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How Not to Grow Up: A Coming of Age Memoir. Sort of. Paperback – 6 May 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (6 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091932084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091932084
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A thoroughly entertaining confessional... cheeky, self-deprecating and very human (Metro)

If you've ever secretly wondered when you're going to grow up, How Not To Grow Up is one for you... (Lauren Laverne Grazia)

Razor sharp and very funny (Shortlist Magazine)

Book Description

The misadventures of an immature man in an adult world

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By fenned01 on 15 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
Richard Herring has co written some of the best comedy of the last 20 years but somehow misses completely with this book. I was left feeling a bit sad after reading it, i felt that this man was a bit of a git. Never ever meet your heros or in this case read about them. Most of the book is filled up with references to his sexual conquests all of which seem to make him whine a lot. To conceal the fact he is a fanny rat he sprinkles a bit of self loathing over each ancedote but still gives you the impression hes a ladies man on the sly. If fans are mentioned in the book then they are only done so based on how attractive they are to him. Most males in the book are seen as annoying competition and just in the way of any potential shag. I felt most sad when he was refering to fans who try and chat with him about his work, he seems to hold them with contempt unless of course they are pretty girls who are willing to nosh him off. The most annoying thing about this book is i still like his work he is a genuinely funny person though in real life is probably an arsehole. I suppose after 20 years in show biz you get a bit up yourself i just feel that its a shame he had to tell us about it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Donbavand on 30 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
As a long-time fan of Richard Herring (yes, I was at the Lee and Herring live recording all those years ago...), I was really looking forward to reading this book. And it gave me everything I wanted, albeit not in the way I was expecting it. I anticipated a peek into Richard's private and professional life - which I got - but not the amount of self-doubt, soul-searching and downright personal feeling that the book is filled with. I can't remember reading an autobiography with such honesty before - honesty that doesn't always paint Richard in the kindest of lights. And that's where you'll be surprised, possibly shocked. If you're expecting a showbiz biog about how great and blessed a life the subject has enjoyed - look elsewhere. But if you want to know what life is like for a single man approaching what he's always been told is the age he should have everything sorted by - you'll keep turning the pages as much as I did. My only disappointment was that I would have liked to have learned more about the ins and outs of Richard's career (the only glimpse we really get is of a fight in the office with Stewart Lee!) but I guess we'll get that when he's approaching 60! Great stuff!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Page turner on 19 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This was trying to tap into The Yes Man territory but despite the odd funny moment, it just didn't work and sometimes left a bad taste in the mouth. Disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By houndtang on 19 July 2011
Format: Paperback
How Not to Grow Up is a very enjoyable book - for the first two thirds anyway - but the final few chapters are much less compelling; once Herring actually does start to 'grow up' it becomes boring!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JR on 21 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback
If you only read one book this year, then you're a moron and I don't want anything to do with you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Warmington on 26 April 2011
Format: Paperback
First, the disclaimer. I knew Richard Herring quite well once. We were in the Oxford Revue Workshop together, where his comedy career began and mine more or less ended. Being surrounded by obvious incipient comedy genius in the form of him, Stewart Lee, Armando Iannucci, Al Murray et al. was enough to convince me to stick to the day job. We weren't close friends or anything but he was a nice enough bloke who I would happily heckle in a pleasant sort of way if I saw him on stage again.

This book is a curious read. Whilst very funny in places, it is not the usual jog-trot through growing up in the '70s and '80s. Much of it is quite dark, in as much as when he stops doing knob gags for long enough, Herring is clearly going through a bit of a tunnel as he contemplates reaching the age of 40 with little financial security and a comedy career that has probably peaked, if not stalled. Much of this is palpably contrived for the purposes of creating his next Edinburgh show, but it is genuine enough.

Some of the negatives from previous reviews are fair. It is definitely far too long - half a chapter on a meeting with the bank manager, FFS! - and it is not always easy to feel sorry for someone living the life many men would dream of: getting up whenever you like, no commitments, easy access to attractive women half your age ('Comedy groupies' was a bit of an oxymoron in Oxford in the late 1980s. In fact the total impossiblity of there being such a thing was a running gag at the Workshop. Funny how things turn out). Herring is intelligent and self-aware enough to know this and to know that he is coming over as a bit of a berk at times, so I assume he left this in on purpose.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is ideal for anyone approaching their fortieth birthday with less than enthusiasm and also for those who have experienced this supposedly milestone birthday and now smugly know there’s nothing to it. It’s funny and confessional. At the end it’s sweet, but before that it’s a bit sleazy and lost. This book taught me the plural Flumpses. You should look up “Pyrrhic victory” before reading if you don’t know who he was and what it was. It’s not used with quite the frequency in which Alan Partridge was reported to have written “Needless to say I had the last laugh” but it does crop up more than once. It’s an uplifting book in places, Herring has a lot of optimism. He’s also very honest about times when he’s a bit of an idiot.
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