On Life, Death and Breakfast

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 November, 2010, 12:00am

On Life, Death and Breakfast
by Tony Parsons
HarperCollins HK$194

Tony Parsons hates replica breasts. Call them fake 'boobs' and he's likely to become even angrier, the 'infantile euphemism' making light of the damage done. So he's included two chapters on the subject in On Life, Death and Breakfast, his collection of essays on concerns of the modern (mid-life) male. Other subjects include dying (losing one's parents being part of growing up), becoming a curmudgeon (having lived so long you know the way things should work, and see red when they don't) and having a facial. The last is among the most banal chapters in this banal book, which purports to explain what goes on in the heads, hearts and trousers of middle-aged men. Parsons tells us that men want to be in a successful marriage as much as any chick-lit protagonist. He includes the sentiment that Julie (Burchill, his first wife, a fellow journalist at the music mag NME) 'should have been a summer romance, or possibly dinner and a movie', underscoring the continuing bitterness. Fans won't be disappointed if they want to know 'Why Men Stray, Why Men Stay'. Others, however, might feel cheated for having to pay for philosophy lite.