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HOW TO GET A GRIP by Matthew Kimberley

HOW TO GET A GRIP

Forget Namby-Pamby, Wishy-Washy, Self-Help Drivel. This Is the Book You Need.

By Matthew Kimberley

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-84358-328-8
Publisher: John Blake/Trafalgar

An anti-self-help book that somewhat humorously reminds readers about basic coping strategies.

Kimberley successfully models how not to take yourself too seriously—one of his mantras—in this amusing debut instruction manual. From the start, the author admits, “some have it worse than others. Some of us were born in the arse-end of the country to a family of inbred petty criminals with facial tattoos and Neolithic attitudes to women and literacy.” But then he goes on to say that no matter what one’s circumstance, each of us needs to take personal responsibility for our failings. All too often, however, the author’s straightforward and snarky style is crippled by unnecessary fluff. Poorly executed anecdotes fail to adequately illustrate his points, and some of the author’s advice is unsubstantiated and just plain ridiculous—e.g., urging the use of gossip in the workplace: “Gossip is what we are put on this earth for. We were NOT put on earth to compile spreadsheets and financial projections. That is a construct of men with clipboards and shiny heads.”

Kimberly’s comical crusading grows tired quickly, and stands in the way of any good he might actually accomplish. In the end, readers are left wondering which parts to take seriously, if any at all.