How Not To Be a Boy Hardcover – 29 Aug 2017
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"Quite simply brilliant. I (genuinely) cried. I (genuinely) laughed out loud. It's profound, touching, personal yet universal . . . I loved it" (J.K. ROWLING)
"With enormous poignancy and insight . . . Webb's early portrait of himself as a hapless underdog navigating the boulder-strewn path of masculinity is vividly drawn and very funny . . . Echoes of Adrian Mole" (Guardian)
"Takes us deftly from hilarity to heart-stopping hurt . . . A truly great read, full of heart" (DAWN FRENCH)
"Frank and compelling . . . Laugh-out-loud funny . . . also, in parts, blink-back-tears sad. Why would I blink back tears rather than give full rein to the emotion? Well, Webb can explain" (Mail on Sunday)
"Written with wit and clarity, How Not To Be a Boy is a funny, rueful, truthful book. I enjoyed every page" (STEPHEN FRY)
"A brilliant telling of a sad story, it is also a manifesto for a change in attitudes . . . I laughed innumerable times and cried twice . . . You should give a copy to any young male you care about *****" (S Magazine, Sunday Express)
"A witty, honest coming-of-age story with a subtext that tackles masculinity and manhood. Webb has a storytelling skill many would kill for" (IAN RANKIN)
"Funny, poignant, revealing" (Daily Telegraph)
"Simply brilliant" (JOANNA LUMLEY)
"Funny and wonderful and necessary" (SARAH MILLICAN)
Following Peep Show, and alongside Back, the new Mitchell and Webb sitcom, comes part-memoir, part call-to-arms from the award-winning and hilariously funny Robert WebbSee all Product description
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The narrative is driven largely by extracts from his diary, and punctuated by conversations his 40-odd year old self has with the teenage Robert, the twentysomething Robert. There's a sense of the ridiculous throughout these moments, the benefit of hindsight throwing perspective on the younger man's feelings; not that they are any less the deeply felt at the time.
Webb's prose is fluid, fast, readable and the pages fly by. There is a build up of momentum which ends rather suddenly; the book ends almost with a sigh, as if the author is glad to have told this story, and raised many more questions than he can (or claims to) answer. It seemed more a starting point for my own reflection, rather than a conclusive memoir: as Webb implies, life is very much ongoing, rather than a state one arrives at eventually.
He makes us laugh, he makes us think, occasionally he wets the eye. I read the book in two weekend sessions, and felt uplifted, encouraged and a little more human at the end of it.
All in all a very emotional read that lets you know there is a lot more to that funny guy on the screen than you might know! Give it a read, you’ll be glad you did 🙂
This would have been a 4 star had he just stuck to the autobiography – I could even have tolerated the tedious views on the ills of gender stereotyping if it just didn’t seem to get into way of so much of the story, which was in many places very funny and insightful.
As for the celebrity reviews, I can only assume they didn’t read the whole book perhaps skim read to ‘the funny bits’. In future I will treat such endorsements with a high amount of suspicion...
Although it is fairly light reading, it is also very absorbing and his words paint very clear pictures, especially of his childhood. I didn't know much about Robert Webb before this, but I certainly feel I know him quite well now.......
I rarely enjoy celebrity autobiographies, but read 'How Not To Be A Boy' in one long weekend binge. I didn't want it to end, and wish Robert were a real-life friend of mine so that I could ask him about all the unfinished stories that developed through the course of his memoir. The book will, I think, appeal to both men and women but perhaps not while they themselves are still young.