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A dry read. Neither fact nor fun.
on 14 December 2010
With a background in sociology, demographics and marketing during the mid-80's with its Yuppies and Dinkies et al, I was expecting the book to be either an analysis of the new middle class groupings as defined by the market research analyst authors, OR light reading with humorous or satirical assessments of class groupings. From its description I wasn't sure which slant it would take and, having slogged through it, for me, it falls into neither category. Instead it is a slightly tongue-in-cheek observation of various groups within the 'middle class' - the Loft Wingers, 'Chaveaux Riche' and the 'Hornby Set' amongst others whose names I've instantly forgotten.
Swayed by its description and the 'Grazia' review quoted on its reverse cover "Hilarious... we laughed our organic brushed cotton socks off", I ordered it for some light humour, expecting it to be a sharp-witted observation of the middle class, ie a novelty book to dip into for a bit of fun. Instead, I've found myself dipping into it looking for the humour but then quickly putting it down again. It is disappointingly dry reading - and I'm not referring to a dry humour. Yes, it contains observations on the new 'sub-classes' as defined by the authors such as which stores they shop at, which recycled store bags they'll be seen with, what they'll think of Cheryl Cole... but it's distinctly lacking in the anticipated humour. It may raise a watery smile but that's about all.
I'm not really sure who the target audience is for this book: Someone looking for a light-hearted read? Not really: there's not much humour and it's too dry. A market research enthusiast or a reader with an interest in demographics or stereographics? Maybe, but there's not much depth to the book in this context. It's neither one nor the other so fails on both counts.
The idea has great potential but, for me, the book failed to reach it.