Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Thoughtful, witty and enjoyable
on 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.