Terms & Conditions: Book summary and reviews of Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy

Terms & Conditions

by Robert Glancy

Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy X
Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Frank has been in a serious car accident and he's missing memories - of the people 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 specializes in fine print, and as he narrates his story, he applies this expertise in the form of footnotes.*

Everyone keeps telling Frank that he was fine before the accident, "just a bit overwhelmed," but as he begins to reclaim his memories, they don't quite jibe with what everyone is telling him. His odious brother Oscar is intent on going into business with an inventively cruel corporation.** Alice, Frank's wife, isn't at all like the woman he fell in love with. She's written a book called Executive X that makes Frank furious, though he isn't sure why. And to make matters even stranger, stored in a closet is a severed finger floating in an old mustard jar that makes him feel very, very proud.

As more memories flood in, Frank's tightly regulated life begins to unspool as he is forced to face up to the real terms*** and the condition of his life.****

Robert Glancy's debut novel is a shrewd and hilarious exploration of freedom and frustration, success and second chances, and whether it's worth living by the rules.


* Yes, exactly like this.
** We can't tell you what it's called for legal reasons, but believe us, it's evil.
*** Which are rarely in his favor.
**** Which is a total mess.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Replete with obsessive footnoting, wry observation, and e-mails from Frank's globe-trotting brother, the book follows Frank's struggle to become the person he wants to be (whomever that is) and is a remarkably fun read." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Highly recommended for fans of bleak humor." - Library Journal

"Delivered with a profusion of witty quips and tongue-in-cheek footnotes, Glancy's first novel is written with a wry humor that belies the poignant life lessons within. It is somewhat weighed down by the abundance of annotations, yet those detract only slightly from the contemporary and heartwarming message found at the story's core." - Booklist

"Hilarious ... An original office comedy that dots all the I's and crosses all the T's: Think a dash of Office Space, a pinch of Palahniuk and a glance at Regarding Henry." - Kirkus

"An extravagant treat of an office novel, for fans of Memento and The Mezzanine. I loved it." - Ed Park, author of Personal Days

"Original, very funny and very poignant. Read it!" - Paul Torday, author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

This information about Terms & Conditions was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Cloggie Downunder

an outstanding debut novel
“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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

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. By day he works in PR and by night he writes. He currently lives in New Zealand with his wife and children.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more literary fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Bloodbath Nation
    Bloodbath Nation
    by Paul Auster
    In recent years, Booker Prize­–nominated novelist Paul Auster has increasingly turned to ...
  • Book Jacket: The Nazi Conspiracy
    The Nazi Conspiracy
    by Brad Meltzer, Josh Mensch
    The Nazi Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch was a big hit with our First Impressions readers...
  • Book Jacket
    Yonder
    by Jabari Asim
    The captivating historical novel Yonder turns an intimate lens towards the tragedy and survivorship ...
  • Book Jacket: After Sappho
    After Sappho
    by Selby Wynn Schwartz

    "Someone will remember us, I say, even in another time."
    —Sappho, fragment ...


Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Love of My Life
by Rosie Walsh
An up-all-night love story wrapped in a mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Ghosted.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Margot
    by Wendell Steavenson

    A young woman struggles to break free of her upper-class upbringing amid the whirlwind years of the sexual revolution.

  • Book Jacket

    Wade in the Water
    by Nyani Nkrumah

    A gripping debut novel of female power and vulnerability, race, and class set in a small Mississippi town in the early 1980s.

  • Book Jacket

    Moonrise Over New Jessup
    by Jamila Minnicks

    "Jamila Minnicks pulled me into pages of history I'd never turned before."—Barbara Kingsolver

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

It's A G T Me

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.