes the aging lawyer's voice of reason in his urbane and somewhat genteel topsy-turvy life.

Meanwhile, Lipman infects her novel with a jumble of different personalities, all proving to be Henry's nemesis and threatening his new role as dissembler, withholder, and covert social operator. Although Henry wants to make good in the promises he has made to himself with respect to the good deeds of early retirement, his new step-daughter - who suddenly ensconces herself in his maisonette apartment - threatens to become far too much of a distraction and is in danger of giving him his fair share of headaches.

Cleverly lampooning the New Yorkers, Lipman's novel bursts with energy and quirky characters as Henry unexpectedly finds true love and a soul mate in Todd who still hasn't told Lillian, his octogenarian mother that he's g*y. Packed with silly situations, clichéd but lovable characters, and incidences that almost defy logic, I wanted to like this novel more than I did. Still, Lipman's joke-fuelled dialogue propels the story lighting along and her pop-culture references give the story a contemporary feel. This is a witty, sly and self-deprecatory adventure into the world of a lawyer cum diplomat who finds love in a new kind of family. Ultimately, the novel's penchant for the innocent and the author's manner of humanizing even the most bizarre incidences make The Family Man a celebration the absurdities of the human condition and the willingness to endure even the most bizarre of circumstances for the sake of those whom we love. Mike Leonard May 09.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure delight, 15 Oct 2011
By 
Claretta (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Family Man (Paperback)
I don't often reread book but I've just read this for the second time. Everything about it is a delight from the New York setting to the characters and dialogue. Henry and Todd are so lovely you want them as your best friends, and with these two in charge the plot careers merrily along, touching on some quite deep subjects - loneliness, abandonement, caring for elderly parents - without ever losing its light touch. Highly recommended for anyone who needs cheering up.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Family Man
The Family Man by Elinor Lipman (Paperback - 4 Feb 2010)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews