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How to Leave Twitter: My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop [Paperback]

Grace Dent
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
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Book Description

21 July 2011

Three years ago columnist and author Grace Dent joined new social network site Twitter, mainly as a place to dump her surplus jokes, rant about garbage TV and post exclusive j-pegs of her hot new toenail-varnish. But as every 're-tweet' and 'Follow Friday' saw her audience figures soar by tens of thousands, Dent found herself centre-stage in an all-consuming highly addictive social network revolution. One where the gags, gossip, scandal and backstabbing literally never stop.

Here Dent takes a hilarious, acerbic look at what's really going on in Twitterworld; who's actually tweeting, who's really reading your tweets and what's behind the 140 character lies they tell. She looks at the highs and grotty lows of twitter addiction, the shameless social climbers, the friends you'll make and the ones you can't get bloody rid of, the barefaced bragging, the shameful celeb-stalking, and the truth about 'twanking', twitter cliques, angry 'twitchfork mobs' and dealing with trolls.

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How to Leave Twitter: My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop + How To Be a Woman + Moranthology
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (21 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571277748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571277742
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Grace Dent is undeniably one of the hottest names in teen fiction right now. Put simply: no other author nails how young people REALLY speak and behave like Grace Dent. Grace is a comedy writer and broadcaster specialising in all aspects of 'Pop Culture'. She is a presenter on The Culture Show on BBC2 and has recently interviewed Mitchell and Webb and the cast of Gavin and Stacey. She lives in East London with her husband, who works in the music industry. When she's not writing comedy Grace is to be found 'faffing about on the internet' or 'faffing about in the garden or kitchen' or 'just 'faffing about generally. I'm an excellent faffer.'

Product Description


'How to Leave Twitter will make you laugh and cringe in equal measure ... [it's] wickedly funny and showcases Dent's acute observational skills ... mainly, and most importantly, she made me laugh.' --Lee Randall, Scotsman

'Twitter has spawned toilet literature, sitcoms and chin-stroking columns, but nothing has pinned down what makes the social networking phenomenon tick quite like Guardian columnist Grace Dent's new book ... brutally funny stuff.' --Shortlist

'Even twitter-phobes will be laughing out loud at this account of life in the social-networking universe ... one of the funniest books we've read in ages.' --Star Magazine

Book Description

A hilarious look at what's really going on in Twitterworld from journalist, TV commentator and author Grace Dent.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes amusing, but largely unnecessary. 27 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is a passage in How To Leave Twitter etc. which talks about Grace Dent sitting with her agent trying to think of a book to write. And that, perhaps, is the problem. Dent didn't approach a publisher or literary agent with a fantastic book idea, they asked her to write something in order to cash in on her 'that woman from the telly' celebrity status and Twitter follower count. The result is a pretty irrelevant book about her social-networking likes and dislikes. Worse, the whole thing is written in a list within a list within a list form, which gets tedious from about the fifth page onwards.

I'm fond of Grace Dent, but she's definitely funnier when restricted to 140 characters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Smug, tedious rubbish 1 Oct 2013
Self-obsessed, tedious claptrap. The tone is smug, self-indulgent and not at all interesting. In my opinion, best avoided at all costs.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self congratulatory and bitter. 26 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book says much more about Grace Dent than it could ever do about the people she chooses to criticise and belittle.

It is simply not funny - unless you happen to be one of her circle of Twitter celeb friends and find her in-jokes and references hilarious, or you want to check if she's secretly writing about you.

It should have never have been more than two pages long at most and reads like a blog - one where the writer just didn't know when to stop and walk away from the keyboard.

She seems to have overlooked the main points of Twitter, that it's fleeting, optional and meant to be enjoyable. Here she tries to turn it into some
pseudo-academic exercise which fails on all counts. It's not funny, not interesting and not enjoyable, ironically the complete opposite to Twitter.

She does not have the ability to craft humorous ideas without sounding condescending, smug and juvenile, and her bitterness towards the general public left a nasty taste in my mouth.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little bird told me... 20 July 2011
By Cat
I love Grace Dent's writing, and have recently joined Twitter, so it seemed logical I'd buy this book. Parts of it are absolutely hilarious (despite feeling like I'd read them already - I think there was an extract in the Guardian maybe) but others are a bit of a drag and I found myself skimming over them. Perhaps I am just too new to Twitter to get some of it. It's a slim volume with lots of lists, so a very easy read, but felt a bit like a Christmas stocking filler type book to me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Average, bordering boring. 25 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Quite a big Twitter user, so this book pretty much pointed out the obvious with bitchy bits in-between. It doesn't really have a point and reads more like one gigantic rant: I was expecting something a little more interesting and punchy.
I found myself skimming over large sections of the book and didn't really gain anything having read it. That being said Grace does create a few images that made me snort whilst reading it on the bus, I just wanted more :(
I think Caitlin Moran could write something similar but well... better.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful 9 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amazing how such a short book can be so exhausting to read.

I thought I spent alot of time on Twitter but clearly not as much as the author. I don't follow her (never saw what the fuss was about with Grace, though I do love Twitter, hence why I stupidly bought this book) but after looking at her timeline it seems that she spends a huge amount of time on there, along with some of her Twitter cronies, some of whom I do follow and who thankfully rarely RT her stuff. And if you don't have anything else to do with your time like them, then you'll enjoy this book more than me. You probably need quite a bitter and dour frame of mind, too, like Grace. Her dissection on Twitter and much of it's users is as nasty as it is tiresome - her attack on people who mourned the death of Elizabeth Taylor was particulary vile. Oh and the near constant swearing comes off as very 'try-hard'.

I'm familiar with her work on the Guardian and so I was expecting the chapter on celebrities to be more gutsy than what it actually is. It's quite oddly toothless, going against the generally aggressive tone of the rest of the book - could Grace be deliberately holding back, too frightened to offend her sleb mates and their chums, perhaps?

One assumes the title is ironic. Grace has neither the talent or the empathy to be Queen of the Universe (naturally, she means Queen of Twitter), regardless of the time she spends on there. No. She'll always be a lady-in-waiting, at best.

I laughed at the 'Leona from work' thing early on but otherwise it's a load of old joyless, misanthropic rubbish and I actually felt like having a good lie down to recover after reading it. I almost feel like giving the book an extra star for the accomplishment of her managing to suck all the joy out of Twitter. But I won't. Don't waste your time reading this garbage.

I deleted this book from my Kindle not long after buying it last summer. What a waste of money.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly constructed, unfunny for long passages 25 Jan 2012
By Jay
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoy the journalism of Grace Dent. Not so much her television reviews, but her pieces about her own life are often charming and full of the wit and humour she is known for. Unfortunately, she left that at the door when writing this book.
The first section is just some lists that become a struggle to read very quickly- she later states how twitter users need to be able to skim read due to the style and layout of tweets, so to open the book with page upon page of tweet sized bullet points that often are neither amusing nor engaging seems like a poor choice.

Things pick up a little in the middle, though often points get repeated. There is one section in particular where I got an overwhelming sense that I had heard it all before, was it in one of her columns? Or on twitter itself? No, it was in this very book not 3 pages prior- surely an editor would notice this and take it out? The feminist section smacks of sour grapes- though she has a right to be annoyed about amusing ladies being cut out of panel shows, to put herself on a pedestal as a 'funny woman' whilst singling out Jamelia as being an unfunny woman (when I have seen both being equally as unamusing on tv) is a little unfair and somewhat boastful (coming as it does between 2 sections in which she complains about people boasting on twitter).

Finally, close to the end we get to the actual subject matter of how to leave twitter and return to the unamusing list formula. Page after page of "When you [hypothetical situation in which you use twitter instead of doing your job/ looking after your kids/ having dialysis] then you need to leave twitter!" which are in no way amusing.

In summary, do you love twitter? In a way that only an unemployed/ student/ work from home person could?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining
Another great book from Grace Dent. I enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend it. A great gift for a friend.
Published 7 months ago by Nina
3.0 out of 5 stars Christmas present
Bought as a christmas present for a friend so i cant really say whether its a good product or not. All i can say it the delivery was very prompt.
Published 14 months ago by katiejsun
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing groundbreaking
I breezed through How To Leave Twitter in a couple of hours. Grace Dent basically just breaks down the typical Twitter users and launches a lengthy diatribe against each of them. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amy Whitear
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny
Anyone who's spent considerable time on Twitter will be thoroughly entertained. Read in one sitting, I couldn't put it down.
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise words!
Only just got in to twitter. Hopefully wont make an idiot if myself on there now having read this. Cheers @gracedent
Published 18 months ago by MISS E E CONSTABLE
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Sorry! Just ok. Nothing here that you won't have worked out already. Don't really know what I was expecting. Ah well.....
Published 18 months ago by J. Jagger
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for Twitter users
Bought this before release based on what I knew about Grace Dent. Just recommended to a friend who is struggling with Twitter and was surprised at the many negative reviews. Read more
Published on 29 April 2012 by bloke3142
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny but Smug
I was well into Twitter before reading this and recognise a lot of what Grace comments on; the 1st bits about the stages of joining Twitter are spot on are very accurate and a lot... Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2012 by Fleur de Malamute
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, pithy, timely - and absolutely spot on!
I'm not sure some of the other reviewers on Amazon have been reading the same book as me. Two and a half stars as an average customer rating? Shocking! Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2012 by Miss E. Potten
2.0 out of 5 stars How to Leave Twitter:
this was badly writen and a poor book in all eveb though i only got a few pages so glad a didnt have to pay for this book
Published on 1 Feb 2012 by Natalie Holder
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