Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions 1

by Robert Glancy

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 02/01/2017

5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $19.99 $18.25
Frank has been in a car accident*. The doctor tells him he lost his spleen, but Frank believes he has lost more. He is missing memories - of those around him, of the history they share and of how he came to be in the crash. All he remembers is that he is a lawyer who specialises in small print**. In the wake of the accident Frank begins to piece together his former life - and his former self. But the picture that emerges, of his marriage, his family and the career he has devoted years to, is not necessarily a pretty one. Could it be that the terms and conditions by which Frank has been living are not entirely in his favour***? In the process of unravelling the knots into which his life has been tied, he learns that the devil really does live in the detail and that it's never too late to rewrite your own destiny. *apparently quite a serious one **words that no one ever reads *** and perhaps never have been
ISBN:
9781408852255
9781408852255
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
02-01-2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
197.99x129.01mm
Weight:
0.19kg
Robert Glancy

Robert Glancy was born in Zambia and raised in Malawi. At fourteen he moved from Africa to Edinburgh then went on to study history at Cambridge.

His first novel, Terms & Conditions, was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 to critical acclaim. He has recently been awarded the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship in New Zealand, where he currently lives with his wife and children

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • an outstanding debut novel,

    by on

    “Doug’s head sagged and I felt him give up on me. That feeling of people giving up on me, that’s a physical sensation now. As if we’re tied by a million soft strings and when I disappoint a few thousand strings stretch and break, as my connection to that person is severed by yet more thin slices of disappointment.”

    Terms and Conditions is the first novel by Zambian-born, Malawi-raised New Zealand author, Robert Glancy. A car accident has left Franklyn Shaw with a brain injury, the immediate effect of which is total amnesia. He is apparently married to Alice, a Human Resources expert, model-thin and hard, immaculately tailored; he has an older brother, Oscar, who runs the family law firm; he has a younger brother, Malcolm, a free spirit and maybe a bit of a hippie, judging by the emails Frank receives from various Asian locales.

    Assured that his memory will gradually return, Frank gently eases back into the life he apparently had before the accident. But when the memories begin to return, some are quite disturbing: the emptiness of his life is disappointing; he is dismayed by his own weak response to challenges; his marriage is not all he had hoped for; and his brother’s management of the family firm would not meet with their father’s, nor their grandfather’s, approval. And why will no one tell him about the “episode” he had before the accident?

    Glancy’s characters are easily believable and realistically flawed. Most have some appeal, for all their faults, but there are two who are not difficult to despise. Of one is said: “You make my heart grow small” by a youngster with a perceptiveness belied by his years. It is this person who “…smiled a smile so thin it could slice eyeballs.” Glancy gives many of his characters words of wisdom and insightful observations about human behaviour. It is satisfying to see that the amnesiac Frank’s instinctive assessment of those he “meets” stands the test of the regained memory.

    Glancy’s protagonist is a corporate lawyer specialising in the Terms and Conditions of Contracts (those bits we all ignore at our peril), so it is entirely fitting that his story takes the format of the Terms and Conditions of a Contract. It is divided into Clauses (rather than chapters) and the Terms and Conditions come (of course) with footnotes, although when those footnotes generate footnotes of their own, which also generate footnotes, the eyesight of readers of a certain vintage is bound to be challenged. (Footnote: Are you wearing your glasses? OK, then good lighting and a magnifying glass may be needed.) But it is worth the effort to read every one of those footnotes.

    Glancy wraps his tale in some wonderful descriptive prose. This is an outstanding debut novel, full of humour and wit, moving and ultimately uplifting. Readers who enjoy it will be pleased to know that Glancy has written a second novel, Please Do Not Disturb.