Tag: David Mitchell

Robert Webb – How Not to be a Boy | Review

Title: How Not to be a Boy

Author: Robert Webb

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 330

Rating: 3.75/5

I was surprised by this one because I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was expecting. I’d heard a lot of really good stuff going into this, but I had a few issues with it. Perhaps that’s not surprising because I’ve always had a strange relationship with him. When I first saw him in Peep Show, I didn’t like him much, but I’ve since come around to have a healthy respect for him, although I prefer David Mitchell.

I think the main thing that hampered my enjoyment here was Webb’s writing style, which is pretty idiosyncratic. Because of that, I think that you’ll either love the way that he writes or it’ll kind of grate on you, which is what happened with me. Still, that was just a minor thing and a matter of personal preference, and not enough for me to recommend against it.

That’s because it is actually a decent little memoir, particularly because of the way that it asks a lot of questions and goes out of its way to confront some of the ways in which our society has inherent biases about the two sexes. I guess you could say it’s pretty woke, and it knows it’s pretty woke, and in many ways that’s the point of it.

So while I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as I expected to when I was going into it, I still can’t really complain. It was pretty good at doing what it set out to do, and there was also plenty of food for thought too. It’s also pretty dark, at times surprisingly so. Robert Webb has been through a lot and so it’s kind of awesome to see that he came out the other side and was able to turn it into something positive. So there’s that, I guess.

Learn more about How Not to be a Boy.

 


David Mitchell – Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse | Review

Title: Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse

Author: David Mitchell

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 326

Rating: 4*/5

 

David Mitchell - Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse

David Mitchell – Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse

 

I suppose the first thing to point out here is that this is by David Mitchell the comedian – and not the novelist who wrote Cloud Atlas. I’d actually recommend reading both of them, but for very different reasons.

This book isn’t necessarily a typical book as such, because it’s basically just a collection of different columns that Mitchell wrote for newspapers. Despite that, it does sort of follow a narrative structure – at least, as much as this sort of book can. He’s done a good job of bringing them together in to some sort of order, however arbitrary, and it works well.

The problem is that as soon as you’ve read the first fifty pages, you pretty much know what to expect for the rest of it. It’s different to other books, which are able to repeatedly hook you in with an intense story line. Here, the best you’ll get is a laugh every few pages and the lingering sense that you’ve learned something.

 

David Mitchell

David Mitchell

 

The interesting thing about David Mitchell is that he’s a sort of hero for the cynical, which is probably why I liked this so much. It’s not for everyone, but it’s great stuff if you’re a fan of his or if you tend to lean more to the left when it comes to politics.

My main gripe with this book is the presentation. It felt too text-heavy, and the different columns weren’t particularly well-separated. That only really affects the book’s aesthetics, but I’ve always thought that aesthetics are important. For the average reader, it might be enough to put them off – especially because the newspaper column style starts to get repetitive.

Overall though, I thought this book was lots of fun – and when I wasn’t laughing, I was nodding my head in agreement.

 

David Mitchell

David Mitchell

 

Click here to buy Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse.

 


Newsletter Signup

Get special offers, new book news, cover reveals and more!