Tag Archives: Tony Parsons

Starting Over

Starting OverTony Parsons writes about contemporary emotional issues with great wit and insight. “Starting Over” is the story of George Bailey, a desk bound policeman who at the very beginning of the book suffers a near fatal heart attack. Following the lifesaving transplant, 42 year old George’s life begins to change irrevocably. Is it the heart of a 19-year-old, or is it the second chance the transplant has given him? 

But his new found “youth” has some unforeseen consequences for George. His relationship with his son and daughter switches from stern father to friend. But this puts him in permanent conflict with his wife, Lara, with inevitable consequences.

Tony Parsons is a good writer who can take almost any situation and find the funny side. Although I don’t think this is his best book, it is non the less full of charm and wit, and a central character that I felt great affinity, and more than a little pity for.

Men from the Boys

Men from the Boysby Tony Parsons

This is a book that was passed onto me by my wife who said “you really must read this”. Fair enough I thought. Why not? What she didn’t tell me was that is the third of a three part series! Mind you, if she hadn’t said that I would never have known, as it is self-contained and does not rely on having read the other two.

For some reason I had been expecting a funny story. Not sure why, as none of the sleeve notes said it was, but what I found was a very engaging and touching tale of a man trying desperately to hold onto his family. 

The central character is Harry Silver, a radio producer who lives in London with his second wife, his son, her daughter and their own daughter. About as complex a modern family as you can get! And on the face of it, life is good for the Silvers, but underneath there are cracks beginning to emerge. 

As Harry approaches his fortieth birthday, events outside his cosy household bring chaos and frustration into their lives. With the return of his ex-wife and the appearance of two old army comrades of his father’s, Harry’s world begins to change.

Every parent will recognise the frustrations and seeming futility of trying to understand and deal with teenagers. And I think most of us have faced the frustration of dealing with elderly friends and relatives who refuse to play by the rules of the modern world – any why should they? 

In Harry Silver we have a character that most modern men can relate to. Often in the shadow of his strong father, unable to fully understand the world his teenage son and daughter inhabit, he finds himself loosing grip on everything he holds dear.

“Men from the Boys” is a touching and, yes, sometimes funny look at the trials and tribulations of 21st century men. 

I read all 320 pages in just over two days, something I haven’t managed for quite some time, but I couldn’t put the book down. Certainly a welcome change from the more intense books I seem to be reading of late. 

Thanks to my wife, I have several more Tony Parsons novels waiting for me on the book shelves. I am looking forward to reading them.

Man and Boy (Harry Silver #1)

man and boyby Tony Parsons

Some books are designed to excite, some are full of action and adventure, others romance or comedy. Still others reach into your heart and emotions in a very unique way. This is one such book. Man and Boy has a little of everything in it, but ultimately it is a study of the relationships between a man, his father and his son.

On the face of it, Harry Silver has everything – beautiful wife, adorable son, his dream job in TV, and the sports car to match. But not for long! Harry soon discovers just how fragile it all can be.

As he watches his marriage crumble and his career slip though his fingers, Harry has to come to terms with his own weaknesses. As he starts to build a new life for himself and his son Pat, he learns what life and love are really all about.

Man and Boy is a wonderfully told story that cannot fail to touch your heart. It is touching and funny, something not achieved very often.

I really enjoyed this book. A change from the norm definitely.