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The Man Who Forgot His Wife

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,871 Ratings  ·  259 Reviews
Lots of husbands forget things: they forget that their wife had an important meeting that morning; they forget to pick up the dry cleaning; some of them even forget their wedding anniversary.
But Vaughan has forgotten he even has a wife. Her name,her face, their history together, everything she has ever told him, everything he has said to her - it has all gone, mysteriously
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published March 15th 2012 by Doubleday (first published 2012)
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Skorofido Skorofido
Έχω κατά καιρούς κατηγορηθεί πως το παίζω φίδι ψευδοκουλτουριάρικον και σνομπάρω τα λεγόμενα ‘ελαφρά ‘βιβλία. Θέλω να ενημερώσω τους ‘εχθρούς’ μου πως λατρεύω τα ελαφρά βιβλία όταν τιμούν τον χαρακτηρισμό του ως ελαφρά και δεν το παίζουν βαριά λογοτεχνία.
Επίσης, όσοι δεν το γνωρίζετε τα σκορόφιδα όχι μόνο παντρεύονται αλλά κάνουν και παιδιά, μικρά σκοροφιδάκια. Κι όπως κάθε παντρεμένον ον, ενίοτε αντιμετωπίζουν και προβλήματα στο γάμο τους. Αυτό είναι άσχετο αλλά το αναφέρω γιατί κάτι τέτοια βιβ
Jun 12, 2012 Natalie rated it it was ok
I did get through this, and I was curious to see how it ended, but my overwhelming feeling towards this book is nothing special. The characters weren’t overly compelling (Maddy showed promise but was overshadowed by the protagonist, Vaughan); the plot would have been better without the attempt at a twist towards the end, which simply showed how under-developed the story was, as it sparked no emotional response; and sometimes the (brilliantly written) comic moments felt a bit too forced, especial ...more
David Proffitt
Feb 20, 2016 David Proffitt rated it really liked it
Every now and again you come across a book that engages you completely. For me this was one of those. Not having read any of John O'Farrell's books before I didn't know what to expect, but I was not disappointed.

The story begins when our hero, Jack Vaughan, steps off the tube with no idea who he is or where is is supposed to be going. We then join him on a new journey of self discovery as, with the help if his friend Gary, he begins to piece together the story of his life so far.

But Vaughan, as
This proved a delightful book filled with humour and insight into the mind of a man going through a mid-life crises. However, in Vaughan's case the loss of all his personal memories due to a psychogenic fugue means that he has to recover the details of his life to date from interactions with family and friends and hope that over time his memories will return. The section where he sets up an open Wikipedia page with the hope that people that have known him will contribute their memories was hilar ...more
Him Up North
Ten or more years ago I was a fan of what became known as Bloke Lit. I read Nick Hornby, Tony Parsons, Mike Gayle, to name but three. I think as I matured so did my tastes, and I began to find the genre a bit samey, the stories a bit self-serving.

I bought TMWFHW not considering it to be bloke lit, but a few chapters in I realised that was what I'd let myself in for. I can't say it was a happy reunion.

The premise is clever. A 40-something man loses all his personal memories, including the ones he
Robin Webster
Dec 26, 2012 Robin Webster rated it liked it
On a drizzly rainy autumn afternoon, on a London Underground train, Vaughan, the central character of the book completely loses his memory. Not long into the book, he finds he has a wife and two children. Unfortunately for him his marriage has broken down and he is about to be divorced. He falls deeply in love with his wife again and tries to untangle what went wrong in their relationship. Although there are a few interesting insights into uncompromising marital relationships the book doesn’t re ...more
Emmy Gregory
Jun 18, 2013 Emmy Gregory rated it it was ok
Meh. I'm generally a big fan of John O'Farrell but this really failed to live up to his other works. The main protagonist is unlikeable; the jokes are contrived and cliched. In fact it would have been a better novel if he'd taken half the jokes out - there were too many, many of them were weak and they disrupted the narrative. It was like talking to a friend who constantly interrupts you to throw in a wisecrack about the half a sentence you've just said. There were several transphobic jokes whic ...more
I enjoyed this although I really didn't like the main character. I thought he was a real idiot and deserved his divorce. This is really a very blokey book with lots of quite juvenile humour, which does help with the characters, but I didn't find it that funny. If this was a chicklit book it would be written completely differently so to read it from a male angle was interesting. I loved all the references to the amnesia and neurology and found that fascinating. I'm not sure that I'd read anything ...more
Nov 08, 2015 Σουρτούκω rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: Κωμωδία
Και εκεί που είσαι στο μετρό, ξαφνικά ξεχνάς τα πάντα. Πού πρέπει να κατέβεις, πού πας; γιατι; και κυριως, ποιος εισαι;
Ο πρωταγωνιστής του βιβλίου είναι ένας μεσήλικας σε κρίση που παθαίνει αμνησία και ψαχνει να βρει τον εαυτό του. Αντ'αυτού βρίσκει τον κοπανο κολλητο του - τη ζωντανή απόδειξη ότι δεν πρέπει να παίρνεις νομικές συμβουλές από έναν τύπο με σκουλαρίκι. Ο ανθρωπος που ξέχασε τη γυναίκα του, είναι ξεκάθαρα η πιο διασκεδαστική ενδοσκόπηση που υπάρχει και διαβάζεται απνευστί. Προσοχή
Vasilis Kalandaridis
Aug 28, 2015 Vasilis Kalandaridis rated it really liked it
Υπέροχο βιβλιαράκι.Και πολύ χρήσιμο θα έλεγα,για σχέσεις,χωρισμούς.Σουπερ,ανάλαφρο,δροσερό.
Heather Hyde
May 05, 2014 Heather Hyde rated it liked it
Vaughan has amnesia, he has forgotten his wife and family, where he lives and what he does for a living! When his friend Gary moves him into his house temporarily he begins to find out his past, when he first sees his wife, he is stunned and finds her gorgeous. Unfortunately they are apparently getting divorced, and he decides to win her back, there are some amusing and frustrating times ahead for Vaughan and his quest to regain his family back and remember his previous life, it's written light ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Zoe rated it liked it
The Man Who Forgot His Wife - this was a very light read. In a nutshell, man suffers sudden amnesia and, can you believe it, forgets his wife. The wife he was in the middle of divorcing. Sounds pretty interesting but this chick-lit (though full of some delightful one liners and humour throughout) is predictable. There weren't any surprises and I knew how the book would end after the first two chapters. This is the sort of book I'd reccomend whilst waiting for a bus or sitting on the train. Not s ...more
Caroline Taggart
Dec 21, 2012 Caroline Taggart rated it really liked it
I loved this. I love John O’Farrell anyway (who couldn't love a man who comes up with the title I Blame the Scapegoats), but this is the first of his novels I’ve read. Thirty-nine-year-old Vaughan suddenly finds himself on a tube heading for Heathrow without the slightest idea who he is or where he is going. No ID in his pockets –even the label on his jacket reads 'Gap’. After a week in hospital he is tracked down by his best friend and taken on a tour of familiar haunts; here he sets eyes on a ...more
Julian Schwarzenbach
I read this book as it was one that my book group decided to read.
It really divided opinion among the group!

I really enjoyed the style and approach. Some good thought provoking moments around the nature of our identity and how people react to us etc. This is a light read and will not take long to finish. The characters are all slightly exaggerated, which I though worked well with the overall style of the story. However, other readers in the group thought the characterisation poor. The character
Jan 10, 2013 Kevin rated it it was amazing
I found this book in Waterstones that came with the offer, "if you don't love it, we will give you your money back." Waterstones; keep my money. I loved it.

I deliberately chose this as I wanted a story that would make me laugh and they store assistant told me that this would. I was initially sceptical as it reminded me of movies such as 'the vow.' However I am so glad that I bought it as I could not put it down.

Every character was intriguing, every word necessary, every second wonderful. I canno
Oct 04, 2013 Emily rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mauve sirene
Recommended to Emily by: panost
Χαριτωμένο, ανάλαφρο ανάγνωσμα προορισμένο για στιγμές ξεκούρασης και αποφόρτισης. Γραμμένο έξυπνα, χωρίς να είναι κάτι το ιδιαίτερο, καταφέρνει να κρατήσει το ενδιαφέρον και γιατί όχι, να εκκινήσει μια διαδικασία ενδοσκόπησης.
Αν και στο σύνολο του υιοθετεί απαισιόδοξη στάση στο γάμο ή αν προτιμάτε, στη μακρά συμβίωση, το τέλος γίνεται διδακτικό και ο αναγνώστης αποφασίζει σθεναρά να μη γίνει σαν τον ήρωα με το ταίρι του. Ορκίζεται ότι τον ίδιο δε θα τον φάει η ρουτίνα και δε θα τον καταβροχθίσο
Jun 10, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vaughan is riding the Tube when he finds he cannot remember where he is going or why, not only that he can't remember who he is or anything about where he lives and has no wallet, phone or i.d. with him. After some days in hospital diagnosed with a fugue, he stumbles on a link to his past - his friend, Gary - and then discovers he is married to the lovely Maddie. Only problem is, they are going through an acrimonious divorce, which Vaughan now feels he doesn't want - but can he persuade Maddie t ...more
Peter Allard
Oct 23, 2015 Peter Allard rated it it was ok
If you like Richard Curtis films, you'll love this. Like a Richard Curtis film I did laugh - 3 times in 390 pages, which was a couple of hundred too long. 'Feel good' comedy presumably means a predictable happy ending. After all the middle class niceness I yearn for something more gritty - like punk rock after the Eurovision Song Contest.
Victor Gibson
In general I think John O'Farrell is a pretty clever guy. He does radio sitcoms, comedy programmes, columns in newspapers and fiction, nearly all of it entertaining stuff. However in the end I was not really engaged with his hero, if that is the word, in this book. Apparently he was a nasty person until he lost his memory and became a new man. O'Farrell says that the story is based on a true experience - not his, so perhaps such a thing is possible, but to be honest I did not really go for it. B ...more
Jan 21, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, chick-lit
Well written and very witty. This is the story of Vaughan, a middle-aged history teacher who inexplicably loses his memory of absolutely everything... his name, address, occupation, favourite colour and not least, his wife and kids. After a week in hospital a name and a number suddenly come to the surface and his best friend (allegedly) now enters his strange new world - surely things will get better now? Of course, this is the complete opposite of how things actually turn out. This is Vaughan's ...more
Ralph Britton
Nov 11, 2013 Ralph Britton rated it it was ok
I picked this book up in Waterstones and thought it looked fascinating. I borrowed it from the local library and found that while the idea for the book is a brilliant one the execution is commonplace and the characters of limited interest. It is well intentioned and good natured but the central character, who comes to himself on the tube with no memory of his name or circumstances, is very ordinary - when we find out about him we realise he was more interesting in his original state. The mental ...more
Dec 05, 2012 Meera rated it it was ok
I usually enjoy John O'Farrell's books, but this was hard going, mainly because none of the characters were very engaging or rounded out. It tells the tale of Vaughan, who loses his memory and wakes up to find that he has forgotten he was married, the existence of his kids etc. It turns out he was in the midst of an acromonious divorce, and he falls in love with his wife again and vows to get her back before they divorce. I think this book was intended to be funny, but I really didn't find much ...more
Jess Whiteford
Sep 10, 2012 Jess Whiteford rated it liked it
This book was a recommended read at Waterstones, 'love it or get your money back' and with an offer like that I thought this must be a great book. However I can only give this three stars for being an easy, light hearted, quick read with some funny moments that made me laugh. I can't help but call this blokelit (a term I have never used to describe any book before) and my husband does seem to be enjoying this much more than I did. For me iIt's not a book to love but rather one to pack in a holid ...more
Simona Panican
Feb 08, 2016 Simona Panican rated it really liked it
simple funny great reading! totally recommend!
Charlotte Green
Apr 17, 2016 Charlotte Green rated it liked it
John O’Farrell is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. He is part comedy scriptwriter (Spitting Image, Alas Smith and Jones), part political satirist (An Utterly Exasperating History of Modern Britain) and part bestselling novelist. The Man Who Forgot his Wife is his fourth novel. He is also a member of the Labour Party. He’s that John O’Farrell: fourth place in the Eastleigh by-election…

Anyway, the book. Its hero, a teacher, husband and father called Jack Vaughan (who goes by Vaughan), is on the Lond
Dec 27, 2015 Librevista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Итак, перед нами очередная история любви. Правда, после 10 лет брака эта любовь несколько трансформировалась в ненависть, но тут на помощь приходит чудо. На этот раз в роли чуда выступает амнезия мужа. Память ему отшибло достаточно избирательно - только личная история, чтобы особенно не заморачиваться, потому что нужно это только для одного -восстановить некогда нежные и трепетные отношения. С счастью/сожалению герой об этом не догадывается и понятно страдает и мучается, правда недолго. Во
Dec 07, 2015 bedejong rated it liked it
I would give this book somewhere between 3,5 stars. If you don't want to glimpse what happens in the novel, then don't read on but skip towards my conclusion.

The book tells the tale of a man who suddenly experiences amnesia. In the following days/weeks he figures out that the has a wife, two children, a job, et cetera. As he learns more and more he learns the true nature of his character, his relationship(s) and his actions. He is appalled by what he learns but is convinced that he is no longer
Πάνος Τουρλής
Μετά το αριστουργμηατικό Σύζυγοι σε θέση μάχης σας προτείνω και αυτό το ανεπανάληπτο βιβλίο. Σπιρτόζικο, ευρηματικό, χιουμοριστικό κι όμως τόσο αληθινό, τόσο τραγικό, τόσο ανθρώπινο. Ένας άντρας παθαίνει αμνησία ως αποτέλεσμα έντονου στρες κι όταν αρχίζει σιγά σιγά να συνδέει τα κομμάτια της ζωής του ανακαλύπτει ότι ήταν στα πρόθυρα του διαζυγίου με τη γυναίκα του!

Γλαφυρό, καυστικό, πανέξυπνο και για όσους ξέρουν να διαβάζουν πίσω από τις γραμμές πικρόχολο και -γιατί όχι;- ακόμη και αισιόδοξο! Θ
Bella Grewal
Jun 03, 2014 Bella Grewal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Första boken jag valde att låna som e-bok var den som just nu ligger på plats nr 1 över lånade e-böcker på biblioteket. Mannen som glömde sin fru av John OFarrell. En man sitter på ett tunnelbanetåg och tappar helt plötsligt minnet. Han vet inte vem han är eller vart han är på väg. Bara att få hjälp av någon visar sig vara ett bekymmer av rang. Frågan är vad man själv hade gjort om en okänd man i 40-års åldern kommit fram till dig och frågat;
- Var är jag? Kan du hjälpa mig, jag vet inte vem jag
Edmund Leow
May 20, 2014 Edmund Leow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious at times, thoughtful the next, this book is about how history/ memories affect our relationships. It raises thoughts and questions about one's perception of the past, the present and the future..

The past - Can we trust our own memories or the memories of others, or the history of anything for that matter? Surely our version of history as it is written/remembered is not the total hard truth. There may be more (or less) to it..
The present - Are we letting precious moments slip us by? Sho
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John O'Farrell is the author of four novels: The Man Who Forgot His Wife, May Contain Nuts, This Is Your Life and The Best a Man Can Get. His novels have been translated into over twenty languages and have been adapted for radio and television. He has also written two best-selling history books: An Utterly Impartial History of Britain and An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain, as well a ...more
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“Like the two trees in our garden that had grown side by side, their trunks intertwining over the decades to accommodate and support one another.” 1 likes
“the sense of separateness from the rest of the world, as if everyone else knew the part they were playing but I’d never been given a script.” 1 likes
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