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Grumpy Old Men: The Official Handbook Paperback – 12 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; New Ed edition (4 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563493879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563493877
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By G. Thulbourn on 25 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
I didn't watch the TV series so I thought this was just going to be a humerous read. However, there is a little (OK only a little) depth behind the book. Yes, it's funny to relate to the author's ranting, but it also makes you realise the context of some of your frustrations with the world. It's OK to be a grumpy man; it's a phase of life when you realise the world isn't as good a place as you were brought up to hope for.

I read this book at the same time as I was reading "You can't afford the luxury of a negative thought", and this provided a nice counterpoint. To be honest I got more out of grumpy old men than out of that 'self-help' book.

So, funny AND self-help: what more could you want for in a book?
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
Having only caught and enjoyed the occasional snippet of an episode of this TV program I was pleased to see the accompanying book, and quickly and eagerly snapped it up.
For the first fifty or so pages the book delivered exactly what I expected it to, that being sensible but frustrating observations on everyday life through the eyes of a mature, intelligent and discontented man. This is the kind of thing that makes my thoughts and hang ups seem justifiable, in that I am not alone. However the problem is that the ranting becomes predictable and musty. We have all heard the complaints about the school run mothers, the tattoo enthusiasts and the cell phone obsessive. I would have liked the gripes to be a little fresher. My other slight complain is that I could not relate to some of the situations described. I guess it's difficult to please all of the people and to cover every life style.
I think my problem may have been that I expected too much. I wanted it to support more of my own pet hates, and it didn't. I think it would call for a much weightier volume to achieve that!
As a light and amusing read I recommend it. If you don't like it then you will at least have something else to complain about.
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
How brilliant is this! I am married to the stereotype Grumpy Old Man and bought this for him to read on holiday.2 weeks ago. However, when it arrived I flicked through it, started to read and couldn't put it down! It's a great book to dip into when the mood takes you - it made me laugh out loud and my husband had to admit that most of it sounded as though he had penned it himself! A great stocking filler for that Grumpy Old Man in your life!!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. B. Ager on 4 Jan. 2005
Format: Hardcover
This, of course, is the official tie-in publication to the two BBC TV series, the second of which finished just before Christmas.
Contrary to the impression given by the cover photographs of Messrs Smith, Peel, Wakeman and McGrath on the cover this is not just a repeat of the script and interviews shown on the TV programmes; in fact the celebrity quotations from their interviews are used very sparingly, as headings more than anything else. Instead this is writer/producer Stuart Prebble's more personal thesis on his own experience as a grumpy old man - as you read it it's not Geoffrey Palmer's voice you hear at all and it's not intended to be (but in my case it could have been Arthur Smith's).
After the introductory chapters as to how the series came to fruition, and the technical definition of grumpies and their likely early life experiences, the bulk of the book, "So What Are We Grumpy About?" takes us through an average day in Prebble's life and is an extended rant about everything in that timespan that annoys him, from the BBC World Service that he tunes into when he wakes up in the early hours of the morning and can't get back to sleep, through such things as getting to work, parking, shopping, DIY, the nanny state, cinemas, going out to dinner parties, and insomnia at the end of the day. He is considerate enough to devote a short chapter at the end to ponder the effects of his grumpiness on his friends and family.
Reading this you find yourself agreeing with a lot of what he feels - in fact if it weren't so true it would be very funny. As it was I ended up feeling slightly guilty and embarassed for him, actually not something that I felt watching the thing on TV.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Stuart Prebble (author of this official handbook) is truly the uber-grump of our age and his book made me laugh out loud on several (rather public) occasions, shout "Yes! Yes! Yes!" in total agreement on several others and has sent me straight back out to the bookshop to buy several more copies for my Grumpy Old Friends and Relations. This is a fantastic present for grumps of all ages and is a perfect reflection of the imperfect world in which we live. I, for one, can't wait for the sequel. Get writing, Stuart ~ your country needs you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sean on 7 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
It is a good witty rant for anyone infuriated with political correctness and the modern-world (like myself) but do you ever get the feeling you are being conned? We now have, in book form: the Secret Diary; the Secret Diary of a Grumpy Old Women; Grumpy Old Couples; Grumpy Old Drivers; Grumpy Old Workers; Grumpy Old Holidays. The series has been released on DVD and Audiobook. Tat has been produced such as baseball caps and mugs and we haven't even arrived at the unofficial stuff yet. Pebble, in this book, poses the question: whenever are you going to wear a Christmas themed tie? I will throw the question back at him and suggest: whenever are you going to want to wear a baseball cap with 'Grumpy Old Man' on the front?

The Original series was hilarious and deserves to occupy any DVD shelf. These days however, the formulaic product 'Grumpy Old Men' is beginning to resemble the materialistic culture the Grumps so deride.
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