on 25 August 2002
If you've seen the series, then you know the type of tips and advice the 'experts' dole out. The book is an easy read, and fairly compact. It is divided into 3 sections, one by each of the experts. Overall, the information is well presented and it covers aspects covered in the series plus more. Sometimes I do find myself wanting more explanation and examples. There is a list of recommended reading at the back which would provide that depth. However, the strength of the book is that brings together key tips and advice on the 3 main aspects without getting bogged down in detail. It will give you enough to make some significant improvements, and steer you on the right path.
As for the individual sections, the chatty style of Tracey Cox grates a little, but some people may like that. The other 2 gives their advice in a more direct fashion - which is how I prefer it.
The book is great to dip into, or to read straight through. If I had one other wish for the book, it is that it went on to cover the the early stage(s) of dating, ie. developing a relationship... but i guess that's another book/series.
Personally, though I'm by no means a hopeless dater, I've learnt a hell of a lot from both the series, and now the book. I would recommend it to just about anyone. It is the sort of book that even those who think they are too 'cool'/'succesful' to seek its advice, would be fascinated by the skills & tips it has to offer. Still, more the fools they!
on 18 August 2002
It is hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't benefit immensely from buying or reading this book - whether, like participants in the television series it accompanies, they haven't had a girlfriend for 12 years, or, at the other extreme, have slept with 140 partners.
The BBC2 series has been phenomenally successful (the Press are calling it a cult) because it takes real people, pulls them apart, then puts them back together again in a rather better order.
The aim is ostensibly to improve their dating skills, but the three Dating Experts who set out to do that go much, much deeper and suggest solutions that visibly change people's lives for the better.
So far, only 16 people have been lucky enough to go through the Would Like To Meet makeover process - but this book is an answer to the prayers of the millions of viewers who wished that Tracey Cox, Jay Hunt, and Jeremy Milnes would help them change their lives, too.
It is anything but a frothy spin-off. Right from the first page, the three experts (and they are!) act like a three-in-one version of the best friend who tells us what we need to know, even if we won't find the truth particularly comfortable.
The experts will help you analyse your own body language, appearance and personality so you can appreciate, probably for the first time in your life, how you come across to others.
Once you realise that, they follow up with first-rate advice on how to project a new image that you feel comfortable with.
Tracey, one of the very few authors in the world who not only writes like a dream but looks like one, too, is rightly dismissive of those who say "be yourself", because if being yourself isn't getting you anywhere, you're in for a miserable time for the rest of your life.
Instead, she suggests you "fake it til you make it", meaning that if you re-educate your body to give out the signals and the impression you'd like to project, other people will instinctively believe that you are that person - and because they react to you in the way you've always wanted them to, your own behaviour will respond positively to their reaction and so on, creating a virtuous circle.
Tracey, a screamingly funny writer, tells you, in no uncertain terms, and with the insight that only someone with a psychology degree can have, how to make the best of yourself from the inside out. Anyone who has seen her in action in the television series will know that her advice is as good as you can get.
Similarly, Jay Hunt, the internationally-rated stylist, and Jeremy Milnes, the confidence and conversation coach, take you step-by-step through everything you need to know about your physical appearance and wardrobe, and give inspired advice on how to chat people up and give the best impression of yourself.
Everyone who's seen the series has said how the three presenters would make a fortune if they could distill their advice and bottle it - and this book is as near as we'll ever get to that.
It's packed with questionnaires, examples, and snippets of practical advice in an easy-to-read format that makes this a perfect dip-into treat.
If this eye-opening book were ever put on the National Curriculum (now there's an idea!), it would almost certainly lead to an eventual reduction in the divorce and suicide rates, as well as being single-handedly responsible for helping to shape a generation of well-adjusted people who feel good about themselves.
Once you've given yourself the Would Like To Meet treatment by following the experts' advice in this book (and without having to expose your inadequacies to millions of viewers), you'll find that your life will have changed immeasurably for the better.
And, should you ever be tempted to lapse back into those bad old ways, you'll discover that Tracey, Jay and Jeremy are right there on your shoulder, like a triumvirate of Jimminy Crickets, to keep you on the right path to happiness.
A cracking book from a cracking team - and without a doubt the most useful self-help book you will ever have the chance to buy.
It's not often you get a chance to change your life for less than a tenner... so grab it while you can!