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How Not to Grow Up: A Coming of Age Memoir. Sort of. Paperback – 6 May 2010
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"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.Read more ›
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.
Like Mr Herring, although I'm thirtysomething, I still find an awful lot of things to laugh about in life and some of his observations were really poignant, especially being dubbed `puerile' by others and finding funny names amusing. Some parts made me laugh out loud, especially his love of the CBeebies show `Big Cook Little Cook' and the time he purchased an inappropriate t-shirt to wear to an impending gig.
The narrative is beautifully self-aware and Herring isn't afraid of listing his faults: laziness, sloth, fickleness etc, but that makes it much more readable in my eyes than some ghost written rubbish churned out by the latest `celeb' on the block. I took vicarious pleasure in reading high and lowlights of his love life and the Nintendo DS anecdote is especially amusing. It was quite romantic towards the end too, which is an unexpected bonus and not something I'd expect to encounter in a book of this nature.
In conclusion, it's an excellent read and particularly good if you're a comedy fan. It's made me want to read/watch more of Herring's material, which can only be a good thing. I'll pass this book onto some of my male colleagues for them to enjoy too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read this book before but after a lending my paper back to a friend and never getting it back I decided to purchase a copy for my kindle. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Adam30
Always liked Richard Herring. It made me laugh....I suppose that's the highest praise you can give.Published 20 months ago by All at sea
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading this book but found it really enjoyable. Richard Herring speaks with a blunt honesty about his romantic quests, his... Read morePublished on 14 Jun. 2015 by elaine kirkup
I admit to being a big fan of Richard Herring: his comedy, his podcasts and his book. It’s interesting to read about the man behind the comedy. Read morePublished on 22 April 2015 by MM
Awesome book for anyone approaching 40 .... or anyone who's not aswell. Therefore pretty much an awesome book really. Read.Published on 7 Mar. 2015 by C.Palmer
Richard Herring is an excellent writer, immensely silly while still extremely clever. This is a most enjoyable comic memoir which I'd heartily recommend.Published on 19 Feb. 2015 by Alan Brown