Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: paperback copy won from Bloomsbury (UK & ANZ) via Goodreads First Reads
I must first admit that I read this book over 3 months ago… ‘twas the last book I read just before I drowned into the hell of nausea (pregnancy induced) so most of what I remembered of this book is tainted by a slight sick feeling in my stomach. oh, the joys of pregnancy!
You probably didn’t read my terms and conditions today, when you bought something off the internet and clicked ‘Agree’; or when you signed blind some contract giving away your rights, your life, a pound of your flesh.
My masterpiece is the work I did on the modern insurance policy. I wrote it fresh out of law school when my brilliance was still radiant. Its genius lies in the fact that it’s unbearably dull. Few can read it all the way through and none ever get to the small print.
And so, I was determined to read ALL small prints (ie. footnotes) that were scattered throughout this book. I must say that whilst it was quite entertaining to begin with, at 90+% of the book, I was struggling to not skip the footnotes. I work in the insurance industry so I understood (mostly) the protagonist’s perspective on the finesse of terms & conditions. And yet, that doesn’t mean that I read ALL the fine prints before I sign away my soul… however, am proud to say that I read all these footnotes!
The novel began with a very brief introduction of Frank Shaw, main protagonist from whose perspective this story is told. The story began as he opened his eyes on the hospital bed following an accident from which he lost his memories. Thus we embarked on an adventure with Frank as he rediscovers himself.
There are a lot of challenges in recovering oneself from the abyss of lost memories; not only doubts of the truth behind his own memories but also the truth of what others are telling you relative to their behaviours towards you. There were many confusions, veiled truths, and subtle nudges pointing to the right exit.
I would recommend a clear mind in reading this novel as the jumps between time periods, memories and stories are mostly quite sudden and the lines are quite blurry. I found the ending to be amusingly ironic after all the mockery made of terms & conditions. Frank is a nice guy but he won’t necessarily finish last.
Thank you, Bloomsbury (UK & ANZ), for providing copy of book via Goodreads. My sincere apologies for delay in writing this review