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Terms & Conditions

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Frank has been in a serious car accident and he’s missing memories—of the people around him, of the history they share, and of how he came to be in the crash. All he remembers is that he is a lawyer who specializes in fine print, and as he narrates his story, he applies this expertise in the form of footnotes.*

Everyone keeps telling Frank that he was fine before the accident, “just a bit overwhelmed,” but as he begins to reclaim his memories, they don’t quite jive with what everyone is telling him. His odious brother Oscar is intent on going into business with an inventively cruel corporation.** Alice, Frank’s wife, isn’t at all like the woman he fell in love with. She’s written a book called Executive X that makes Frank furious, though he isn’t sure why. And to make matters even stranger, stored in a closet is a severed finger floating in an old mustard jar that makes him feel very, very proud.

As more memories flood in, Frank’s tightly regulated life begins to unspool as he is forced to face up to the real terms*** and the condition of his life.**** Robert Glancy’s debut novel is a shrewd and hilarious exploration of freedom and frustration, success and second chances, and whether it’s worth living by the rules.

* Yes, exactly like this.

** We can't tell you what it’s called for legal reasons, but believe us, it’s evil.

*** Which are rarely in his favor.

**** Which is a total mess.

258 pages, Hardcover

First published February 13, 2014

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About the author

Robert Glancy

8 books54 followers
I was born in Zambia and raised in Malawi – a country known as the Warm Heart of Africa but made famous as the place where Madonna finds her children.

At 14 I moved from the warm heart of Africa to the cold lungs of Edinburgh, where I discovered the true meaning of the term ‘culture shock’.

After Edinburgh I studied history at Cambridge. Then off to London where, before I had time to find a career, a career in communications found me.

In my search to return to warmer weather, I moved to beautiful New Zealand in 2003, where I have lived ever since with my wife and two children. Except for 2014 where I moved to France and divided my time very unevenly between cat-sitting and writing my second book. The cat just about survived - sorry Molly! - and I finished my second book - Please Do Not Disturb.

I am now back in New Zealand writing book three.

My first book, Terms & Conditions, launched in 2014.

My second book, Please Do Not Disturb, is being published by Bloomsbury in 2016.

As well as writing books, I have also written articles for The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Telegraph, Conde Nast and Esquire.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 324 reviews
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,608 reviews1,481 followers
January 19, 2015
Fine print, who reads it? I could be signing away my first born when I update my itunes account or cell phone contract, actually I think they take a piece of my soul. But I never read through it,

Frank is the character that writes all of the fine print and he has just had a mental breakdown. He doesn’t remember anything about his past, including his wife and family, it is all a jumble. I immediately liked Frank.

I’m anti-trust, the dark force committed to destroying life’s faith, hope and wonder. Put simply –I’m a corporate lawyer.

Terms and conditions is written in a way that you will love or hate. I fall on the side of love, but I like it when authors try new things to add to the overall effect of the story. The chapters are short and throughout are * and *1 s at the end is the fine print of the chapter. I found most of it funny, it is British humor, and it really made me think about how most of us see the world. If I became a blank slate again, would I choose to see it differently? The beginning of each chapter has a statement about the Terms and Conditions of the chapter such as:

‘Terms and Conditions of Coffee Its taste never lives up to the promise of its aroma

Terms and conditions of Denial Denial is a treadmill – you can run forever but you’ll never escape.

Some are funny some were profound but I enjoyed flipping through them. Most seemed like they should be on t-shirts, bumper stickers or motivational posters.

I was invested in Frank’s character from the beginning. For a lawyer he comes off extremely likable, but that could be because he has lost his mind and as we discover who he was I just felt bad he let so many people walk all over him his whole life. But now he has a chance to really change his path and I wanted to cheer him on along his journey.

The process of Frank recovering his memory came in flashes of feelings and smells. Memories of his past lead to those of his present. Frank discovers that he was starting to act out even before the accident and his mental collapse as he finds funny notations and discrepancies in the fine print he was writing before. With the help of a few friends, his wife and his two brothers Frank slowly starts to put it all back together again. When the reveal of what was the final straw that broke Franks back my heart raced as I couldn’t believe the betrayals that finally caused it.

The writing was smart, funny, poignant, riveting it grabbed on to me. I enjoyed the metaphors and similes used. I highlighted so many interesting passages throughout. So much seemed meaningful to me. It has been a little while that a book made me really think about how I see the world and if I started from scratch would I still feel the same about my life.

I really wish I could say something positive – that returning memories were a million dandelion seeds floating back and sticking to my brain. I cannot. Cockroaches hold hundreds of babies in their womb and when squashed their exploded bodies spew spawn as far and wide as possible to preserve the species; as I laughed I started desperately and frantically trapping all the disgusting scuttling memories before they escaped again. That was how it felt.

I wanted just a little more in the resolution of the story. It seemed a little rushed but overall I liked the wrap up. I just wanted to see a smidgen more of the new Frank and his future, perhaps an epilogue of sorts a few years down the road to see if he is still on the path he choose. But the ending was still meaningful.

ARC provided by Bloomsbury USA thru Netgalley for and unbiased review. Quotes used are from the draft and may not be in the final product
Profile Image for John Purcell.
Author 22 books117 followers
February 17, 2014
Terms and Conditions was a publisher proof copy in a pile of publisher proof copies beside my bed.

I had been told that everyone at Bloomsbury Australia loved the book – which is only right since they were taking the trouble to publish it. They think it could be one of those surprise hits. They are going to back it with marketing. My first thought on hearing this pitch is, try Googling the title.

But I like the mob at Bloomsbury and take it home. I put it with the others.

I try not to think of this ever growing pile of proof copies as a burden. I try to think of it as a lucky dip.

I imagine myself a child again plunging my hand into a tub filled with wrapped presents. I’m hoping for a water pistol, but instead find a pair of socks. Good socks, school socks, a pair that would do the job well and would last, but socks all the same. I try again. I want a packet of throw downs, I get a compass. I know I shouldn’t grumble, the prizes I have won have their uses, they are practical and necessary. Good solid dependable things.

By the time I pulled out Terms and Conditions I was expecting a pair of Y-Fronts.

In the first chapter of Terms and Conditions the narrator, Frank, wakes in hospital, there has been an accident. He has amnesia. (God it is difficult to refrain from following this statement up with – he doesn’t remember a thing.) Thus we meet the two most important people in Frank’s life at the same time he does. His wife, Alice (Alice is my wife – allegedly) and his brother, Oscar. Frank works for Oscar at Shaw&Sons the law firm their grandfather founded. Note: In one of the finest ever uses of a footnote in the history of literature Frank reveals his true opinion of his brother. It made me snort.

Author Robert Glancy sets up his dark comedy over the next few chapters as Frank, a stranger to himself, tries to come to terms with the conditions of his life. It is easier than he thinks. He writes contracts for Oscar. He is married to Alice. He is very dull. But then his memory starts to return and this is where the novel takes off.

But is Terms and Conditions a very useful pair of Y-Fronts or is it something more exciting?

Comic timing rests upon structure. And this novel has been cleverly thought out. On every page there are enjoyable jabs aimed at the inanities of modern life. But it is the arrangement and delivery of the details of Frank’s life which increase the comic possibilities. Thankfully Glancy never overburdens his story with his direction. His characterisation saves him. Although the depiction of Frank’s wife Alice and her descent into corporate culture is so close to the truth I fear that those with no experience of corporate life may think the depiction fantastical.

Glancy delivers on the promise of the first half of the book, keeping a firm grip on his narrative right to the final lines. But is this the work of a talented artist or a competent craftsman? I think the answer lies in the relationship between Frank and his other brother, Malcolm, who has rejected a partnership in the family law firm and now lives a carefree life traveling the world. Malcolm emails Frank throughout the novel offering Frank (and us) an alternative perspective on life.

Terms and Conditions is a very funny book. At once a cautionary tale, a love story, a comedy of manners and a self-help book like no other. You will want to read it a second time. The fact that it is so funny doesn’t mean that it is lightweight. There is great meaning here, too. I put my hand into that lucky dip, my bedside pile of proofs, and was rewarded not with a pair of Y-Fronts but with a slingshot, the weapon of choice for those wanting to bring down something big.
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,398 reviews147 followers
February 2, 2018
“Doug’s head sagged and I felt him give up on me. That feeling of people giving up on me, that’s a physical sensation now. As if we’re tied by a million soft strings and when I disappoint a few thousand strings stretch and break, as my connection to that person is severed by yet more thin slices of disappointment.”

Terms and Conditions is the first novel by Zambian-born, Malawi-raised New Zealand author, Robert Glancy. A car accident has left Franklyn Shaw with a brain injury, the immediate effect of which is total amnesia. He is apparently married to Alice, a Human Resources expert, model-thin and hard, immaculately tailored; he has an older brother, Oscar, who runs the family law firm; he has a younger brother, Malcolm, a free spirit and maybe a bit of a hippie, judging by the emails Frank receives from various Asian locales.

Assured that his memory will gradually return, Frank gently eases back into the life he apparently had before the accident. But when the memories begin to return, some are quite disturbing: the emptiness of his life is disappointing; he is dismayed by his own weak response to challenges; his marriage is not all he had hoped for; and his brother’s management of the family firm would not meet with their father’s, nor their grandfather’s, approval. And why will no one tell him about the “episode” he had before the accident?

Glancy’s characters are easily believable and realistically flawed. Most have some appeal, for all their faults, but there are two who are not difficult to despise. Of one is said: “You make my heart grow small” by a youngster with a perceptiveness belied by his years. It is this person who “…smiled a smile so thin it could slice eyeballs.” Glancy gives many of his characters words of wisdom and insightful observations about human behaviour. It is satisfying to see that the amnesiac Frank’s instinctive assessment of those he “meets” stands the test of the regained memory.

Glancy’s protagonist is a corporate lawyer specialising in the Terms and Conditions of Contracts (those bits we all ignore at our peril), so it is entirely fitting that his story takes the format of the Terms and Conditions of a Contract. It is divided into Clauses (rather than chapters) and the Terms and Conditions come (of course) with footnotes, although when those footnotes generate footnotes of their own, which also generate footnotes, the eyesight of readers of a certain vintage is bound to be challenged. (Footnote: Are you wearing your glasses? OK, then good lighting and a magnifying glass may be needed.) But it is worth the effort to read every one of those footnotes.

Glancy wraps his tale in some wonderful descriptive prose. This is an outstanding debut novel, full of humour and wit, moving and ultimately uplifting. Readers who enjoy it will be pleased to know that Glancy has written a second novel, Please Do Not Disturb.
Profile Image for Shelleyrae at Book'd Out.
2,458 reviews513 followers
March 21, 2014

Terms & Conditions is a quirky*, black humoured story of a man** who lost his mind***, then regained his soul.****

* Makes extensive use of footnotes
** Franklyn Shaw, contract lawyer aka Executive X. Husband of corporate bimbo, Alice. Brother of conscienceless prat, Oscar and Malcolm, who is missing his pinkie finger.
*** Amnesia as a result of a car accident while in the midst of a nervous breakdown
**** This will all make much more sense when you have read the book. Which you should do.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,109 reviews2,666 followers
March 9, 2014
Frank Shaw was a corporate lawyer – he wrote contracts for a living. But after his dreadful car accident when he was lying prone in hospital, in pain, drifting in and out of consciousness, he couldn’t remember anything of his work, nor his family or his wife Alice. With family members all around him, telling him he would be fine, all he could think was that he didn’t even know these people who were telling him that he would be fine.

When he finally went home from hospital he tried to recollect events from his “past life” – his life before the accident. With his brother Oscar, who was also his boss at Shaw & Sons, he began to gently insinuate himself back into his job – but it didn’t work. He needed more time. Alice was acting very strangely as well – he wasn’t liking the way things were turning out; it didn’t seem like life pre accident had been a good one. The one sense of sanity he felt was the constant emails he received from his other brother Malcolm, who had rejected the family business and was travelling the world.

I had some trouble getting into this book – but once I did I found I enjoyed the story, with Frank’s dilemma a constant throughout. I also found it hard to get attached to the characters – there was definitely humour throughout, and the fine print at the bottom of the pages needs to be read otherwise the story wouldn’t be as it’s meant to be.

I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads program and was very excited to receive my copy.
Profile Image for Meyrnah Khodr.
93 reviews6 followers
February 28, 2014
Terms and Conditions of a good book;
*Well Written
*Must have Fine Print!
*Must have nasty characters that you love to hate!!

Condition 1: Terms and Conditions of Laughter
Robert Glancy's dry wit and sense of humour kept me very entertained and giggling throughout the novel. His portrayal of 'Frank', the terms and conditions guy, is extremely funny - even though this character was going through such life-changing experiences. When I read the blurb about this book, I thought how could such a boring job be interesting? After all, who is ever interested in reading the fine print?! Frank's thought processes and inner voice was extremely funny and kept me entertained.

Condition 2: Terms and Conditions of being Different
I loved the way this book was set out, so very appropriate and so very different. It didn't bother me that I had to keep referring to the fine print - I actually looked forward to it and felt a little disappointed that there wasn't fine print on every page!!

Condition 3: Terms and Conditions of Honesty
I loved Robert Glancy's writing style as it was very direct and honest. The author dealt with the issue of weapons manufacturing and the effects it has on the countries involved in a very raw and honest way. He didn't force his opinion on the readers nor bore us with political drivel. It made reading this book very easy, yet you come away afterwards a little more wiser and aware.

Condition 4: Terms and Conditions of Analogies
There were definitely no boring bits in this book. Glancy's writing style is clear, descriptive and full of analogies. I loved the way he described Frank's stay in the hospital and his recovery period. "My terror was heightened by my muddled hormones. The accident had smashed my separately labelled jars - Sad, Happy, Mad - into a sloshing chaos of wild fluids."p2 What an interesting way of describing the mix up of his emotions!

Condition 5: Terms and Conditions of fine print
Yes, I mentioned this before but I really liked the idea of the fine print!*

*The funniest bits were in the fine print**
**The smaller the print, the more I laughed!

Condition 6: Terms and Conditions of Nasty Characters
I really feel that a book is not complete unless it has some nasty characters thrown in somewhere - the nastier, the better! Frank's brother,Oscar, is a bully and Frank's wife,Alice, is a superb****!! I absolutely hated the way they treated Frank - Glancy did a great job in building up my hatred towards them and therefore I felt empathy for Frank. This is how i knew i liked this book because I became involved in the story and felt for the characters.

I'd recommend this book to everyone; especially those with bullies for brothers! A very funny and entertaining book - 4.5 stars!

Profile Image for Ying Wong.
39 reviews3 followers
October 6, 2021
It took me a while to decide whether or not to leave a review, firstly because it pains me to leave a bad review for a book with good intentions, and secondly because it came recommended by a friend who perhaps thought I would be able to relate to the disenchanted corporate lawyer at the centre of this story (bleak). Ultimately, when I dig deep, what I disliked about this book exemplifies what I hate about lazy storytelling and damaging and frankly classist morals presented in a cutesy, post-capitalism format. I feel like a cynical and sour version of Richard Ayoade writing an entire book about the Gwenyth Paltrow movie View From The Top, but I’m in lockdown right now so give me a break and let me live.

Let’s start with the negatives. This novel was a collection of cliches and two-dimensional hero/villain/sidekick tropes that reminded me of a slew of direct-to-DVD indie films that came out around 2007-2010 which hid a shallow storyline and fragile male ego behind cute, quippy dialogue and Smarter Than Thou jokes. What particularly bothered me about the flat characters is that firstly, it is simply lazy to totally villainise someone to a point of caricature; the brother Oscar was a primo example of this whose bad breath and hideous cutthroat lawyer nonexistent moral compass were downright cartoonish. The sidekick characters were also totally flat and existed purely as a vehicle to serve the protagonist in his journey of self re-discovery. What bothered me most though, is that the wife character, whose descent into corporateness is lamentable (and perhaps accurate), was totally demonised for her choice to live her life in a particular (lucrative?) way. Who can really blame someone for conducting themselves in a manner that would allow them to achieve material success in a capitalist world, particularly as a woman? It’s easy enough for old mate Frank to pack up and leave at the end without further thought, but his ability to do so reeks of wealthy white male privilege. Frank can leave his monotonous and depressing life behind because he has a family dynasty to pay him out, and a fat divorce settlement to live off ad infinitum. It therefore seems unfair, classist and shortsighted to punish his wife in a narrative sense for seeking to ‘make it’ when the very conditions in society which make it possible for Frank to leave, make it impossible for the less fortunate to ever catch a break. In a similar vein, the protagonist’s new love interest is a woman who is ‘a creative’ manic pixie dream girl. It is mentioned more than once that she is what Frank’s wife used to be before she ‘went corporate’. She is probably poor (“wears cardigans” apparently) and Frank loves her because of her down-to-earthedness (fair enough I guess). What Bothers Me is that the ‘poor creative’ character (and the younger brother who is a similar world traveller trope) is idolised by Frank, who himself is a gross corporate drone, precisely because he can use her to gain a sense of self back. This is all horribly inarticulate, but what I’m trying to say without sounding like a corporate simp (maybe I am? I shudder to think it) is that this book *pretends* to liberate characters from the yucky capitalist confines of wealth and status but is really just hypocritical and inadvertently classist in the manner it chooses to do so.

A few notes on style and substance. The fucking cccconnnnstant use of footnotes* was incredibly tiresome and a total case of it was funny once but you can stop now. Also, while I can’t profess to know the ins and outs of practising insurance law, speaking as a** member of the legal profession, this ain’t it chief.*** Do more research**** before trying to write a convincing book next time.

Now, I have to redeem this hideously negative review with some positive comments so I don’t look like a total dick, but also because I think the book actually does have redeeming qualities. Firstly, it is funny. In a bit of a teenagery way, but it’s certainly dry, British, scoffable funny. I also think the author, through the protagonist, is very observant about the subtle ways in which people (and especially corporate people) act, though I may disagree with his conclusions as to why they act in those ways. Finally, I do really respect the author for writing a story that is optimistic about the future. In a world that is increasingly bleak and where contemporary fiction trends seem to consider it ‘more cool’ to be cynical and sarcastic, it is refreshing to know that there are people out there who remain steadfastly positive.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

*this is seriously what it was like*****
**albeit junior
***im sorry but in what world would a family specialist insurance firm even contemplate public listing? Sorry that’s very pedantic and lawyerly (eye roll) of me to point out but it’s just true
****other than watching Suits and opening a first year contracts textbook
*****ok I’m just taking the piss now I’ll stop
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Austra.
615 reviews73 followers
September 12, 2017
Pilnīgi neplānoti manā lasāmsarakstā nokļuva stāsts par Frenku, kurš atmostas slimnīcas gultā pēc autoavārijas un, protams, neko neatceras. It kā ļoti nodrāzts motīvs, bet patika autora izvēlētais risinājums - tā kā Frenks ir jurists, kas specializējas līgumu rakstīšanā, tad visu grāmatas nodaļu nosaukumi ir ieturēti Noteikumu un nosacījumu stilā, pievienojot arī daudzas, vēl grūtāk salasāmas zemsvītras piezīmes, jo tāds jau ir mazā fonta mērķis - nogurdināt līguma lasītāju, lai tas vienkārši nospiestu "Piekrītu" un atdotu savu dvēseli nelabajam.
Ar laiku Frenka atmiņa sāk atgriezties, un viņš saprot, ka ir lietas, ko labāk būtu atstājis aizmirstībā. Brīžiem likās, ka stāsts tiek mālēts drusku par daudz melns/balts stilā, jo parasti jau dzīvē viss nav tik viennozīmīgi. Bet varbūt reizēm ir. Daudz pārdomu par dzīves jēgu, to, kā izniekojam sevi, savu laiku, savus sapņus, un to, kā pieaugam un kļūstam sveši viens otram. Citātiņus pārdomām te var izrakstīt, cik uziet. Visumā patika, turklāt ļoti ātri lasījās, kas vienmēr ir pluss.

"You once told me that life's a gift. It's an accurate saying. Accurate in the sense that gifts are usually discarded the moment they're opened."
Profile Image for Alex.
28 reviews17 followers
March 3, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it. The character development of the protagonist is superb. The antagonist(s) is well thought out and entirely believable, particularly for anyone who has worked in a corporate environment. I enjoyed the short contract format of the book and loved the humour. This is a brilliant first book. I can't wait to see what Robert Glancy writes next! This is a must read, particularly for anyone who has spent any time at all working in the corporate world.
Profile Image for Ruth P.
262 reviews
April 18, 2018
I loved this book...laugh out loud funny,poignant,intelligently written.It was a quirky little treasure even though I needed a magnifying glass to read some of the tiny print...didn't want to miss any little gems at the bottom of the page that invariably made me laugh.
I loved Frank...what a great man.
I had to keep reminding myself it was set in London because it had a very American feel to it but none the worse for that.
Highly recommended,well done Robert Glancy...I would love to talk to you about where your ideas came from,be proud of your originality.
Profile Image for wally.
2,419 reviews
April 4, 2020
finised yesterday the 3rd of april 2020 good read three stars i liked it kindle library loaner first from glancy...and...uses a somewhat unique narrative style, maybe not "unique" but different anf that gets an extra star.
Profile Image for LilBib’Phile .
264 reviews1 follower
January 25, 2018
A little too much cussing for my taste, but a very funny book. It will make you think about your own life.
Profile Image for Aly.
94 reviews
January 22, 2018
Found as I wandered aimlessly through the library, and a pleasant surprise. A nice mix of fun, humour, meaning and lightheartedness.
Profile Image for Emily.
2 reviews
September 30, 2016
One of the most clever, witty and poignant books I've read in a long time. You almost feel like you were talking to Frank on a very long train ride. Oh and the footnotes and the puns were brilliant. Would highly recommend.

"Terms and conditions of endings: More often than not, they're badly disguised beginnings."
359 reviews22 followers
May 25, 2014
Terms & Conditions was loaned to me electronically. Since I've never read a book on my Kindle iPad app and since the novel was recommended, I decided to give them, the book and the Kindle, a try. My verdict: They were both only OK.

First, the app. Where I wanted to read fast, it was great. I set the line width and type size to comfortable settings and rolled along. That said, I had a vague sense of discomfort, perhaps because I was new to the process, perhaps because I missed the tactile sense of handling the pages.

Or perhaps because the novel itself is only OK. The story, which revolves around those pervasive contractual terms and conditions, is told by Frank, an unreliable narrator trying to recover his memory and piece his life back together. He's a lawyer who writes terms and conditions, and he structures his story around their many variations.

The novel offers some humorous encounters, some witty send-ups (particularly of the narrator's wife Alice whose corporate speak is spot on), and some clever uses of footnotes indicating the narrator's true feelings about a situation. That said, the plot lacks complexity, and Frank, the narrator, is not all that likable as a person.

So to come full circle to the e-reader, I found myself glad I had selected a format for reading fast. And I found myself going faster and faster, more interested in reaching the end and less interested in enjoying the story. In my mind, the Kindle app and Terms & Conditions are made for each other.
Profile Image for Lita.
204 reviews23 followers
August 12, 2017
I have to agree with Frank (the main character of the book) - if you put certain events into the story, it becomes a little bit like a soap opera. So that's what happened to Frank's life. But the true story of the book is all about life's big question. Are you happy? Are you doing exactly what you wanted to do in your life? And what does it take for you to make some changes? Maybe a little bit of soap opera like drama?

It's an easy read written in a true spirit of terms and conditions. Each chapter is Terms & Conditions of something. And there are a lot of footnotes (except when there are just the footnotes). I don't know if the author lost his grip on the small print, but in the second part of the book, the footnotes became less interesting than in the first part (or maybe the story became more interesting, or maybe it was meant that way). However, I have to say it's a fairly original way how to organize a book and tell a story.

Whether I would call this book hilarious? Probably not. I had a few giggles in between, but no real laugh out loud moments which is a true indicator of good British humor for me. All things said I think this is a good book for reading in those moments when you feel that your life is going nowhere (and we all have those sometimes).
Profile Image for Jeff Raymond.
3,092 reviews180 followers
September 8, 2014
There's certainly a history of novels that work with the whole footnotes trope. Infinite Jest is famous for it, Ibid probably the best use of footnotes I've seen, and Terms and Conditions attempts to use footnotes in the narrative to tell the story of a lawyer who, following coming back from an accident that left him with temporary amnesia, gets a whole lot of revenge.

If you're into quirky revenge fantasies, this is pretty fun. If you're looking for laugh out loud funny, it has its moments. Why, then, am I only partially enthused by this book? I can't quite put my finger on it. A lot of this works, but I almost feel like it was buying into the gimmick a little too much, perhaps.

I wouldn't talk anyone out of reading this one, but I'm not sure it lived up to the hype for me.
Profile Image for Barbara.
218 reviews12 followers
March 17, 2014
As some-one who has worked a lot with laws, contracts, lawyers, human resource professionals and in an office, I loved this.

The book is filled with laugh out loud moments (which can be interesting when you are travelling on public transport) and moments of wry recognition. But there are bitter sweet moments too, as Frank, our narrator, regains his memory after a car crash.

This is a book I've been recommending widely, and, as I was reading it, I found myself quoting passages at unsuspecting colleagues without the least provocation.

As a footnote, I'd note that I'm not quite sure how 'alpha types' would respond to the book ... but then I'm more of a Frank type aspiring to be a Malcolm ...
Profile Image for Barbara.
605 reviews1 follower
February 6, 2017
This was a quirky book. Frank knows he's had a "little episode" and doesn't remember key events in his life before the episode. He is an attorney specializing in "fine print." Gradually he does begin to remember his life, and things were not that great. But all is revealed with great humor, and the ending was great! Everything tied up just as I hoped it would. My only complaint: the book typface was very small! I think it was meant to convey the whole "read the fine print" attitude of the narrator, but it was a little difficult to read.
Profile Image for Jessica.
454 reviews62 followers
July 1, 2014
Loved this one, particularly the format—each chapter being the "Terms and Conditions" of something, with lots of footnotes and fine print. A fantastically funny book about a lawyer who specializes in fine print*, and discovers the terms and conditions to his own life when he wakes up with amnesia after a car accident.

*Yep, that really small type in the terms and conditions that you probably never read, where you may just be signing away your soul. Always read before you sign!
Profile Image for Brian.
1,662 reviews41 followers
March 5, 2014
This was a cute, unique book that I had a bit of trouble connecting to. What would you do if you woke up and couldn't remember your wife, your family or your friends? That happened to our British narrator, Frank, who discovers that things aren't what they seem. THe book is written with a touch of humor, and has a lot of footnotes, as well as emails dispersed. I have trouble connecting with some of the characters though.
144 reviews1 follower
July 20, 2014
I thought this book was ok but felt the format was too " choppy" for my taste. A good book for an airplane or the beach.
Profile Image for Diane Porter.
207 reviews3 followers
November 9, 2022
I read this series of books out of sequence, after randomly stumbling upon Unconditional quite by accident in the library and then loving it. Reading this one was a matter of satisfying my curiosity around how the characters got to their current life-positions at the start of Book 2. Perhaps because I already knew where the end of their journey lay, I felt much more warmth, endearment and even loyalty towards the main characters than other reviewers evidently did. I found it an easy, quirky read…and I do love a bit of legal lingo so it definitely kept me interested. I found the glimmer of hope around humanity dangled in front of us at the end a very nice touch too.
Profile Image for Helena Wildsmith.
315 reviews5 followers
August 16, 2017
This was a lovely surprise of a book that I found at a library sale for 10p! The main character, Frank, is so brilliantly realistic that I felt like he was in the room with me. However the thing I loved the most about this book is the ending - so witty and clever that it left me with a grin on my face. Definitely one I'd recommend to others.
Profile Image for Helen.
370 reviews
August 1, 2018
Laugh out loud funny at times, and very original. Didn't always read the footnotes - too small text when my glasses weren't handy - and kept being surprised that it was set in the UK as it had a very American feel to it. Did get a tiny bit bored with it in the middle but perked up towards the end and the ending was great.
76 reviews
April 3, 2017
Liked the concept, hated pretty much everything else. You'd think lawyer bashing would be dead by now...
Profile Image for Ailish.
71 reviews
May 20, 2017
This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I loved the main character. The style of writing was brilliant and amusing to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Profile Image for Sally Jenkins.
89 reviews3 followers
December 17, 2022
Really different book but once I got into the swing of it I really enjoyed it....pretty clever story and may check out other books by this author.
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