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My Life as a Man Hardcover – April 14, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312376391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312376390
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,507,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Scottish crime writer Lindsay (The Endings Man) makes his U.S. debut with a quirky tale that works best as a character study. When 18-year-old Harry Glass is fired after a week at his new Glasgow factory job, he impulsively jumps in his boss's car and drives away, even though the boss's wife is in the front seat. So begins the unorthodox love affair between Harry and Eileen Morton, a woman 20 years his senior whom he'll eventually marry. The pair travel to Edinburgh and Aberdeen, chased by violent men convinced that something in the car is worth killing for. Stuck for a time with a mysterious couple in the Highlands who are less than forthright about their pasts, Harry and Eileen try to stay one step ahead of their pursuers while navigating their own burgeoning relationship. Since Harry, the book's narrator, reveals at the start that Eileen dies in old age, thriller fans should be prepared for a low level of suspense. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

A dark, foreboding, and tense novel that is as original as it is menacing. Seventeen-year-old Harry Glass is a no-hoper with few skills and a terrible home life on a dreary council estate in Glasgow. Working on the assembly line at a factory, he’s mystified by the young woman who sits outside the factory all day in a big, dark car. Eventually, he learns that the woman is the wife of his ultimate boss, Bernard Morton. So when Harry is fired from his job, he hops into the dark car and speeds off toward Edinburgh with Mrs. Morton, without any thought for the consequences of kidnapping the boss’ wife. The unlikely pair eventually winds up at a remote farmhouse in northern Scotland, where the two will have a disturbing and terrifying adventure. Although the ending is marginally happy, it is likely to leave readers feeling unsettled. While there is little actual violence, the threat of it gives the story tremendous psychological impact. --Emily Melton

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Beginning with an impulsive action, this unusual Scottish novel veers into dark territory, the unpredictable landscape of strangers and an unplanned future where menace lurks unabated. Leaving his factory job after being fired by his boss, Bernard Morton, nineteen-year-old Harry Glass gets into Morton's car and drives off. As Harry is aware, Morton's wife is sitting in that car, waiting for her husband as she does everyday. With few words exchanged, the impromptu road trip continues through winding and unfamiliar roads, far from the factory and Mr. Morton. The two have little money between them, Mrs. Morton acquiescing to Harry's leadership through the next day. When they spot a clumsy, hand-lettered sign advertising snacks on an obscure country road, they stop, at a dead end.

Mrs. Morton is ill. A couple at a house and the end of the road offers sandwiches, a bed for Mrs. Morton as well. Meanwhile, Harry makes an important discovery, one that ensures Bernard and his brother, Norman, will be on their trail. The story turns from simple runaway to a more sinister landscape, where the helpful couple, August and Beate absorb Harry and Mrs. Morton into their home, Harry helping with the chores, albeit with an uncomfortable sense that August is watching his every move. Bonding with Beate, Mrs. Morton is unavailable to Harry; and he is unwilling to share his recently discovered secret with anyone else around. It seems that Hansel and Gretel have found themselves lost in the forest, a friendly witch welcoming them, either a refuge or a trap. What appeared a happy coincidence, shelter from their pursuers may be danger in disguise.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In Glasgow, working at a factory job for a week, eighteen year old Harry Glass is fired. That occurs after he is tossed out of the house by the hairy ex boyfriend of his runaway mother. Without giving it a second thought, Harry takes the car keys of his ex-boss Bernard Morton and drives away in the man's car. However, he is not alone as the boss' wife Eileen is also in the vehicle.

Eileen and Harry begin an affair though she is almost two decades older than him. As they drive to Edinburgh and Aberdeen, violent men chase after them though neither Harry nor Eileen know why. The thugs believe a valise containing a small fortune is hidden in the boot. The pair of runaways makes it to a farm owned by menacing August and Beate. A frightened Harry sneaks away returning to Glasgow to enlist the aid of Morton and his brother.

Though tension is high especially with thugs chasing the lead couple, the entertaining MY LIFE AS A MAN is more a coming of age character study than a straight thriller due to the opening chapter occurring in the future and Harry's first person point of view. The story line grips readers from the moment Harry has had it and takes the keys and the wife on a joy ride. This tale is driven by Harry who learns life is filled with errors and sometimes redemption and second chances, but not always. Fans will enjoy his first escapades as a man.

Harriet Klausner
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