Monday, July 16, 2012

Man and Boy by Tony Parsons

The basic plot

Harry Silver is a lucky man, the problem is, he doesn't know it. Or appreciate it. One foolish night and his perfect life is down the drain. Only then does he begin to realize what is truly important in life.

What I liked about the book

The story in itself was predictable but the writing made the story come to life. A friend told me that I would be able to see things from a guy's perspective by reading this book and in some ways I did. There were some really touching moments in the book and Harry's relationship with the other characters were very well explored especially his bond with his father.

What I disliked about this book

I think many people who read this book will be moved by it but as good a read as it was, in the end I was not swayed. I found it very hard to feel sympathy or empathy for Harry, especially since his story is so common. There are numerous husbands (and wives) out there who take their life, their marriage and their kids for granted. They wake up every day to the same routine and instead of counting their blessings, see only monotony. They forget to notice the small (and big things) that other people do each day just so their lives can be exactly what it is. They do not realize that it takes teamwork and when one person feels none of the stress or pressure of keeping everything as it should be, it usually means that the other person is straining under the sheer weight by themselves. Most of all, they cannot imagine how lucky they are to have a beautiful family until it is taken away.

Reading the book, I could not get past the fact how easy it is for people to make excuses. How much the writer (and other writers/screenplays out there) wanted us to believe that it is acceptable for someone like Harry to not appreciate his life as long as he learned his lesson. I for one, do not agree. It is not enough to just chalk up a failed marriage in "One of life's lessons" column and move on. It should never be that simple.

A quote I liked in this book

You can't compete with blood.

Rating: 4/5


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