- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
How Not to Grow Up: A Coming of Age Memoir. Sort of. Paperback – 6 May 2010
There is a newer edition of this item:
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"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)
The misadventures of an immature man in an adult worldSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
Don't get me wrong, there's a great deal of warmth and wit in How Not To Grow Up, but it's one major shortfall is pace. Not being a fan (or even that aware) of Herring I can't comment too much on his stand-up, but as a writer of books he struggles at times, and cries out for a major edit. There's clearly a great writer in Herring, should he choose to move into novels, but on the strength of How Not To Grow Old, he desperately needs to pick a direction, find his focus, and employ a more aggressive editor. Which, I guess is rather apt given the subject of the book in hand.
He's clearly a great chap (and, as with all comedians, more balanced at root than his mask would suggest), but I strongly suspect the gravitas of committing his life and inner self to public view weighed down on him too much, and in the process he lost sight of what he wanted this book to be. One minute How Not To Grow Up is up for being a snappy comedy work, the next a soul-searching reportage on what it means to be a single British hetro-sexual male of suitable means at the start of the 21st Century, the next it's all musings and valued memoir. The consequence of which generates a pace that is all over the place, and as a work of entertainment tends to challenge attention (well, mine anyway).
In the process, he also gets so wrapped up in either apologizing for the very subject matters he raises for comedy effect, such as sexual mores, booze consumption or money - the things he fears mean he's stunted as an adult - that he not only repeatedly halts proceedings whilst he analyzes every point from all conceivable angles (sometimes going round in circles), but also ends up defeating his own purpose somewhat. Said musings would no doubt fuel a great Herring stand-up show, the arena in which he is most at home and in which the audience knows there is a fiction at play, and the man can clearly write, but as an author and on the strength of this first work, he's got some way to go before he nails his form; or, if I' not being too critical, justifies the need to commit what aren't necessarily insane antics, unique observations or celebrity-fueled revelations of great value, to an eternity on the already heaving shelf marked comedy 'biography'.
That said, if you want a book to keep you entertained, How Not To Grow Up is amusing enough, and if you like the cut of this man's jib - and let's face it comedy is subjective - you could do worse than invest in Herring.
Unlike many of these lad lit true stories there is not really much of a hook. Herring turns 40, but that is not really something that stands out from the norm, most of us hope to reach this accomplishment. It basically feels like a 2 year diary that it is perhaps too personal. Herring is a very introverted writer and he likes to explore his feelings. He is constantly apologising for his lifestyle which, although I find it a little depressing, I actually think each to his own. The joy that an author like Danny Wallace brings to all his work is not present here. Wallace comes across as a naturally happy man both inside and out, who embraces life. Herring appears on the outside to be jolly, whilst internally he struggles. In the end I enjoyed the book because Herring is a talented comedic writer and with the addition of a hook, that was more than himself, he could go on to write something more entertaining. As it was, `How not to Grow Old' left me feeling a little depressed.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category