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Really enjoyable to read
Men from the Boys - Tony Parsons
Member Name: UK1981_female
Men from the Boys - Tony Parsons
Advantages: An interesting male perspective on life
Disadvantages: Not the best start
'Men from the Boys' is actually the third part of a trilogy and is authored by Tony Parsons. But the funny thing is that I didn't realise it was part of a trilogy right until after I'd finished reading it! I guess this shows that it is a stand-alone book, but now that I've finished it, I am quite keen to read parts one and two! The first two parts are called 'Man and Boy' and 'Man and Wife' respectively.
'Men from the Boys' centres around a male character called Harry Silver and is a touching story about Harry's seemingly perfect life. Except his life isn't that perfect. It begins to fall apart as he loses his highly paid job, his ex-wife comes back into town, and approaches his 40th birthday. Harry is forced to reflect on his life when two ex-soldiers that fought alongside his deceased father make an unexpected entrance into his life. What results is really quite a heartfelt book about the deeper meanings of life that can somehow pass us by as we coast along. This book forces the reader to think about the important relationships that exist between parent and child. But what's interesting is that this is not a book that was written for women - this is very much a man's fictional novel, and therefore it presents things from a very interesting perspective (for me at least as I am female).
I really did enjoy this book. It didn't get my attention straightaway and I did feel that the beginning doesn't really do the story much justice. In fact I found myself being a bit annoyed at certain points, but it was entertaining enough to keep me going. The story really comes into its own when the two ex-soldiers arrive, as Harry's interaction with them makes him think of his own father, and often, his relationship with his own son. Tony Parson's does a brilliant job here of really engaging the reader, particularly any reader that has a family of their own. And as I already said, because this book is written from a man's perspective, the female characters (Harry's ex and current wife) very much take a backseat, but without losing the significance they have in Harry's life.
I would highly recommend this book to male friends of a certain age group (late 30s to early 40s) with families of their own and who enjoy a fictional read every now and again. It was almost like deep and meaningful chick-lit for men. The story was quite realistic as it was based on a man that had a child with an ex-wife, but also a child with his current wife. The way that Harry juggles these relationships is really quite interesting to read about and quite appealing to any reader in a similar situation, as there'd be something there for them to relate to.
The way the story ended was quite satisfying. I always try not to judge a book by its ending, but I find that hard as it's the bit I usually remember the most and a disappointing ending can leave me feeling frustrated! But I felt that 'Men from the Boys' ended much better than it started. And like I said, I'd now like to get my hands on the other two books that precede this one!
To summarise - a great read on a male perspective on life and the important relationships we form as part of it!