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Lanchester, John Mr Phillips

ISBN 13: 9780571201716

Mr Phillips

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9780571201716: Mr Phillips
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One warm July morning Mr Phillips climbs out of bed, leaving Mrs Phillips dozing. He prepares for his commute into the city - but this is no ordinary Wednesday. It is a day on which Mr Phillips will chat with a pornographer, stalk a tv mini-celebrity, have lunch with an aspiring record mogul, and get caught up in a bank robbery. It is, as Mr Phillips comes to realise, the first day of the rest of his life - whether he wants it to be or not. All this is both better and worse than being at work. So why is Mr Phillips, a cautious middle-aged accountant, not behind his desk calculating the financial consequences of redundancies or recommending the savings to be made from more responsible use of yellow sticky note pads?

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Review:

Fiftysomething Victor Phillips is a senior-ish accountant with respected City firm Wilkins & Co. Or rather, he was: unbeknown to his sons, his saintly wife and his nosy suburban neighbours, Mr Phillips has lost his job, and doesn't know what to do next. So what he does do is the most sadly predictable: pretend he's still in work. On the morning of the day's events that comprise the entirety of this novel he rises as per, breakfasts as per and steps out into the city, as per. From then on, though, he embarks on a bizarre odyssey around London, doing various sad, strange or aimless things: if he's not ogling schoolgirls on buses, he's being accosted by nutters in the Tate or trying to meet TV celebs during a bank robbery.

Taken as read, the whole might sound odd: a Diary of a Next To Nobody. What saves from the book from being weirdly boring is Lanchester's skill in capturing Mr Phillips' inner voice: as the ex-accountant schleps around town he is constantly working out, for instance, how many women take their clothes off for money, or how much more likely it is one will die on any given week than win the National Lottery (about 3,000 times more likely). All this is very witty and very well done--and very much the meat of the book. If the novel is ultimately aimless, that is, of course, the point. John Lanchester has taken an average day in an averagely tragic life and made from it, if not great art, a readable, amusing and perceptive novel. --Sean Thomas

Review:

"Near-perfect". -- The Washington Post Book World

"Near-perfect." --The Washington Post Book World

"The Debt to Pleasure...was greeted with such approval around the world (translated into more than 20 languages) as to make it a very tough act to follow. With Mr. Phillips, he has given readers that rare thing, a second novel better than the first." --Thomas Lynch, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Lanchester triumphs again as the poet laureate of male hysteria, creating a fully imagined, entirely convincing, and utterly unlikely hero." --Boston Sunday Globe

"Near-perfect." --The Washington Post Book World
"The Debt to Pleasure...was greeted with such approval around the world (translated into more than 20 languages) as to make it a very tough act to follow. With Mr. Phillips, he has given readers that rare thing, a second novel better than the first." --Thomas Lynch, The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Lanchester triumphs again as the poet laureate of male hysteria, creating a fully imagined, entirely convincing, and utterly unlikely hero." --Boston Sunday Globe

"Near-perfect." --The Washington Post Book World

"The Debt to Pleasure...was greeted with such approval around the world (translated into more than 20 languages) as to make it a very tough act to follow. With Mr. Phillips, he has given readers that rare thing, a second novel better than the first." --Thomas Lynch, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Lanchester triumphs again as the poet laureate of male hysteria, creating a fully imagined, entirely convincing, and utterly unlikely hero." --Boston Sunday Globe

"Near-perfect." --The Washington Post Book World

"The Debt to Pleasure...was greeted with such approval around the world (translated into more than 20 languages) as to make it a very tough act to follow. With Mr. Phillips, he has given readers that rare thing, a second novel better than the first." --Thomas Lynch, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Lanchester triumphs again as the poet laureate of male hysteria, creating a fully imagined, entirely convincing, and utterly unlikely hero." --Boston Sunday Globe

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780571294862: Mr Phillips

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0571294863 ISBN 13: 9780571294862
Publisher: Faber & Faber, 2013
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9780140298369: Mr Phillips

Penguin, 2001
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9780399146046: Mr Phillips

Penguin, 2000
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9780571201617: Mr Phillips

Faber ..., 2000
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9780771045905: Mr. Phillips

McClel..., 2001
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Lanchester, John
Published by Faber & Faber Ltd (2001)
ISBN 10: 0571201717 ISBN 13: 9780571201716
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