Oh dear Lord, it has been far too long since I’ve done one of these… I pretty much have no excuse for not updating my book review blog. It’s just been one of those months where, in a moment of silence, you think ‘I should really do that’ and then, of course, it never gets done. However, I am now on holiday and have no excuse but to write! I limited myself to only TWO hardcopy books for this trip (not counting the four books I need for my Masters, but they don’t count because they’re education) and have dragged myself away from the toiling task of lying on the beach to finally give you my review of some of my recently-read books. Here is ‘The Best a Man Can Get’ which is by John O’ Farrell!
Quick note- yes, it is another John O’ Farrell. I know I said I would read LOADS of different types of books by lots of different authors but… well, I lied. John O’ Farrell is brilliant and I must read all of his books. Forgive me.
The blurb reads: Michael Adams shares a flat with three other men in their late twenties. Days are spent lying in bed, playing computer games and occasionally doing a bit of work. And then, when he feels like it, he crosses the river and goes back to his unsuspecting wife and children.
I give this book 3/5 for how put-down-able it was. Firstly, I gave up on it after about 40% (Kindle, sigh) so that had to take a couple of marks off the score. However, I picked it up again out of sheer curiosity. When I’d put it down it seemed like the story still wasn’t going anywhere and even though O’ Farrell’s writing is witty and smart, the story just felt a bit depressing and stagnant. But, as with all things if you keep giving them a try (okay, maybe not ALL things) it turned out brilliantly and the ending was much more fast paced and lovely.
This book gets 3/5 for characters. Unfortunately, the O’ Farrell books I’ve read seem to all feature a male lead, around mid forties, who is a bit selfish and more than a bit of a… (cue me frowning whilst writing this, trying to think of a more literary word than ‘knob’)… knob. Although the character eventually sees the error of his ways- not a spoiler- the characters in the books I’ve read so far could very easily just be the same person walking across the pages of one book into the other. It did make me wonder whether John O’ Farrell bases these characters on himself. A bit like Jennifer Aniston playing the same character in every romantic-comedy she’s ever been in, is O’ Farrell doing the same with his main leads?
I give The Best a Man Can Get 4/5 for originality. I have never come across a book with a story like this, although rewind to the previous rating to see why I also feel like I’ve read this exact story before…
Overall, this book gets 3/5. I did enjoy it, and don’t let my rating put you off (do you read my blog and then read what I read, that is the question) but I did feel it took a long time to get to the story line and the character portrayed was the same as the book before. But don’t necessarily listen to me, I’m still trying to work out whether all things are better if you give them a try.
Thank you for reading and comment below with any pressing thoughts you might have (preferably about the book or the review, rather than just random questions that you feel need answering. Although… I’ll probably do my best to answer those too) and the next blog will be ‘The Case of the Howling Dog’!