Paperback: 291 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Harper 2009
Source: My own Bookshelf, not sure where it came from originally - Will now Bookcross
First Sentence: She doesn't feel comfortable driving this car.
Main Character: George Bailey
Review Quote: A funny sad love story, The Spectator.
My Opinion: A male writer of chick flicks for men is how I have seen Tony Parsons described, I prefer to think of him as a male writer of Contemporary Fiction which can be enjoyed by both male and female readers. I happen to enjoy his take on relationships and have read five other novels of his, although this is only the second time I have reviewed one here.
If you have not already realised that 'life' is a precious gift, you will have by the time you have finished reading 'Starting Over'. This is an emotional read. Though not in my opinion his best work, it is probably worth reading if you are already a fan of his novels.
My Previous Review: My Favourite Wife
Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:
After suffering a heart attack at the age of 42, George is given the heart of a 19-year-old - and suddenly everything changes. But he soon discovers that being young again is not all it is cracked up to be - and what he actually wants more than anything is to have his old life back.
Tony Parsons is an award winning journalist, broadcaster and best-selling novelist. Born in Romford, Essex, on November 6th 1953, he was the only child of working class parents. He spent the first five years of his life in a rented flat above a shop in Essex, before his family moved to their own house in Billericay, Essex.
His father was a former Royal Naval Commando who won the Distinguished Service Medal in World War Two. After the war, he worked as a lorry driver, market trader and greengrocer. His mother was a school dinner lady. Parsons attended a grammar school but dropped out when he was 16 years old and worked in a series of low-paid, unskilled menial jobs.
Parsons married fellow New Musical Express journalist Julie Burchill they have one son together and divorced in 1984. Parsons became a single parent caring for their 4-year-old son. The experience of being a young man caring for a small child was to later influence his best-selling novel, Man and Boy. Parsons' father died of cancer in 1987 and his mother died of cancer in 1999, just weeks before the publication of Man and Boy. The book is dedicated to Parsons' mother.
In 1992, Parsons married his Japanese wife, Yuriko. They have one daughter, Jasmine. He now lives with his wife and daughter in London.
He began his career as a music journalist on the NME, writing about punk music. Later, he wrote for The Daily Telegraph, before going on to write his current column for the Daily Mirror. Parsons was for a time a regular guest on the BBC Two arts review programme The Late Show, and still appears infrequently on the successor Newsnight Review; he also briefly hosted a series on Channel 4 called Big Mouth.
He is the author of the multi-million selling novel, Man and Boy (1999). Parsons had written a number of novels including The Kids (1976), Platinum Logic (1981) and Limelight Blues (1983), before he found mainstream success by focussing on the tribulations of thirty-something men. Parsons has since published a series of best-selling novels – One For My Baby (2001), Man and Wife (2003), The Family Way (2004), Stories We Could Tell (2006), My Favourite Wife (2007), Starting Over (2009) and Men From the Boys (2010). His novels typically deal with relationship problems, emotional dramas and the traumas of men and women in our time. He describes his writing as 'Men Lit', as opposed to the rising popularity of 'Chick Lit'.
The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and his writing.