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My Favourite Wife Hardcover – 18 Feb 2008

3.1 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition, First Impression edition (18 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007226489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007226481
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,193,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Acclaim for for Tony Parsons:

‘Funny, serious, tender and honest…Tony Parsons is writing about the genuine dilemmas of modern life’
Sunday Express

‘He takes as his specialist subject contemporary emotional issues which almost every other male writer has ignored’ Guardian

‘Memorable and poignant – nobody squeezes more genuine emotion from a scene than Tony Parsons’ Spectator

From the Inside Flap

Hot shot young lawyer Bill Holden and his wife Becca move their four-year-old daughter to the booming, gold-rush city of Shanghai. It is a place of opportunity and temptation, where fortunes are made and foreign marriages come apart in spectacular fashion.

Bill's law firm houses the Holden family in Paradise Mansions - a luxury apartment block full of 'second wives': beautiful young women like JinJin Li, ex-school teacher, crossword addict, dedicated roller skater and the Holden's neighbour.

After Becca witnesses a near-tragedy, she returns temporarily to London with Holly - and Bill and JinJin are thrown together.

Bill wants to be a better man than the millionaire who keeps JinJin Li as a second wife. Better than any man who cheats. Becca is his best friend. But in the end can he give JinJin anything different - can he give her the love she deserves? And can he love his wife too?

My Favourite Wife is a book about the men and women of our time - their struggles, their joys and their secret longings. Above all it is a book about where sex, romance and obsession ends, and where true love begins.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found the contemporary China angle fascinating and as it was a long time since I had read his other books, the characters were fresh. In the light of recent news about infected baby milk and having watched the glitze of the Olympics, it was very interesting to get to the heart of the Chinese people. Life is cheap when there are so many lives in one place and with very little spiritual underpinning of society, the goal is always profit at the sacrifice of feelings.

The family is central again in his novel but the Chinese family relations make for an interesting contrast. His father and their relationship is juxtaposed with the Chinese mistress and her father. Having lived abroad, I really related to the pull of the elderly relatives back at home and the innocence of those newly arrived compared to those who have lived in such an environment for some time.

Not a book to make you feel comfortable, either with the Western influence on Chinese society or the inner workings of the heart.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not just drivel, but sexist, racist drivel. According to Mr. Parsons the vast majority of young Chinese women are either whores or factory workers...sometimes both! Has he ever bothered to go to a Chinese university, or any other good university across the world for that matter and observed the plethora of intelligent and ambitious young Chinese girls gaining honours degrees.
Please correct me if I'm wrong here but I always thought Shanghai was rather larger than the village I grew up in (Newton Solney - population 700). The reason I ask is because apparently no matter where you go in Shanghai you bump into the small handful of people you know...amazing!! Although not quite as amazing as being able to find your way back to a shack on a hillside in the middle of a typhoon which you have visited just once, c'mon Tony, I've been to Yangshou and that is way beyond unlikely. I was half expecting our 'hero' to get home to find he'd scooped the jackpot in the Euro Millions and the National Lottery both in the same week!!
I always take my books down to the British Heart Foundation bookshop after I've read them, not just to support a good cause but also because I love to read and encourage others to do likewise. I binned this nasty little piece of work so as not to inflict it on any other poor soul...it really is that bad.
Unfortunately the Amazon website wouldn't allow me give it 0 stars as I wanted to
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Format: Paperback
I read one of Tony Parson's books years ago and thought it was OK. This was going cheap so I picked it up somewhere - and it's just like the other one! The main male character is totally unlikeable; self-obsessed, selfish, self-justifying - and the others are just cardboard cut-outs: all very predictable, from the perfect, understanding wife, to the sad, but brave, Chinese mistress. That would be bad enough. But Parson's writing style drives me nuts: it's so self-conscious and trite, and just full of empty cliches. And it reads so obviously as though he has one eye on the film rights - it almost has scene directions for a producer!
I won't be reading any more of Parsons - I'm afraid the stories are just too repetitive and predictable. There is no real conflict, or inner development of character.
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Format: Paperback
Tony Parsons' books used to be my staple holiday reading. Not any more. Whilst the research into China is impressive, the book is boring and too long. The story could have been told with 200 pages rather than over 400. The main character is unlikeable and one does not really care whether he stays with his trophy wife or not. The character of the mistress is completely shallow and it is unclear as to why the male lead is interested in her. Maybe because of the Mini Cooper with the Chinese flag on the roof. The worst thing is that Tony Parsons reuses the dying father issue to fill about 30 pages when it is unclear as to what purpose the father character serves and why he has to die. Next time I go on summer holiday I will have to go into a book shop, read at least a chapter of Tony Parsons' new book and will pass if it appears to be as pointless as this one.
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Format: Paperback
I have read all of Tony Parsons' books and they have varied from tolerable bloke lit to self congratulation about what a trendy young gunslinger he once was. Other reviewers have already said this book is overlong and dull. Painfully, it is also very repetitive, with the protagonist droning on for pages when we lost interest in his dilemmas ages before.

Parsons' other books have taken us through the reasons why marriages are so difficult and even how hard it is for men who cheat and why don't women just understand that if the other woman wasn't so exceptional it wouldn't have happened. In this case none of the characters is likeable (even the child is precocious and annoying) and he's so pleased with himself for painting a picture of modern China that he's forgotten to tell a human story. The interview in the back of the book is really pretentious - sorry Tone no one cares about your obsession with Asian women. And I am an Asian woman !!

The father storyline we've read before - many times - and adds little value. I felt cross when I'd finished this book as I'd spent so long waiting for something of interest to happen and it just didn't. The cover is pretty though.
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