The concept is fine: a Malcolm Gladwell-style pop-science look at the psychology and social history of complaint would have made for a fascinating little book.
But Julian Baggini's short entry - very short: it is done and dusted in 130 pages - is neither focussed or organised enough to pull that off. It reads more like a loosely-themed ramble through a field of the author's favourite hobby horses.
Baggini describes himself as a "philosopher" - every man's right, I suppose - but it does imply some sort of tenured academic role, whereas the most I can extract from a quick Google is that he has a PhD in philosophy and has fashioned for himself a role as a public commentator of sorts on matters ethical and metaphysical. However good his philosophical credentials, they don't qualify him especially well to write a pop-science book on complaint: you'd think a psychologist, psychiatrist or sociologist might be better equipped for that.
Nor, having read his offering, does he appear to have much of substance to say. In 130 parsimoniously entexted pages he manages to distract himself from the subject at hand on a number of occasions, wandering off piste into tangential ruminations on what appear (from his other writings) to be pet subjects - particularly religion and atheism. Elsewhere he doesn't really fashion much of an argument: there's a cursory attempt to categorise types of complaint and a half-hearted reader survey from which Baggini draws half-hearted conclusions, but he doesn't really have anything to say other than "complaint has its place, and isn't all bad".
Some respectable commentators have found value in his book, however: Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times, for whom I have a great deal of respect, raved about it (and on that recommendation I bought it), so perhaps it just caught me on a bad day.
But all the same, I can't see this one tipping The Tipping Point out of the bestseller list anytime soon.