Michael Adams shares a flat with three other men in their late twenties. Days are spent lying in bed, playing computer games and occasionally doing a bit of work. And then, when he feels like it, he crosses the river and goes back to his unsuspecting wife and children.
For Michael is living a double life - he escapes from the exhausting misery of babies by telling his wife he has to work through the night or travel up north. And while she is valiantly coping on her own, he is just a few miles away in a secret flat, doing all the things that most men with small children can only dream about. He thinks he can have it all, until is deception is inevitably exposed...
The Best a Man Can Get is written with the hilarious eye for detail that sent John O'Farrell's first book, Things Can Only Get Better, to the top of the bestseller lists. It is a darkly comic confessional that is at once compelling, revealing and very, very funny.
Are the wife and kids getting you down, taking up too much of your leisure time, disturbing your beauty rest? Pretend you're single, rent an apartment and sleep there instead. O'Farrell's (Things Can Only Get Better) has great fun with his monstrous premise in this sharp-witted slapstick set in London. Jingle writer Mike Adams, 32, is a perplexed father of two, shocked to learn that his wife, Catherine, is pregnant again. Knowing he may never realize his dream of being a rock musician, Mike justifies his double life renting an apartment in Balham with college student Jim, porn addict Simon and shy Paul by stressing that his long separations from Catherine solidify their marriage by keeping Mike sane. Catherine believes Mike is really renting a music studio and pulling all-nighters to compose his commercial jingles. Holes develop in Mike's story as he retreats further into his beer-soaked pseudo-bachelorhood, stops payments on the family home in Kentish Town and is tempted by nymphet Kate. Clever psychological riffs Mike feels he is becoming a father figure to Jim, Simon and Paul abound between chaotic parenting and apartment scenes as Mike fears he is emulating his own father, who walked out when Mike was just five. Denial turns to despair when Catherine bursts Mike's bubble, saying she is unhappy that he works so much, leaving her alone to raise the children. As the dark shadows of divorce, financial ruin and creative failure stalk Mike, O'Farrell succeeds in creating a hit single for the Nick Hornby crowd.
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John O'Farrell a his best, hilarious reading