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Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life [Hardcover]

Steve Lowe , Alan McArthur
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description


If you hate: loft living; bar-clubs; Tony Blair; chick lit; global warming sceptics; Keane; loyalty cards; IKEA; Kabbalah; bling and Richard Curtis...

... then you need IS IT JUST ME OR IS EVERYTHING SHIT? - an encylopedic attack on modern culture and the standard reference work for everyone who believes everything is shit. Which it is. This book is for the large percentage of the population interested in saying NO to the phoney ideas, cretinous people, useless products and doublespeak that increasingly dominate our lives. This book is designed for everyone who thinks they may have mislaid their soul in a Coffee Republic. Never before has there been a book so completely full of shit.

This very funny, well-informed, belligerent rant of a book adds up to an excoriating broadside against consumer capitalism that the authors hope will sell loads of copies.

Frequently Bought Together

Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life + Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?: Vol. 2.: Volume Two + Can't Be Arsed
Price For All Three: 29.37

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Time Warner Books; Reprint edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316729531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316729536
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur are the authors of IS IT JUST ME OR IS EVERYTHING SHIT? Volumes 1 and 2 and BLIGHTY. Steve Lowe lives in Brighton and Alan McArthur lives in London.

Product Description


There are perky self-help books and then theirs is IS IT JUST ME OR IS EVERYTHING SHIT?, an A-Z rant about the naffness of modern life that's so relentlessly bitter it's actually rather uplifting. Dissing everything from Keane ("Tom Chaplin's face has no edges") to cardboard-tasting paninis to the overuse of Manolo Blahniks as a metaphor it's, dare we say it, more piercing than a Manolo heel (MARIE CLAIRE)

Bilious old-codgering taken to the highest possible level as authors vent anger over the crassness and mediocrity of modern life cf. "juice drinks", Otis Ferry, Kabbalah, foot spas, Sam Taylor-Wood and pubs playing "mellow dance grooves". Excellent entry (TIME OUT)

A life-affirming guide to the modern world (ESQUIRE)

One of the many things that irritates these guys is rave reviews: so I'll just say it's very funny and recommend you to buy it. Unless of course you're a big fan of the Daily Mail (Stewart Prebble, author of Grumpy Old Men)

Book Description

* An irreverent and hilarious reference guide to all the people, ideas and institutions that pollute our lives. Because you don't have to be old to be grumpy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its not Grumpy Old Men... 23 Mar 2007
Please forgive the "Grumpy Old Men" reference but when I was given this book for Christmas I was expecting the usual tirade against the trivial problems of life; traffic wardens, modern music, political correctness etc. All very entertaining but all a bit early '00s. What a pleasant surprise to discover that IIJMOIES goes a little deeper. Wearing their leftiness on their sleeves the book has a real go at such things as The Daily Mail, politicians (New Labour and Tory) and ineffective trade union leaders. You might think that this all sound a bit worthy and, well, unfunny but you would be wrong.

The book, whilst making some serious points, still manages to be very funny. And it's very rude in places which won't be to everyone's taste but I found the swearing both big and clever. It also cleverly turns on its head traditional targets for ridicule; for example motorists who consider themselves an oppressed minority. The book's targets are not all serious by any means. Other subjects to be attacked include TV ads, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chue Guevera merchandise. In fact one of the joys of this book is discovering that you are not, after all, the only person in the world to get worked up about, say, the phrase "hard-working families". Which is quite a comfort.

I didn't agree with all the views expressed in the book - for instance I am a big fan of Keane and am not afraid to admit it! - but the authors write with such humour and conviction it's hard to be offended.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hillarious in parts, but patchy. 24 Nov 2006
The title of this book chimed quite well with my outlook, so I was delighted to receive it as a gift.

After reading it for a while I commented to a colleague that it read like extracts from a "lad's mag" and he told me that there was the origin of the idea and background of the authors.

I will say that a few times I was laughing out loud alone when I read some of the entries, some are truly hillarious, but, sadly, too many rely on a string of expletives (well used they can be humourous, but just repeating one 10 times just shows you were hung over the day you wrote that entry) to poke fun, rather than actually being insightful satire.

I notice there's now a Vol 2 - I won't be rushing out to buy it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read 8 Jan 2007
OK, so it's not going to be a prize winning book or something that everyone loves, but it is excellent for a quick 30 minute read when you fancy being cheared up. It's not amzingly funny, but some of the rants do raise a chuckle fairly often, and sometimes I find myself laughing out loud to it.

Some of the views are very similar to Jeremy Clarkson's, who I have always found very entertaining.

Overall, it's a great book if you just want something light hearted. I know i'll be buying it for a few people's birthdays over the coming months.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of paper 1 Jan 2012
Luckily I bought this book secondhand for next to nothing, and that is what it is worth, nothing!
Not funny, not original and not worth using as toilet paper!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Insert title... just like this book... 31 Dec 2009
By Pj
The title of the book sounded as if it would be funny and it is in two or three places. It reads like a diatribe rather than an amusing twist on things or observational humour.

Just my opinion, but I expected something more obviously funny.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars VERDICT LIES IN THE FINALITY OF THE TITLE 17 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
From a relatively young age most men (and a few women if there is money on offer from television programme makers and publishers) are prone at 'a drop of a hat' to engage in cynical and mainly derogatory verbal outpourings on just about any topic or product known to mankind. It is known as 'ranting', the motivation for which is succinctly summarised by Samuel Johnson "Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense." (The Idler 1759)

'Ranting' is the yellow-brick-road to that illusory castle, rife with self-grandiosity and pomposity. I certainly suffer from the rant syndrome but am bought down to earth by my wife saying "Shut up you miserable Old Git, nobody is interested in your bigoted diatribe!"

Even as a self-proclaimed ranter I could not get hooked into this book which is just a production line of multiple moans and lost all interest after no more than a dozen or so pages. Just one moan after another becomes tedious and makes one wonder why the authors want to live on this planet. Pity their wives/partners did not deliver them a reality check as mine does to me.

PS. My nearest and dearest has now suggested that my review (or rant as she insists on calling it) is like 'the pot calling the kettle black' when criticising this book and that I was as 'moany' and 'self-opinionated' as the authors. The fundamental point that she is missing is that I'm not trying to flog my views under the guise of a rant-loaded book in return for a 'greasing of the palms'! My 'rants' come gratis!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars great title boring content 9 Nov 2011
By c
I loved the title of this book, it said exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately the content was a big let down, boring, long winded and not at all funny. I returned it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fair minded, refreshing and purgative 4 May 2007
By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE
A timely response to those nanny statesmen, PC bureaucrats, spin doctors, media monsters and trendy analysts who have destroyed our world. This A-Z rant against modernity in all its forms is informative, revelatory and bl**dy funny. There are some obvious targets (Blair, Bush and co) and many insidious ones exposed, and many more lurking out there to be covered by Volume 2. One can only hope the next government will address this catalogue of bugbears as a priority. My only criticism of the book is that the comments don't really go far enough but it's comforting to know that we normal decent people with proper values aren't alone ;-)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Twas
Tres funny, very much enjoyed this book , I have read it twice now and will read again I am sure
Published 8 months ago by hannah grainger
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it, perhaps another one.
It is good, particularly liked the silly baby pictures in the local magazine. That's one of my pet hates. Liked the bit about Tracy Emin. Over hyped. Read more
Published 14 months ago by velvet
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny
Bit of light-hearted slapstick, typical British humour. A genuinely funny book about issues every British person agrees on.. *cough cough* Tony Blair
Published 17 months ago by Naomi May
4.0 out of 5 stars really good read
Very funny all the way through - had trouble putting it down anf often found myself laughing out loud! !
Published 19 months ago by Craig L. Trim
3.0 out of 5 stars It's, alrightish
Not quite sure what book the "professional reviewers" must have been reading but, while it has it's moments, it's generally quite, dull to be quite honest.
Published 19 months ago by Mr. M. Meaden
1.0 out of 5 stars Great title - shame about the other 277 pages
This book isn't for everyone. For every person who thinks it's the most hilarious thing ever, they'll be someone who'd rather eat their own kidneys than read it again. Read more
Published on 26 Dec 2011 by Christina Weston
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring... So.... very... boring!
I was hoping for some good satire and funny stand-up comedy style ranting. Instead I got a book that was so boring it was a struggle to finish, I don't remember laughing once, even... Read more
Published on 24 April 2011 by Di20
1.0 out of 5 stars Stop.........wait........think again.......!
This is one of the most tiresome books I have read in a long time. It is a neverending long-winded rant, punctuated with needless swearing and tedious arguments, none of which lend... Read more
Published on 30 Aug 2009 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Bored me after half an hour
I bought this CD book because of the narrators as I love Green Wing. Sadly even their dulcet tones couldn't lift this CD/book into the annals of hilarity, it was drab and hardly... Read more
Published on 8 May 2009 by T. Bunting
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