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The Best a Man Can Get Paperback – 1 Jun 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (Jun. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767907140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767907149
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,287,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Some men are born fathers, while others have fatherhood thrust upon them. The protagonist of John O'Farrell's The Best a Man Can Get belongs indisputably in the latter category. When his first daughter is born, Michael Adams imagines her as the warden of a prison that will permanently deprive him of his youth and freedom. Terrified by his new responsibilities, he regularly escapes to a bachelor pad across the Thames, pretending to be at work. Another child arrives--and with still another on the way, it is only a matter of time until Michael's wife discovers his double life. At that point, he must make a choice between his family and his hedonistic haven.

By turns hilarious and touching, O'Farrell's book delves deeply into the anxieties of modern parenting. Yet the novel is not without empathy for the 21st-century father. After all, it's easy to imagine the lure of a child-proof hideaway, insulated from sleepless nights and dirty diapers. At the same time, Adams often wonders whether "just being tucked up warm and cosy" is really "the best a man can get". With its charming prose and its truant protagonist, this first novel is sure to win over even the most reluctant parent. --Greg Bensinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Punchline fuelled, relentless humour...I don't think a woman is going to get much closer to the workings of a man's mind than this. Giggling several times a page with plenty of out-loud laughs is guaranteed. Is John O'Farrell funny? Very" (Daily Mirror)

"So funny because it rings true... Packed with painfully well-observed jokes" (The Times)

"A hilarious confessional narrative. This wickedly observed page-turner lets bachelor-nostalgia joyride to its absurd conclusion... Piquant and irreverently sardonic" (Literary Review)

"This is SO good... so insightful about men, women, love and parenthood that you read every page with a wince of recognition. Fab, fab, fab" (India Knight)

"Excellent... Things Can Only Get Better will make you laugh out loud" (Angus Deayton) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
But… this is one. Featuring English humour at its best and similar to, but even better than, Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity”, “The Best a Man Can Get” surrounds a clever storyline with more superb “one liners” than any other book I’ve read. Well written, and genuinely reflective on the dichotomies facing men when their lives become totally disrupted by childbirth, it’s addictive and above all “funny”. How good?... well my wife, children & I watched with great amusement as our male friend (one loving wife, two loving children) completely disrupted a day and a half of a recent holiday as he raced through it, accompanied by regular and wholly disconcerting hoots of laughter. Once finished, I picked it up and read it straight through in similar time accompanied by similarly uncontrolled outbursts. It’s totally “non-PC” but it’s honest, brilliantly witty and, in the end, charmingly tender. If you’re male, if you shared a flat when you were younger and if you’ve had children, you will definitely relate to it – if not, well… treat it as an instruction manual on how men in that situation really think.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, it drew me in at the start, and kept me laughing throughout. While the ending is arguably weak, and the funnier parts are at the start, the book is about a journey of self-awareness.
Michael Adams is essentially a good father and a loving husband, caught up perhaps in his own selfishness and always aware of the mess his own father made of being there for him. As he tells the story, O'Farrell adds observational, sardonic humour but still manages to produce a tale that should resonate with any father, or anyone who has ever questioned their commitment in any long term relationship.
Well worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
I've always been fairly wary of the influx of "thirty-somethings relationship" books that seem to have bombarded the shelves at the local bookstore over the past couple of years or so. I have dipped my toe into this style of novel a couple of times and whilst some of my experiences have been very enjoyable (Nick Hornby, Tony Parsons) there have been some real howlers along the way as well (Ben Elton, Jamie Holland)

Having just read John O'Farrell's first book "Things can only get better" which is a light hearted and humorous look at life as a Labour Party supporter and really enjoyed it I thought I would give one of his other non-fact books a try.

"The best a man can get" is the story of Michael Adams who is finding the modern pressures of fatherhood all a little bit too much. With two young children already when his wife Catherine announces she's pregnant again it looks like this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Michael works as a composer of TV advert jingles, which does allow him the luxury of working irregular work hours, a theme which Michael takes to the extreme as he begins to spend more and more time in his bedroom studio located on the other side of London. His flatmates don't know about Michael's family life and Michael enjoying a pseudo-bachelorhood for half his waking life doesn't see any point in putting them straight.

As expected things are going to get a lot worse for Michael especially when in one of the most blindingly obvious plot moves ever Catherine finds out about Michael's duplicity.

OK, let's get the bad things about the book over with first.
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Format: Hardcover
An excellent book exploring the countless stresses of the man who wants it all, the happy family life and the free single one. The main character is pulled in both directions throughout the book with funny, touching and life-changing consequenses. I recommend this book to anyone, especially those familiar with the constant demands of young children, it made me realise I wasn't alone!
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed "Things Can Only Get Better," and ordered this one not knowing the plot. But quicker than you can say Nick Hornby, I had finished it. Let's put in perspective: is this earth-shaking literature that will stand the test of time? Will they one day be talking about Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and O'Farrell? Of course not. What this is is an incredibly enjoyable, well-observed book that will make you laugh out loud and annoy whoever is around by saying, "Just read this paragraph." The book won't tax your brain, but it will put a smile on your face. And really, what's wrong with that?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very funny, very well written. It all seems a good idea, untill in good literary fashion, it all goes wrong, and then comes good in the end!! It has some real laugh out loud moments, and an idea for a different use for a mobile phone!!
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Format: Paperback
This book has a great idea - man lives two lives BUT the result is 300 odd pages of tedious dribble about a mans dull life.

There is very little real story
There is lots of rubbish about his likes and dislikes

The book is like watching reality tv - soul destroying listing to dull people who turn a potential cracking adventure into the mundane.

Would give this book 0 if I could.
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