by John O’Farell
Whilst there is no recognised blueprint for being a good parent, there are some things that you instinctively know are just wrong. And as any parent will know, protecting your offspring from the darker side of the real world is a seemingly impossible task. But just how far do you go to protect your precious children? How much are you prepared to do to ensure their passage through to adulthood is a smooth as possible?
Which brings the next great question, how much should you protect them?
In Alice Chaplin’s case, the answer is quite clear; you protect them from everything and everyone. Sitting up at night popping bubble-wrap, Alice is permanently panic-stricken by all the horrors of the modern world. And what about schooling? For Alice, getting her daughter into the “best” school takes an hilarious twist when she decides to sit the entrance exam in her place.
John O’Farrell has once again produced a very funny book, made all the funnier because it comes so scarily close to reality. But that is what O’Farrell does best. His eye for detail and unmatched wit left me aghast at how far the parents are prepared to go.
I think we all know parents who seem unable to see that they are crossing the line between protecting the children and smothering them. In this satirical broadside on Middle England, O’Farrell leaves the reader in doubt that for the Chaplin’s, that line has well and truly been crossed, and the consequences force them to re-evaluate how they raise the children.
A really funny book. If you haven’t read any of John O’Farrell’s books, this is as good a place to start as any. But take it from me, once you have read one, it won’t be long before you’ve read them all.
by John O’Farrell
John O’Farrell has an unnerving way of shining an all too bright light on the inner most thoughts of, if we are being honest, most men.
Advertising jingle writer Michael Adams lives the kind of double life that I think many of my contemporaries would appreciate. Telling his wife he needs to work through the night, or visit clients in the far distant north, he escapes babies, nappies and commitments to the North London flat he shares with three other men.
It all seems perfect. But can it last?
Well, obviously not! Eventually the lines between his two different lives begin to fray and he has to face the harsh realities of missed mortgage payments and a pregnant wife.
Told with great wit and sympathy, this book pops open the lid on how many men feel today. Despite how it sounds, Michael is not really as selfish as you may think. He loves his family and believes that his actions are for the best.
When he eventually realises his mistake it is too late and he faces losing everything. And so as the bank close in he must work harder than ever before to get his life back on track.
I really enjoy John O’Farrell’s style. He is funny, enlightening and very easy to read.
by John O’Farrell
Every now and again you come across a book that engages you completely. For me this was one of those. Not having read any of John O’Farrell’s books before I didn’t know what to expect, but I was not disappointed.
The story begins when our hero, Jack Vaughan, steps off the tube with no idea who he is or where is is supposed to be going. We then join him on a new journey of self discovery as, with the help if his friend Gary, he begins to piece together the story of his life so far.
But Vaughan, as he is known, does not always like what he discovers about himself. It is a very witty book, but also has an underlying message about the difference between the way we see ourselves and the way others see us.
In Vaughan’s case, he has an opportunity to fix some of his mistakes and is able to start again, something I am sure many of us have wished we could do.
An excellent read. A well structured story and a great mix of comedy and pathos.
The only question really is why haven’t I read any of his books before? Must rectify that..