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4.2 out of 5 stars
30
4.2 out of 5 stars


on 19 March 2017
Not the book I thought as title slightly different
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 26 July 2015
In the end I enjoyed this book very much. I had my reservations about it, particularly at the start, but overall I found it witty, insightful and memorable.

The book is narrated by Frank who is initially recovering from a major car crash and can remember nothing about his life. It turns out that he is a corporate lawyer who writes the fine print (Terms and Conditions) in contracts, and as he recovers he finds himself re-evaluating his life. So far, so conventional, and for the first 50 pages or more I struggled a bit because I found it little more than a faintly amusing polemic against things like modern corporate-speak and the self-obsession, vacuity and insincerity of much of corporate life (and a good deal of life outside corporations). As the book progressed, though, I became much more involved. As the reality of Frank's life becomes clearer his response to it becomes much more humane and profound, and the book has important things to say about corporate and individual responsibility as well as human relationships. The characters are slightly exaggerated for effect but still convincing, and I found Frank's emerging yearning for real human contact genuinely touching in a world which substitutes profiling and "people skills" for the genuine, sincere, flawed and delightful relationships between us. It's not a particularly original theme, but it is very well done.

One small difficulty I had while reading was that the whole thing has such an American feel to it that it brought me up short every time there was an explicit reference to it being set in London with English characters. This may not be a problem for many readers, but it did keep throwing me out of the story slightly.

Minor reservations aside, though, I can recommend this as a thoughtful, readable and enjoyable book.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 May 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Corporate lawyer Frank has amnesia after a serious car accident. Slowly his memory begins to return, he to recall exactly what caused his breakdown: a profession he hates; a boss, big brother Oscar, he loathes; a wife who betrays.

Now he wants revenge, devastatingly to defeat all three at their own game. But with him not yet fully recovered, what chances are there of achieving this?

An unusual book with moments that shine. Frank narrates self-deprecatingly with a wry humour that appeals. (Even little asides like the office carpet so fluffy his shoes end up looking as though he has kicked a Muppet to death.)

More seriously he exposes ploys practised by lawyers. Contracts created that mean the unwary are barely covered at all, a massive confidence trick thanks to disclaimers in tiny footnotes - exactly as required by the like of arms manufacturers and producers of drugs.

Such footnotes feature large (small actually) throughout the novel. The need so often to consult them proves somewhat wearisome, especially when they lead to yet more footnotes in even tinier print. I can well understand readers who were put off.

My main reason to press on was to see if loathsome Oscar, all halitosis and self-adoration, receives his comeuppance. En route, though, there is much to please: wise advice from good friend Doug; hilarious emails from younger brother Malc (who quit the rat race long ago); wincingly well described embarrassments like that dinner party.

Overall reaction? Ultimately satisfying after an occasionally bumpy ride.

Lawyers' reactions will be of interest.
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VINE VOICEon 24 November 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I did enjoy this book , however I found the format very difficult to get into, with footnotes on many pages and small text making it difficult to read at night. I did however enjoy the book - a great story which I did loose myself in, although it took me a long time to read, as I had pinch moments throughout the day, before my eyes got tired. I liked Frank, the main character, who had been in a car accident and lost his memory and found myself warming to his character throughout the book.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 13 April 2014
Frank has been in a car accident and it was quite serious; in fact so traumatic that he has suffered complete memory loss. Now this is good and this can also be very bad, as he does not recognise friends or family and is not even sure about his wife. He works for Shaw and Sons a family law firm that his grandfather built up before passing it on to Frank's father who in turn has passed the reins to his sons or rather his eldest son Oscar. Oscar has been made senior partner but will make Frank one `when he sees fit', and Oscar is a self centred, uncharismatic, nasty piece of work. So in all likelihood he will never `see fit'.

There is another brother who has a healthy fondness for profanity and going travelling - this is Malc. Frank soon has to return to work as his fledgling memory starts to take flight again and he is reminded that he is a lawyer that once showed great promise but is now the companies T and C guy. That is he is the man responsible for those very tiny clauses in contracts that come back to bite us once we have signed on the dotted line - and he is rather good at it. As his memory returns so he slowly pieces together what his old life was like and piece by piece he realises that all is not as it seems. This leads him to re-evaluate everything and question what the heck life is really all about.

I really enjoyed this book but have to say it took some getting used to. There are footnotes on nearly every page - right from the start and that is the `hook' of this book. The footnotes are in - yes you guessed it - small print and some of them have foot notes in even smaller print, which was a strain for my eyes, but it is very much worth it as there is so much more contained in them. As a debut Robert Glancy has made an original, readable and thoroughly engaging start to what I hope is a long and fruitful career.
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When I had completed just under a quarter of the book I was about to give up - interesting but there was something missing.
Then the writer started telling us about Alice, and the book came alive. This section was vastly interesting and the remainder of the book held my attention such that I completed it that same day.
The book is written like a dissertation with footnotes on each page adding comments to the writers thoughts in the text above. At first this is amusing but as the book progresses becomes very irritating. This is especially so when the author just gives you these added thoughts in the same paragraph - why not that all the way through? In fact I think the footnote idea is a gimmick and adds nothing to the novel- it is just there to add to the "terms and conditions" idea.
Take away all that gimmick and you have a good novel with the main character slowly recovering his memory after a car accident. The life he thinks he had is revealed to be anything but!
There are some quite witty moments as well as many moments of true pathos.
Did I enjoy the book? - yes, I did - and several passages still remain with me. However, I still think the structure of the book is too gimmicky.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 25 January 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Frank awakes after having been in a coma following a serious car accident. He doesn’t know who he is, or who the people around him are. He recognises nobody. It eventually becomes apparent that he is married, that he is a lawyer and that he works for his brother’s law firm, specialising in the small print nobody reads. Along with his loss of memory Frank seems to have lost some of his inhibitions and becomes quite childish and childlike.

On the face of it this appears to be a really quirky little book, written as though in imitation of a legal document with “terms and conditions” written in footnotes. This, apart from being physically difficult to read as these footnotes are SO tiny, becomes tiresome to the point of tedium. Whilst the idea behind the book is good, and it’s quite well written, I just couldn’t get on with it; although quite funny at times, I could not relate to any of the characters. I’m afraid for me this is a middle-of-the road read and not one I will go back to.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 25 May 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Frank Shaw has been involved in a car accident and awakens to find much of his memory gone. As he gradually recovers, rediscovering aspects of his life and relationships, and returning to work, he comes to realise what his life is really like, and that it is not all he might have thought. He is a corporate lawyer, working for the family firm run by his awful elder brother Oscar. Frank's role focuses on the small print, those terms and conditions at the bottom of contracts in tiny font; as Frank says `you can barely see them and when you do it's too late.'

This is a funny, clever and moving debut novel with an original and inventive structure to the narrative; the mostly very short chapters themselves include footnoted statements to embellish and explain Frank's words further; this small print is very much part of the story too. A very enjoyable and poignant read. (I'll be back to write more thoughts once I've digested this a bit more.)
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I hate to be beaten by anything, so I find it so frustrating when a book isn't grabbing my attention, because I want to battle through and make it to the end no matter what. I'm glad I did, because the story did progress and grip me a bit more, with Frank's story becoming more interesting and I wanted to see how things came together for him. It was amusing, but nothing special. I understand that it is written to get across the 'terms & conditions' corporate idea but honestly, despite having a certain quirky element, I just found it really annoying. Sadly this book, whilst not a complete disaster, just wasn't really for me.
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on 15 March 2014
When I turned the final page and wrapped the pristine white hardcover in its red dust jacket (decorated with swirling pages and asterisks), I said aloud, to myself, "That was brilliant!" and closed the book.

Terms & Conditions is the tale of Frank, a lawyer who specialises in writing the fine print for contracts. Frank wakes in hospital to find that he has been in a car accident. He has no memory of his life before the crash and no idea who he is. The book follows Frank as he recovers his memory and finds that the life he led before his accident is not the contented one his wife and family have led him to believe.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Terms & Conditions. The plot sounded interesting enough, and when I opened the book I found that each chapter (narrated by Frank) is written under a 'Terms & Conditions' heading. For example: 'TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF GOD. He had ten of them'. They all have witty headings, but I think that was my favourite. The book is also peppered with footnotes. Of course it is. Frank specialises in them. They make for great, humorous additions to the prose and I was tickled to see that one chapter (a hilarious, sad, awkward chapter) is pretty much all footnote.

I wasn't expecting the book to be so humorous, but it's filled with things that made me chuckle. The first time it made me laugh aloud was page four, and that was when I knew it was a winner. By page six I was hooked in by the hint of intrigue the author introduced. I had to keep reading to find out what new memory was going to surface, and as I read on I needed to know what Frank was going to do with his discoveries. Mr Glancy certainly knows how to keep me turning pages! The easy, flowing writing style and quirkiness of the book (not to mention sentences like '...a pinstripe onion of layered lawyers') made it an absolute pleasure to read. I find it hard to believe this is a debut novel and it's obvious that a lot of love went into the writing.

By the end of the novel I felt myself cheering for Frank as he took his revenge upon those who had wronged him before his accident.

This was such a wonderful, refreshing read. I'm very much looking forward to a second novel by the author.
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