‘The Man Who Forgot His Wife’ by John O’Farrell

Day after day after day, walking between the shelves of the local bookshop, as if I’m actually walking down the aisles of my own cathedral; running my fingertips on books’ spines; whispering the titles and enjoying the sound of it, as a foretaste of something new.

Day after day after day, until I hear the right sound, the book whispering back at me. Then the connection is made. There’s nothing I can do but read that book and fulfill my  obligation to the magic I’ve just awaken.

Sounds nuts? Ya, well…I get that a lot…

Believe it or not, this is exactly how I was introduced to John O’Farrell and his ‘The Man Who Forgot His Wife’. This and the Recommended-Books shelf. All along with the book-lady’s comment: “Good choice, this is hilarious!”

Soon enough, it was clear that ‘hilarious’ wasn’t all the book had to give. Let me tell you why.

Have you ever forgotten something? Of course you have, who hasn’t at least once. Me, I have. Quite often, actually.

However, this man, Vaughan, didn’t just forget where he left the keys. He forgot everything: his wife (hence the title), his friends, his father, his children, his job and even his own name.

He was sitting on a train, going who knows where (for sure he doesn’t), when he suddenly awakes to a whole new life. Actually it’s pretty much like the previous one, only he knows nothing about it.

It takes time and a lot of effort to recall glimpses of his past life, but that’s not quite enough to get back to normal. Mostly because the normal life that he recalls is a little biased and differs from the real one.

In fact his wife – the one he completely erased from his memory – happens to be divorcing him and Vaughan can’t remember why. More important, Vaughan fell in love with her again just laying eyes on her. So, how could he accept to live happily divorced from her, ever after?

Of course, that is not the most hilarious part – even if a couple of witty episodes really do the trick. I remember reading in the middle of the campus at the University of Kent and I wouldn’t ask what people thought about that weirdo who was laughing like crazy, sitting on her own (if it’s worth any excuse, I had to meet a friend who kept me waiting more than half an hour. I had to keep me entertained).

What is the hilarious part, you ask? Well, just think about it: a 40-year-old man reduced at a blank sheet state, taking swimming classes from his children, trying (unsuccessfully) to drive a car, following his best friend in pubs where he’s pushed to lose (again) his virginity…

If that’s not enough, it’s John O’Farrell we’re talking about. I’m quite sure that the scriptwriter of Chicken Run and founder of NewsBiscuit (check it out if you don’t know it) can steal you a smile on this.


If you want to know more about this book: Goodreads

If you want to buy this book: Amazon


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