Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy

Title: Confessions of a Contractor
Author: Richard Murphy
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publish Date: August 14, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780399155079

The first thing a woman needs to know about renovating a house or apartment is simple: do not, under any circumstance, sleep with your contractor, no matter what your husband or boyfriend is doing to you, or not doing to you. Some people in the building trade will consider this statement a direct violation of the Man Code, and you won’t find additional information on this subject at Home Depot -even though it should be there, in its own department, right between electrical and plumbing, managed by a woman who has made this very mistake.

The first line of this book competes with Tan Lines in shock value, though the use of the word “clitoris” clearly gives Tan Lines the win. However, where Tan Lines was dirty and gritty, totally lacking in emotional value and real character, Confessions of a Contractor is Tan Lines opposite.

To steal borrow from Traci over at Traci’s Book Bag, if I were to give a one word review of Confessions of a Contractor, that one word would be: Pleasure. This book is fun and sexy, but without all the filth found in Tan Lines. Henry is a likable narrator, and Murphy writes him with a self-deprecating humor that most of us can appreciate. Confessions is more than the sexual romp it appears to be in the first few paragraphs (which was all Tan Lines ever was), it is much deeper -but still fun! It’s no Oprah book. It’s a story of a man trying to do right by his standards, bumbling it often, but still getting up and trying again, and it is a story of friendships. It’s about the sometimes misguided things do to help their friends, like threaten your friend’s fiance’ with a salad fork and promise to be his worst nightmare if he hurts your friend, or like taking a cordless drill and saw and going after the self-important ass who causes your friends and their families a great deal of grief and trouble.

As Henry is remodeling the homes of two women who used to be best friends, both withholding why they are no longer friends, he finds himself falling for them both. One of whom, Rebecca, is married to a turd with whom Henry had dealt with years before when he worked on a house owned by the husbands mistress. The second woman is a bit on the wild side, with whom he gets involved after she holds a “dark” dinner where everyone’s blindfolded. At this dinner, he finds himself in a human sandwich with the hostess and an unknown second woman. The search for the identity of the second woman leads him to take jobs for the other women who are at the party… more work he has no time for.

Also plaguing Henry’s life is Gia, his ex-girlfriend who’s engaged to the man she had an affair with and shows up on Henry’s front door step to demand ask him to go to couples therapy, even though they’re not a couple anymore, so that she can move on with her life and marry Mr. Terrific with a capital T.

Throw into the mix Bill, Henry’s friend who goes to dinner parties to eat everything and stuff what he can’t into his pant pockets, including deviled eggs. Bill is the opposite of a germ-a-phobe: he pursues germs in order to build up his immune system for the coming man-made Apocalypse. Bill is the guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who’s the right man for whatever less-than-legal thing you need to have or have done.

My only complaint about this book is that it ends. Thirty pages from the last page, I’m tearing up… not from the story, but from sorrow that my time with Henry and Bill, et al will soon end.

I give Confessions a 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to anyone wishing for a fun, breezy book that still has depth without the teary Oprah moments. :-D

9 Responses

  1. I really want to read this book. I don’t know how I missed it.

  2. Oh way cool. I am so glad both of you liked it. I got this in the mail last week and I think it is time to get it off the shelf and see for myself if I like it or not. :) Sounds like a great read.

  3. I requested this one, but I didn’t get it. At the time I wasn’t all that upset, but all the reviews I’ve read about it have led me to feel more and more disappointed.

    I like your one word review. ;-)

  4. This sounds like a really fun book!

  5. I added you to my blogroll. Sorry for the delay. And do ome and pick an award for yourself:

    Here is an award for you!

  6. I had heard about this one in passing, but I was on the fence…no more after reading your review. Firmly on my TBR list…thanks!

  7. Oh, it does sound like I’ll enjoy this book (someday!). I laughed at your tags, I don’t think I’ve seen “bisexuality” and “cat” as tags on the same book before! :)

  8. Glad to hear it’s not filthy since I paid full price for it.

  9. I really liked this, too.

    Lenore – :) nope, it’s not raunchy.

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