the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Book Review; The Man Who Forgot His Wife – by John O’Farrell


images-58Imagine my disappointment when I found this book was not in fact a self-help book…but I read it anyway.

A man finds himself on The Tube with no recollection of who he is, how he got there, or where in fact he should be…in what is a very comical, yet somewhat distressing set of circumstances he spends a week at a hospital awaiting, almost hoping, that someone will come and retrieve him. When by chance he remembers a number his best mate (who this guy doesn’t know from a bar of soap) takes him home and slowly fills in some details of his former life including his name, Vaughan (which is in fact his surname).

Slowly he recalls some memories, albeit somewhat scratchy, and with help from his mate finds out he is married with two kids, however in the same breath learns he is to be in court in a few days time to file for divorce.

What follows is a very witty account of Vaughan getting back to some sense of normality when he is diagnosed with a rare mental disorder wiping his entire existence prior to the day on the train which includes him falling in love with his wife/ex again, meeting his kids for the first time, and, with some accurate depiction, losing his virginity to a fellow teacher…sort of.

I had high hopes for this book and it did not disappoint excepting some predictable conclusions straight form a Love Actually-esque film, but O’Farrell has a quick wit which does not detract from telling an actual story.

There are some real highlights in the book: Vaughan’s students at the low-decile school he teaches at wanting to know more about his mental state;  his discovery that while the saying “its like riding a bike’ applies to, well, bikes, it doesn’t necessarily transpose that well to cars; his sudden superstar status as a 40-year old ‘virgin’…

Yep, worth a looksy for anyone after an easy read which, despite some moral questions being thrown about, does not require too much grey matter.

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