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A return to Harry Silver and his son
Men from the Boys - Tony Parsons
Member Name: katyj10
Men from the Boys - Tony Parsons
Advantages: Finished the trilogy for me
Disadvantages: Didn't blow me away
This is a review of the 2011 book "Men from the boys" by Tony Parsons. It is actually the third book in a trilogy and I had just read the second book when I realised this was sitting on the 'to be read' shelf of the book case. It must have been a charity shop purchase I think because I can't remember buying or swapping it. I decided to read it straight away whilst book two was still fairly fresh in my mind.
The book follows Harry Silver who is knocking 40 years old. He has an ex-wife (Gina) and their son Pat, a current wife Cyd and her daughter Peggy and Harry and Cyd have a daughter together called Joni. An old man called Ken enters Harry's life; he was a friend of his father when he was alive, they both fought in the war together. For some reason, Harry gets quite attached to Ken and begins to spend a lot of time with him and his mates just enjoying their pastimes (betting!) together.
Harry has come a long way from book two which is set a few years previous. He seems to have stopped lusting after Gina and any other woman who looks his way. He is as before totally devoted to his son and the girls and tries to be a good dad to them. Cyd is still quite a mysterious character, she doesn't seem happy in her marriage and has close ties to her ex-husband Jim (Peggy's dad).
This book really is typical of family life and nothing really monumental happens in the book. Its title, 'Men from the boys' suggests solidarity amongst men, growing up and a general acceptance that life is not easy and that we must all toughen up to face the challenges in life. In the book, Pat is unhappy at school as he is being bullied by the tough kids in school. He is academically bright but distractions like girls are leading him astray and Harry struggles with how to handle him. He seems afraid to discipline him as he knows he will lose him to his mother and doesn't want that to happen.
A manly read?
I think men would enjoy reading this book too as it is written by a man and from Harry's perspective. There is not a lot of girly stuff going on there (except for the 'office' at the strip club but that's a different kind of girly!) but I don't mind that as I find it boring to read back to back chic lit and like to mix it up a bit anyway.
Price and availability
This book is available on Amazon for £5.59 with free delivery. There are also nine copies available to swap on readitswapit (including my copy!).
I liked how much Harry had matured and moved on but still felt that he wasn't that bothered about his job and career and which way that was going. As a provider for his family I wanted him to try a bit harder in that respect. The relationship that developed between Pat and Ken was wonderful, neither judged each other and they were both comfortable in each other's presence. I didn't read book one in the trilogy but kind of picked up what had happened in book two so book three read on seamlessly really. I don't think I will bother reading book one any time soon but I did quite enjoy reading this book. I would recommend it in the context of reading the other books but to pick this up blankly may leave you lacking some of the detail that fills in Harry's past.
Summary: An OK read but best in context of the series