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on 10 December 2007
This has got to be easily the biggest waste of my money ever. For those of you who take your journal work seriously, this is an insult. Things in there like:
Climb up high and drop the journal!
Draw with glue!
Poke holes in this page using a pencil!
I should have realised when it came in the post and it is only a small paperback size with really cheap paper inside. So please, under no circumstances buy this book you will be extremely disappointed.
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on 11 February 2018
Here is the full text of page 19 of this jolly jeu d'esprit:
Note, however, the dilemma in following this instruction for those who choose to go to page 42, that number being the Meaning of Life for all hitchhikers in this galaxy. Page 42 is missing from this non-book. On the reverse of page 41 is a blank but numbered page 43, analogous to the Canada/Mexican border in the 1926 Surrealist Map of the World. The full pagination is of 212 physical pages, each with two sides, numbered in serial order from 1 to 221 (except for the missing page 42, starting after pages [i-iv].
All the pages have some content except for the following: page [iv] is a left-hand (reverse) page and is completely blank and the paper is white; pages 4, 14, 22, 26, 32, 38 ,43, 45, 49, 53, 59, 61, 67, 75, 85, 93, 97,101, 107, 111,115, 117, 119, 123, 125, 131, 135, 147, 151, 153, 155, 157, 161, 167, 169, 173, 175, 181, 185, 189, 193, 199, 203, 205, 207, 209, 213, 215, 217, and 219 are all also left-hand white blank pages (except that the Arabic page number in black is at the bottom left of each page; page 6 has no text except a “6” in white against a uniformly turquoise background. This means that with a total of 52 blank pages (one for each week of the year?), this non- book is particularly good value for those for whom blankness provides scope for creativity. As Mao Zedong said ("Introducing a Cooperative", 1958):”On a blank sheet of paper free from any mark, the freshest and most beautiful characters can be written, the freshest and most beautiful pictures can be painted.”
This hommage to Magritte, Duchamp, Borges, Perec, late Joyce and the Qin Emperor (whose flames made all the books into non-books) is seriously entertaining. It would have been even more challenging if each page had been written in a different language – the blank pages being in different extinct languages. However, Keri Smith has produced an apt alpha-numeric alternative to the Turing-test: no AI machine could ever decide how to comply with all these inventive instructions.
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on 23 March 2012
I have been going through a period when I feel the need to be more creative and make things - the 'problem' is that I can't draw/knit/sew/paint, etc! I deliberated about buying this book for so long - after all, why would I pay to buy a book that I will eventually destroy?! Anyway, I took the plunge and the book arrived. I flicked through it and just didn't get it at first. After days of this book staring at me, mocking me, urging me, yelling at me to start wrecking it, well I started on the task. Boy, oh boy - such fun (as Patricia Hodge would say)!

So, I cracked the spine (as the book/Ms. Smith requests you do), numbered the pages, poked some holes in one of the pages... and then all hell let loose! I found myself rushing around like a lunatic to find ever anarchic ways to inflict mayhem on this poor little book! Within a matter of hours, my journal was battered, abused and, well, almost wrecked! It no longer looked forlorn, but more like it had met its destiny in its life - to be wrecked! I still have quite a way to go - I haven't slept with my journal yet, and am still to take it into the shower (which I think has to be the final act before I post the journal to myself), but it has loosened me up and made me look at things in a different way.

There are so many things I love about this book/project: it 'allows' you to do all the child-like things you would have possibly done as a child. It frees your mind and some of the 'instructions' can be interpreted as you wish (such as the 'colour outside of the lines' page). It won't be for everyone, that is certain, but it has certainly been for me. So much so, that I am going to buy another to wreck in a completely different way.

The only reason I have given this four stars rather than five is simply because once the book is wrecked, it is wrecked! Taking into account some of the things you do to the book, I am not sure I will be wanting to retain mine for posterity! :-D

To destroy is to create, indeed!

(For those of you who have an iPad, I strongly recommend 'Wreck This App'!!!)
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on 6 November 2009
I bought the 'wreck this journal' showed it a friend and she's going to get one for herself and each of her daughters. What it isn't, is a model for an art journal e.g. day pages, representation of an event, scrapbook etc. For me this is more about breaking the normal rules of what you do with a book, see pages on 'flickr'for examples/ pictures of what other people have done with their journals. You can also go on the authors website to see ideas/ examples. Each page has an instruction on a way to alter/wreck a page/ the cover/ binding, for example doodle on the cover, tear a page out, put it into the pocket of your clothes and put it in the washing machine, when you've done that stick it back in the book. It reminded me of an art installation I went to see some years ago of some flowers in a case that were left in a window for weeks. The artist actually wanted to see the process of decay and how that would look. The flowers were dried up and crumbling when I saw them, but had their own kind of beauty.
If you are a bit of a perfectionist and are scared of the blank page or don't like to break the rules this should free you up a bit. The book isn't that expensive so it's kinda liberating to take it in the shower with you and see how it looks when you're done. I'm taking pictures of the process and will put it on my facebook page when I'm done. It's a fun exercise in loosening up and I would recomend it on that basis.
It's also interesting to note which instructions you are resistant to, I'm really struggling with the idea of tying a string round it and taking it for a walk - not least because the neighbors will think I'm mad LOL. And I really don't want to give a page to a friend to wreck it. Tells you a lot about yourself and what you are prepared to let go of and what you are not. It may also unblock you creativitly speaking - that's what I'm hoping for.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2013
So inspiring! ...sounds like total lunacy but total fun..I have ocd so taking the book in the shower fills me with dread but that would be great theraphy..just relax & take things slow maybe a few drips!!...poking pen holes in pages..adding found stuff..scratching the black page..the ideas are limitless..this is genius!..I bought it for help with stress relief from theraphy..I will cherish it..buy this its the best book ever..if u have kids this will amuse them for hours! This copy is a bit larger than the latest black issue..& I love the tactile rough feeling tape on the cover..
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 February 2014
I purchased this book along with Mess by Keri Smith on recommendation from a friend who had several of her books. I have been struggling for some time with obsessive compulsive disorder, but in the sense of organization and perfection. I have accepted its a bit of a problem and would like to feel more comfortable about life's imperfections. My friend is a psychology student and suggested it as a way to intentionally force myself to create something that really isn't perfect.
I had a good look through the book, cringing a bit at some of the things It was asking me to do. (cut through the book, stick gum or glue in it, draw lines and smear them etc etc). You dont have do to the book in any particular order, but I started on the first page, which was putting your name in it. It asks you to write your name in white, illegibly, in tiny letters, backwards, faintly and in large letters, which I did. After several random pages (feeling well good about myself how neat it still was) I showed it to my friend, who turned it to a page directing that I allow someone to do something destructive to the book (and not look). When I opened my eyes, my friend had dunked the side of the book in black coffee!!! Needless to say, I was not impressed.
After some discussion about it, I started to look at it differently. If I could obsessively destroy the book as instructed, I could learn to love something for its imperfections. One thing my friend suggested to me is keeping it for my son for when hes older, as there are little things I have collected in it, my thoughts and even unfinished, I feel is an accurate depiction of my personality, rather than little quirks I have of wanting to be neat and tidy, which is something my son sees everyday. It is something I have let me see and see me do, so that he knows that I am working to be less obsessive about cleanliness and a bit more spontaneous. Ive allowed him to help me, but have explained to him that we only write in this book!
Even if you don'g have some sort of obsession with being neat and tidy, I think the book is quite fun. I reckon it would be great to take on holiday (although depending on where you go and live it could get taken away in customs as you're supposed to put dirt and leaves and flowers and such in it!) The book is now a permanent fixture in my handbag, and rather than doing what is all too common nowadays looking around on a train or bus with people on their phones, I pull out a book, and write in it or draw in it! A few people have asked about it and I have happily spread the good word.
My only real comment about the book is that having purchased mess at the same time, I would say that this book is far more about total destruction but Mess focuses on some artistic techniques and I think is a bit more educational (it asks you to reference people, places, things, etc) although some of the pages in Mess are exactly the same as Wreck this Journal.
While some would argue looking at this book that they could write this book - I would say well yes, but Keri Smith actually did and it may not have taken a long time to write it or to come up with the concepts, but I think time was taken in working out the best ways to destroy a book inside of it. Originality in today's world is a hard thing to come by. Anybody could do anything realistically if they put their mind to it and worked hard, but sometimes the simpler successes are the harder ones to identify yourself, and Keri Smith got the simple attractiveness of this book just right.
I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone. It is particularly fun to do with kids. Its a good laugh and a nice way to occupy time, in comparison to constantly pulling out your phone and messing around with games or the internet. It is a sort of project and takes time, but is definitely an interesting way to spend the time.
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on 9 August 2016
It's an ok book with ok ideas. Disappointed with size (approx 13cm by 19.5cm) Very disappointed with paper quality- very thin and felt tips will bleed through. Idea/ suggestions in book are okay I guess if you have the creativity to think outside the box. but just really REALLY disappointed with the paper quality as I was going to turn it into a journal. This is not a journal kind of paper unless you just want to make a mess and leave it looking grungy. Book came in new good condition but overall the paper quality was just a big let down to be honest, I can't seem to get over it. It doesn't actually say but I think it's worse than normal pain paper as its a bit see through so 70gsm maybe? paper is slightly yellow/brown and not white like I expected it. They should really write on the description about how thin the paper is and how many GSM it really is so buyers know what to expect.
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on 4 January 2012
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my girlfriend and she was absolutely delighted with it. I would definitely recommend this as an ideal present for a friend or loved one who is a bit of a 'doodler' or often finds themselves at a loose end. One word of warning though...I was sitting minding my own business when the book was sent rushing centimetres past my head. Apparently the page my girlfriend had opened instructed her to do something spontaneous and unexpected with the journal. You have been warned
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on 29 January 2017
I am Dan, 9 years old, i got this book for christmas and it is a really good book with lots of cool stuff to do inside the book, i would recomend this for people that get bored often and quickly, my problem with the book is that, it is a book i don't want to wreck it but yeah, i do wreck the book, if you get bored often and get bored quickly but you don't like breaking things then this book won't be the best book for you but i've gotten used to it so after a few days, you will LOVE wrecking this book, thats all i have to say about this journal.

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on 30 April 2016
Love this book! I recommend it to everyone who is arty and creative! It takes up a lot of time to do but you get a lovely memory at the end! I've always wanted an 'arty looking' book and doing this definitely allowed me to have one! It now sits on my shelf to be displayed! Tip: don't rush and get messy! If you don't then you won't get a nice finish!:( Use a lot of paint! Not just pens and things you find laying around, you need to get creative about it! Good luck if you do buy one! I hope you have as much fun as I did!
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