Starting Over Paperback
by Tony Parsons
This is the story of how we grow old - how we give up the dreams of youth for something better - and how many chances we have to get it right.
George Bailey has been given the gift we all dream of - the chance to live his life again. After suffering a heart attack at the age of 42, George is given the heart of a 19-year-old - and suddenly everything changes...He is a friend to his teenage son and daughter - and not a stern Home Secretary, monitoring their every move.
He makes love to his wife all night long - instead of from midnight until about five past. And suddenly he wants to change the world, just as soon as he shakes off his hangover.
But George Bailey discovers that being young again is not all it is cracked up to be - and what he actually wants more than anything in the universe is to have his old life back.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 06/08/2009
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780007226511
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by paulmorriss
I found myself wondering if a man would really behave like the character in this book did, and make what seemed such stupid choices. Having said that though, it is very involving as you wait to see how things work out in the end.
Review by jayne_charles
Mixed feelings about this one. The start felt disjointed, as though in a rush over the editing the author had simply ripped out random sections of his manuscript and posted the rest to the printers. Somewhere along the line a guy who’s either 42 or 47 depending on whether you believe the text or the back cover synopsis, gets a heart transplant. It happens so quickly they might possibly have installed a zipper in his chest. Then he starts taking on some of the characteristics of his much younger donor.The action throughout moves between scenes with the swiftness of Tarzan swinging through the trees. The reader has to fill in the stuff that happens off camera, and there is a lot of that. There is a lot of reliance on punchy one-sentence paragraphs designed to create impact, and which read like an editorial in the Daily Mirror. Fine if there is drama going on, but that wasn’t always the case. I suspected soon we might be reduced to stuff like:I put the kettle on.I really fancied a cup of tea.(cue EastEnders drumbeat)On the other hand, the observations of family life with teenagers were impressive, and the plot played to the author’s strong suit – father and son relationships. There were some wonderfully witty moments – the mobile phone in the theatre, the frying pan, and particularly the wedding (featuring a guest ‘you wouldn’t want to meet even up a very well-lit alley’). I haven’t read any of Tony Parsons’ work since ‘Man and Boy’, but I can see how his writing has developed over the intervening period, whilst retaining the things he does best. I suspect if you like his writing you will like this.