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Publisher's Summary

Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize

David Carter cannot help but wish for more: that his wife, Eleanor, would be the sparkling girl he once found so irresistible; that his job as a museum curator could live up to the promise it once held; that his daughter's arrival could have brought him closer to Eleanor. But a few careless words spoken by his mother's friend have left David restless with the knowledge that his whole life has been constructed around a lie.

©2006 Jon McGregor (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"A homage to ordinary people and ordinary things, to the parts of our lives that often go unspoken...moving and honest." (The Times)
"A book about the search for greater meaning in the strange dance of chance." (Independent)
"McGregor's meticulous syntax melts into a hot flood of words.... An intimate tale with penetrating things to say about the wider history of twentieth-century Britain." (Sunday Times)
"An absorbing and unexpectedly uplifting novel.... It will leave you thinking long after you have put the book away on the shelf." (Irish Independent)

What members say

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  • Dr
  • 01-05-18

Long and tedious

Didn't like the characters or the story, and found the narrator monotonous. The different parts didn't hang together well.

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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 07-01-18

Rather tedious

I couldn't wait to read this after enjoying Reservoir 13 but sadly, this novel did not appeal half as much. The technique Jon McGregor uses was perfect for Reservoir 13 but there, I found it immensely dull. There is just not enough action/character/description to hold my interest. I found the characters feeble and the casual 'realistic' speech patterns tedious, especially when delivered in the narrator's rather monotone nasal voice. His whine of characters constantly bleating 'I don't know' became really wearing. A shame, as the other novel was great.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful