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Selfish Whining Monkeys: How we Ended Up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy by [Liddle, Rod]
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Selfish Whining Monkeys: How we Ended Up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Review

‘Liddle lured me in with his riotously entertaining take on everything from attitudes towards obesity to what he calls our "respec" culture’ Independent

‘A magnificent torrent of analysis and abuse – 90 per cent brilliant, 10 per cent bonkers … A flaming, bloodthirsty romp, scything through the clichés and lazy thinking of an effete liberal establishment’ Times Higher Education Supplement

‘Filled with his trademark dry and self-hating wit, I would recommend even Rod-sceptics read his book’ New Statesman

About the Author

Rod Liddle writes the popular 'Liddle Britain' column in The Spectator. Liddle was the Editor of the BBC Radio 4's Today programme from 1998 to 2002. In addition to being the Associate Editor of The Spectator, Liddle writes regularly for The Sunday Times and Country Life as well as presenting current affairs documentaries on television. He was formerly a speechwriter for the Labour Party.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (22 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0095CGW1K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,628 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Never having read anything by Liddle before, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The gist of it is a polemic against various aspects of decline of British society since the 1950s. It's argued, at times patchily, in an often hilariously anti-PC style.

But there's quite a bit of subtlety to it. I had assumed Liddle was right-wing, but he's much harder to place. From working/lower-middle class origins, he is a member of the Labour party, but strongly anti-new Labour; the tenor of the whole book is conservative (with a small C) in outlook, including him being pro-Church and anti-immigration, yet he is strongly anti-Thatcherite; his stance and predictions on various issues (e.g. nationalisation) is oddly prescient of the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. So maybe he adds up to an unusual take on Old Labour.

He devotes at least a chapter to slagging off the 'faux left', a stereotype approximating New Labour Guardian readers, namely moneyed middle class people who profess to be left-wing while in practice having disregard bordering on contempt for the traditional working class. Particularly those who head up numerous charities, quangos and organisations like the BBC, who wield considerable power over the populus, yet are not elected by them, but rather appointed by their equally New Labour Guardian-reading friends. It's effectively a whole new Establishment. I think he has a persuasive point here.

Other themes he covers include the rise of credit (or rather, debt), loss of community spirit, the excess of choice, the loss of nuanced debate and rise of mindless public vilifying of anyone who makes any kind of controversial (i.e. non-PC) statement.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book after watching its author, Rod Liddle, being set upon by the professional grievance-monger Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on Channel 4 News the other night. "I loathe you. I have no words to express how much I loathe you" said Alibhai-Brown to Liddle. "The bigotry bursts out of you" she added as they discussed "the repulsive things he said" in this, his latest book. I was sold. Instinctively knowing that anything that got Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's knickers in a twist must be worth reading, I bought a copy, there and then, 'with one-click'.

First, a word of warning. This is a very un-PC book and the language is choice. If you're a member of Britain's liberal-Left, metropolitan elite then, like a maiden Aunt catching sight of an uncovered table leg in a Victorian parlour room, you're likely to be "shocked", I tell you, "shocked", by some of the words you read here. Better keep the smelling salts handy. Indeed, if you're one of those prissy Lefties who's stuffed so full of your own self-righteousness that you can't even acknowledge that other people might hold views which may be very different to your own, then you might even - wait for it - "feel offended" by what Liddle has had the temerity to write here.

However, if you're not a member of what Liddle calls Britain's ever-expanding "faux-Left" and you're over forty years old then, like me, you'll love this book. It's a crude, vulgar and laugh-out-loud funny look at the appalling state of modern British society and Liddle leaves us in no doubt about who is to blame for this terrible state of affairs. It's us. Our generation.
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Hmmmm - what to say about this. Some of the thoughts Rod has are terribly funny. They really are. My problem with this book is his determination to use as complex language as possible as if that represents (on it's own) intelligence. I relate to a lot of what Rod says and feels, and this book is worth a read - but you may, like me find it harder going than it needs be due to the 'cleverdickiness' (trademark pending) of the language. But then again I might just be whining.....
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rod doesn't really explain how we became monkeys, but he does offer a great polemic to wash away this existential nausea of modern living. Rod put a smile on my face, lasting until bed time! He even mentions the Frankfurt School and says that it wasn't the joos, but they only happened to be joos!

It is a breath of fresh air to have a guy even mention the white working class. Though I found it somewhat annoying that Rod Liddle describes himself as a down trodden working bloke looking for a job.
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As a child of the fifties, I agree with just about every sentiment in this book, about how we've lost something significant in our lives since then. Mr Liddle is a terrific writer, and makes his points with his usual wit. His stories about his childhood and the loss of his parents are often poignant but are described without any sense of self-pity or wimsy. A funny but also a rather sad book, highly recommended.
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By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book may come over in parts as Rod Liddle being frightfully amusing at the expense of people who are, shall we say, a trifle intense. It seems to me to be rather more than just that. Firstly, it is a work of filial piety as he remembers fondly and with a variety of regrets his parents and their world. He does not hero-worship them, but it is quite clear their conduct and their qualities echo down the years for him. I was reminded of Jonathan Meades' An Encylcopaedia of Myself". Meades and Liddle neatly sandwich me in age and I recognise their potraits of their parents. Secondly, although Liddle picks some prime targets (eggshells armed with hammers) and subjects them to his Rabelaisian language and cruel tongue he often holds back at the last moment when humour might dictate a substantial rucking was in order. After dumping on sufferers of fashionable non-diseases, for example, in an unrelenting but amusing fashion he notes that these are the symptoms of modern life; a result of the movement away from his parents' values to the freer and more modern world. There is a price for everything, the Sage Of Nunthorpe tells us, and we pay in many ways. We might not be able to do much about it, but we can at least recognise it.

I would not recommend the book to the easily offended.
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