Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy. I won it on Goodreads through their first reads giveaway, so thank you to Goodreads and Bloomsbury for providing me with a copy. It will be available in UK and Aus/NZ on March 1st and in the US on Apirl 22nd, and you should go and buy it when it comes out because it is truly a great read.
I blog mainly about YA books so I just want to make it clear that this is an Adult book, not YA.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 jibe 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.
5 out of 5 stars.
I loved this book. It was hilarious, and I love humour in the books I read. I almost didn’t enter the Goodreads giveaway to win it, it looked interesting, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sure. I already have a huge pile of books I need to read so I’m trying to enter comps only when I really want something. But Goodreads make it so easy to enter, and the fact that it was funny made me finally decide to click the enter button, and I am so glad I did because otherwise I would have missed out on a fantastic book. Not only did I get the humourous tale promised to me, I got a book with a great depth underneath it. Glancy has taken what would many consider to be an unremarkable character – a terms and conditions lawyer – and turned him into a truly remarkable one.
This book was so cleverly written. Having it about a lawyer who specializes in terms and conditions and then having footnotes throughout the book was a stroke of genius. If this book was written any other way it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as it was. You wouldn’t think a novel about a terms and conditions lawyer would be this interesting or this funny, but it was both. Once I started reading I was hooked and I couldn’t put it down.
Frank is trying to remember who he is after being in a car accident and is now suffering amnesia as a result. He has a seemingly dull life as a Terms and Conditions lawyer at his family’s law firm. But as Frank gets back into work, he starts noticing strange things in the footnotes of the contracts he has made. His memory starts to return, and suddenly, there is more to Frank’s life than he first thought. There were lots of surprising twist along the away as the past unravels slowly and Frank starts to remember just how he got in the accident in the first place.
This was a very clever book, both funny and smart, gripping and intense. Frank will steal your heart and you’ll be cheering him on the whole way. I cannot recommend this book enough. Definitely one of the must read books of the year. Just as a warning though, you might not want to read it in public as it will have you laughing out loud.
(And please make sure you read the footnotes and don’t skip over them for they are the height of the humour.)
You can add it to your Goodreads here.