Men Like Air by Tom Connolly

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Men Like Air by Tom Connolly

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: Tender, warm and funny, Men Like Air examines the male psyche in a fascinating way, creating a story that grabs the reader with both emotion and comedy, and will stay with them long after they've closed the book.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: September 2016
Publisher: Myriad Editions
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1908434883

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One April in Manhattan, the destinies of four very different men are about to collide. Nineteen year old Finn has just arrived in the city along with his volatile girlfriend Dilly, determined to even the score with his older brother Jack for abandoning him in the UK in the aftermath of their parents' deaths. Across town, successful gallery owner Leo Emerson is haunted by loneliness, unsettled by the contrast between his life and that of his brother in law and oldest friend William, who is content in both his faith and his marriage. When Finn wanders in to Leo's gallery, a series of unexpected and interconnected events unfold, changing the lives of all four men together.

I've only visited New York once, a good ten years ago now. Even then though, I was blown away by how much character the city had. It was so, so different from anywhere I'd been before, that I've had a long held urge to visit again, and don't doubt that I will do in the next few years. Thankfully though, through a read of Men Like Air, author Connolly successfully transported me there for a brief period, and features the city as a living, changing main character alongside the four men.

This is a tender and moving read, easily reaching the core of these men and exploring their respective psyches in a probing yet gentle and respectful manner, and overall it works incredibly well as a conversation about Men, and what makes them tick. Adding to that a layer of clever comedy, at times witty and at times almost slapstick, which combined with the deep emotions and tenderness of the main plot, leads to a book that had me crying with laughter one moment, and close to tears of sadness the next – it's that powerful a read.

All of the men are immensely likeable, all flawed, and all relatable – and it's genuinely a pleasure to spend a few hours in their company when reading. In fact, all of the secondary characters are very well drawn too – the only one who got on my nerves somewhat was Finn's girlfriend Dilly – and that was definitely a choice on the authors' part. Decisions these characters make provide fantastic moments throughout the book, and the air of unpredictability throughout is both charming and engaging – making this a must read book. Many thanks to the publishers for the copy.

For further reading, I would recommend The Crossing by Andrew Miller – a book that, like Men Like Air creates complex, relatable characters and allows the reader to follow them through immensely personal journeys.

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Buy Men Like Air by Tom Connolly at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Men Like Air by Tom Connolly at


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