Daniel Fierman
April 06, 2001 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Man and Boy

Current Status
In Season
Tony Parsons
We gave it a C+

Already a smash in England — with just under a million copies sold — Man and Boy turns out to be just the latest ”charming man-child struggling with maturity” salvo from across the pond. The plot, briefly: Harry turns 30. Harry buys a sports car. Harry has an affair. Harry’s wife abandons him, leaving their 4-year-old son. Harry must tend to son for six whole months, with only his parents, new girlfriend, and savings from his lucrative TV producing job to help him. The message, briefly: Love is hard. Children are harder. Women are a damn sight incomprehensible. Single parents are heroes. It’s anemic Nick Hornby meets watered-down Oprah; and while Parsons’ writing can be both clever and sincere, this is a warm, soggy, and overcooked stew of a pop novel.

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