Magazine article The Spectator

Not a Dry Eye in the House

Magazine article The Spectator

Not a Dry Eye in the House

Article excerpt

MAN AND WIFE by Tony Parsons HarperCollins, 16.99, pp. 297, ISBN 0002261839

As there anybody left in the country who doesn't know that Tony Parsons's Man and Boy (or correctly man and boy in fashion victim lower case) sold 1.8 million copies? The author has given so many interviews and written so many articles emphasising this enviable fact, and how agreeable it is to be bottomlessly rich, I feel I've read it a dozen times this month. I wonder whether all this boasting partly explains the string of venomous reviews Parsons has clocked up so far for the sequel, man and wife. You feel he's been asking for it - `Go on, hit me. I dare you' - and the critics have risen to the challenge and dished it out in spades.

If so, it's a real shame, because man and wife is a clever novel, with some memorable and poignant episodes. Once you've come to terms with Parsons's intensely annoying one-sentence-per-paragraph style, like something in the Daily Mirror, where he writes a column, the story races along like the classiest TV sitcom, but with an emotional power and veracity you seldom find on the telly.

If you number among the much-invoked 1.8 million, then you'll know the characters already from man and boy: divorced father Harry Silver, his seven-year-old son Pat, ex-wife Gina, new squeeze Cyd. This time we've moved on a couple of years and the gilt is already coming off Harry's new marriage to Cyd. Harry's life has become a whole lot more complicated in the interim, with an extended cast of characters invading it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.