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That's Life! - or how to keep yourself occupied for 5 minutes!
Member Name: Luvlylana
Date: 10/11/11, updated on 10/11/11 (33 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap read
Disadvantages: The stories are incredibly depressing!
Following a recent burn injury to my left eye, I decided to embrace the fact that I still have my sight and read something, rather than strain my eyes for the television. Not wanting to spend too much money on a quick read, I popped to my local Tesco and purchased a copy of That's Life!
That's Life! is a "real life story" magazine published by H Bauer Publishing, who also brought us Take A Break, Bella, Spirit & Destiny and Eat In. According to their own "About Us' page, they are the largest publisher in Europe and also publish in the US and Mexico.
Having read the odd Take A Break over the years, I felt that I would probably enjoy That's Life!, but it wasn't exactly what I expected.
The tagline at the top of the 8 September/Issue 36 edition of That's Life! is "Puzzles! Prizes! Cash!" - so it's fairly obvious what you are setting yourself up for when you pick up the magazine. On the front page of That's Life!, straplines for stories inside include:
'Sarah Harding' trapped my two-timing lover
KILLED BY MUMMY... because Daddy had an affair
My warning to mums - BREASTFEEDING left me INFERTILE
HONEYMOON HELL! I caught my GROOM abusing YOUNG GIRLS
DISGRACEFUL! Family hated my 'UGLY' baby
No prizes for guessing then, that these titles have been exaggerated to catch your eye. For example - Sarah Harding never trapped the woman's lover - she used a picture of her on a fake Facebook profile to trick him into meeting her for what he thought would be an affair with another woman. The breastfeeding story? Well it wasn't the act of breastfeeding that left her infertile, it was her concern with ridding herself of baby fat that lead her to effectively starve herself, which like many eating disorders might do, left her POSSIBLY infertile. And the ugly baby story - she may have had a condition similar to leprosy so people were unsure whether or not her condition was contageous - no one said they hated her or that she was ugly.In terms of the writing, it is very much structured as though the individual has given answers to questions, and a journalist or editorial assistant has bulked out the story to make it readable. From the depth I have read the stories, I haven't spotted any spelling mistakes or grammar issues, though in this kind of publication it wouldn't really bother me!
It might just be me being a bit slow, but although I am usually fairly good at puzzles, I was stumped turning the first page! The puzzles seem a little more advanced than Take A Break, which surprised me, and a lot of the answers require you to have quite an extensive knowledge of famous names such as actors and singers. There are 9 puzzles altogether, which is somewhat disappointing but I guess you can't ask for much more nowadays for your 68p's worth. The good thing is that they are varied, including sudoku, wordsearches, arrow words and spot the difference.
The following items were available to win or earn in this issue of the magazine:
You can earn up to £1000 for a story
Puzzle 1 - win £100 cash
Puzzle 2 - win a Halloween break at Chessington World of Adventures
Puzzle 3 - win £3000 cash
Puzzle 4 - win £1000 cash
Puzzle 5 - win £200 cash
Puzzle 6 - win £100 cash
Puzzle 7 - win £200 cash
Puzzle 8 - win £200 cash
Puzzle 9 - win £200 cash
So not very varied - but still, hypothetically if you won all of the cash competitions in this issue you'd have £5000. Not to be sniffed at, but of course the chances of winning them all is highly unlikely!
This actually surprised me, but unless I'm missing some advertorials, I only counted a total of six adverts , which I personally think is brilliant, because it leaves more room for stories and puzzles, much more preferable! And of the six, several were for bingo or other publications that are hosted or published by the same publisher of That's Life!.
As soon as you pick up a magazine like this, you're not expecting top quality journalism, or a thrilling read from start to finish - it really is there just to be picked up and put down at leisure. Of course I wasn't expecting overly great things, but the magazine did the job I purchased it for - gave me something to read, puzzles to do and killed a bit of time.I would say it would be ideal for someone waiting for transport, sat in a hospital waiting room or ward, or as a break time read at work. It probably wouldn't last you much longer than that kind of time frame.
All in all you get what you pay for with your 68p, and the title is very much comparable to other similar magazines on the market.
Also published on Ciao
Summary: Ok for picking up in a waiting area if you don't want to commit yourself to reading something long