THE ACTUAL ONE by Isy Suttie


How I Tried, and Failed, to Avoid Adulthood Forever
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How a British comedian and actress has tried to avoid growing up at all costs.

When two of her friends announced they were having a baby, Suttie, whose Pearl and Dave radio show won a Sony Radio Academy Award, suddenly realized that those around her were beginning to grow up and that her life was inevitably going to change. To delay the process, she embarked on a series of escapades, which she relates here—e.g., swimming naked in the frigid ocean, creating a 5-foot-tall papier-mâché penguin, or dating a guy who speaks mainly in rhyme. Ultimately, of course, she did get older, her friends had the baby and moved into their own little house, and she was out of luck in finding the one true love of her life. Suttie recounts her various friendships and romantic relationships, including her stint with an Aussie who provided fun and sex without entanglement, and her work as a comic, which didn’t pay well most of the time but provided a venue for her off-beat humor—e.g., “Christmas Day was the club sandwich it always is: thin layers of pleasure, primarily due to food or excitement about what to watch on TV, interspersed with rich slabs of ennui and bickering.” The author’s brief chapters are mostly humorous and contain at least a bit of oddball charm, exposing aspects of Suttie that few readers probably know. The author occasionally includes crudely drawn cartoons for emphasis, many (if not all) of which could have been omitted. There are some gems in this lightweight look at navigating the single world, but the book is mainly good for a quick laugh before moving on. For more depth, turn to Tig Notaro’s I’m Just a Person (2016).

Waggish entertainment on a single woman’s search for a life partner.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-06-257197-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Perennial/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2016


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