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How Not to Grow Up: A Coming of Age Memoir. Sort of. [Paperback]

Richard Herring
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

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How Not to Grow Up: A Coming of Age Memoir. Sort of. How Not to Grow Up: A Coming of Age Memoir. Sort of. 3.8 out of 5 stars (97)
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Book Description

6 May 2010

Comedian Richard Herring has a major problem. He's about to turn 40 and hasn't seen it coming. He's not married, doesn't have a proper job or 2.4 children. But now, finally, it looks as if the world expects him to be a grown up - and he's completely unprepared for it.

As the momentous and terrifying event approaches (his birthday), Richard notices a steep decline in

his own behaviour. Inexplicably he begins to behave more childishly - hanging out with 22-year-olds, developing an unhealthy addiction to Flumps and even getting into a ludicrous fight.

How Not to Grow Up is the hilarious story of how a self-confessed perpetual Big Kid deals with his greatest fear - getting older - and is the perfect book for everyone who, deep down, still thinks that they're 18.



Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (6 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091932084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091932084
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,910 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Never meet/read about your heros 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly not what I expected... 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but it peters out... 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Existential crisis, with plenty of knob gags 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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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars stay away... 17 Sep 2010
By Sean
Format:Paperback
...even if you're a big fan of richard herring. i went in to this as a long time fan of all his shows with stewart lee, his current standup and a (rapidly fading, it must be said) appreciation of his podcast with andrew collins.

it's a cliché that all good things must come to an end, and it seems richard herring is well on the slide from worthwhile, funny and satirical comedian into the boring, scatologically-obsessed joke he once parodied.

but clearly he believes he is being very clever at the same time. oh dear.

anyway, the book itself is written in a sickly child-like prose which becomes dull and irritating after a few chapters, while the self-aggrandising (but all the while insisting that they're self-deprecating) encounters are dull and not nearly as insight-worthy as the author seems to want us to think.

even the champagne-bottle-up-the-arse threesome moment was written so badly as to completely undermine the impact.

two stars (it isn't absolutely terrible, merely very bad) is a fair review for this product and unless you can get it for less than a pound, steer clear.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one book this year...
If you only read one book this year, then you're a moron and I don't want anything to do with you.
Published 4 months ago by JR
4.0 out of 5 stars How not to grow up
Warning: This is not a self-help book!

What starts out as quite a sordid tale of the year Richard Herring turns forty becomes a very sweet tale by the end. Read more
Published 7 months ago by anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Funnier than being trapped in a lift with Billy Connolly
But probably not as funny as being trapped in a lift with Brian Conley. Maybe.
Richard Herring wrote a book, I didn't fall asleep reading it, and while I'm not ACTUALLY... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Denise
3.0 out of 5 stars unexpected
I do like some of Richard Herrings comedy and quite liked him on various panel shows, so was curious how this book might be. It was ok but not really what I expected. Read more
Published on 16 July 2011 by Nicole Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars A Funny, Moving and Honest Memoir from a Top Comedian
As with many of the reviewers here, I too was approaching the same age that Herring describes with dread and anticipation. Read more
Published on 26 April 2011 by Friedland
4.0 out of 5 stars revealing..
I really enjoy listening to Richard Herring's podcasts and bought this as something to read when not listening to him! Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2011 by Simon King
3.0 out of 5 stars Mr Herring's mid life crisis
I'm exactly the same age as Mr Herring (give or take a couple of months) although I'm not as funny.

Both myself and Richard have seen the same changing face of comedy,... Read more
Published on 26 Oct 2010 by M. Bhangal
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!
I couldn't recommend it any higher - the perfect read - You'll laugh out loud frequently - comedy genius.
Published on 25 Oct 2010 by KR
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read
I loved reading this book - probably because I related to it a great deal, which might be worrying!
It's funny and makes you think. Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2010 by Kate H
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