One supposes the author may have reflected a bit before choossing her "life of Slang" title fo this book. Well researched (it appears to the non-expert), it ranges widely over slang in different varieties of English, including information on first dating and observed usage. The message about the varied experiences of items of slang -- used over a long period unchanged or almost so, enduring but with varieties of meaning, quickly abandoned, and so forth -- comes across informatively. The book does have a go at providing some general analysis and theory, but really the volume serves best the opportunist, as something to the picked up when the moment offers and read in modest chunks so that relatively more gets remembered.
It is difficult to find much information about slang and its usage. This book helped me a lot to write my thesis, which is about the translation of slang. I needed a book that could provide some information about British slang, its origins and usage, and this book gave details to understand better what slang is and how it works. I have not had enough time to read the whole book yet, but everything I read was really helpful.
My husband, my boys' father is fascinated by words and slang, so when I saw this in what other people ordered with this item (Etymologicon), I thought I would buy the book on the boys behalf. Needless to say it hasn't been father's day yet, so we cannot possibly anticipate the result but the item arrived on time, was described well, was well packaged and value for money. I am sure he will be pleased with this item.
This book is well researched but not an easy read. Certainly not one to be read at length, it needs to be broken down into small 'bite sized chunks', although reading this in bed may cause you to wake suddenly finding the light still on and the book on your chest. My biggest criticism is that a book written by a British based Professor in a UK University English department and printed by the Oxford University Press uses american spellings, unforgivable.