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Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? - Alan McArthur

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7 Reviews

Genre: Humour / Author: Alan McArthur, Steve Lowe / Hardcover / 288 Pages / Book is published 2005-11-03 by Little, Brown Book Group

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    7 Reviews
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      25.04.2010 13:53
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      Good for a laugh or for a train journey

      This is the perfect book for those disllisuioned by the modern world.

      This book looks at the minutae of it all (IKEA, loyalty cards, chick lit, politicians) and takes an acerbic yet hilarious view of all of them.

      The book is set like a glossary of terms, with meanings and definitions for all of them (an example from the book is Tony Blair: People dislike Tony Blair for varied and vague reasons....you will need the book to read more) The entries are not short, but are usually critical of much of the modern world and commercialisation, looking in part of the cult of celebrity, and also how reality shows have started to ruin the world (Did I say started....in some cases they have already) The book's entries are varied, looking at supermarkets and special offers as well as famous people and famous spat. This is not a book to be read in one go, but to be dipped into when looking for reassurance that modern life is pants

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      24.12.2009 16:41

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      Well in short... buy it! Amazing book through and through

      One of the greatest pieces of literature I have had the joy to set my eyes upon.

      While I would definitely not recommend it for the young or those who fail to understand simple jokes at the bar, I would definitely otherwise recommend it.

      Any book with a title like this invokes a sense of dread from the reader. While the title causes a few laughs you expect either some depressed teenager or 40-something person to be saying how depressing everything is. Or some over opinionated person with absolutely no backing up to any of their points. Yet Alan McArthur can back up all his points. And rather well! His made up dialogues make you laugh and the way he sees certain events comes out in a rather comical way in text!

      This author has created a simple book which anyone can dip into anytime they feel a bit bored or a bit down and you can re-read any section as much as you like and alas it will always continue to be funny!

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      13.07.2009 21:08
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      a funny book aimed at any grumpy man!

      i bought this book for about £5 becuase i loved the sound of the honest title!

      The book goes through the alphabet more or else ranting about different things in life! some parts are very funny, where as others are just lame reading!

      The book is quite modern and up to date, for example when moaning about terrorism, it mentions the 7/7 bombings in london.
      The majority of the book is told in the first person so it feels as if your listening to a down to earth mate in the pub!

      As i said the book is very funny and honest, one of my favourite parts is talking about over stimulated children and says:
      "are your children mural artists? no. so do not encourage them to draw on the fucking walls"

      I enjoyed reading the short snappy points, which greatly match my short attention span. A great gift for any man/teen who wants a bit of light hearted yet very funny reading before bed!

      On amazon it is priced at £7.69, which is reasonable, but seen it cheaper in a couple of local shops/super markets.

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      01.06.2009 14:09
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      A bit too smug.

      When I first got this book as a gift I was very, very skeptical. The main reason for this was that despite being someone who enjoys moaning and sarcastic grumpy dad style humour, I also prefer to concern myself with the good things in life. Despite this, I gave it a go, and in the most part was pleasantly surprised.

      For those that don't know, this is a book about things that annoys the author, and are reviewed with that perspective.

      The A-Z format is beneficial for quick or casual reading, and makes it a good coffee table/bathroom book. Some of the reviews are fairly funny and agreeable, others aren't, which you would expect.

      The worry I had with this book would be that it would effect the way I view things, and that Id have even more of a cynical outlook on the world. In fairness, most of the reviews are in good spirit and don't go too OTT.

      However, I felt even the reviews I agreed with weren't as clever or funny as the author thought they were, and at times the reviews were so OTT that you felt like an elitist snob just by reading them.

      This book reminded me of the comedian Stuart Lee...not as clever, or as funny as they think they are, and are really just smug and elitist, with the odd laugh as a byproduct.

      Without the A-Z element to this book and I'd dislike it. But as it is it works well as a casual read.

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      17.05.2009 10:44
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      As annoying as its subjects

      This is a best selling book, based on the concept that everything nowadays is ridiculous. The book is at best one to keep in the toilet, to have a little chuckle over.

      At 276 pages it does give you plenty to enjoy, the ideal is that they are grouped from A-Z making it much easier to read. The book is an angry look at modern life, it basically picks up on things which its authors find annoying or pointless and slates them.

      The subjects range from Cafes that charge extra for a set breakfast by putting a posh tomato on it, through the Chuckle Brothers, Panninis, networking and Benjamin Zepaniah. The book is somebody angrily venting their spleen against society and many of the targets are well researched and relevant, it doesn't concentrate too heavily on any one thing and almost each review is half a page at the most, its one of those books you pick up, read a couple of pages and come back to another time, its funny at points and at times is viciously funny, at others it completely misses the mark, but then I guess a work of this size is never going to meet with everybodys approval.

      The book is available for £10.99 in most high street shops, this is totally overpriced for what is really a excerpt book, it is not worth that at all, its way too easy to be challenging, it is a nice little fun book but should be less than a fiver at most, there is nothing particularly of value in anything written and you won't find yourself reading and re-reading it.


      This book was part of a genre that worked for a while and caught the audience attention, its easy and lacks any real insight and has probably subsequently been included in books of this genre as an annoying thing.

      Overall its worth a read but you may not agree with any of it and you definitely won't keep coming back to it, its overpriced and is in itself somewhat irritating.

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      30.11.2008 15:51
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      There are much better books to read out there

      This is a bestseller and I can see why. It appeals to most people as it is written in the style of the average guy or girl. However I feel this book comes under its own title. Not that it is not a good book, just I feel that there are a lot of subjects talked about with no respect at all. I will talk about this later on in the review.

      As it says itself on the front cover it is "The encyclopedia of modern life". Well not really but the layout is in the form of an encyclopedia or dictionary, so from A to Z with various different topics talked about. There is a lot of funny material in this book and if the authors were just more careful on certain topics it would have gone down as one of my favorites. There are also topics that I find immensely annoying and other people do as well that do not even get a mention, so it is not really an encyclopedia but more of a personal opinion of the authors and since when should the public pay their hard earned cash for personal opinions of others.

      My favorite sections in here are on George W Bush, which I found very funny, and Robin Williams where they make a track listing for his 'new' album. The tack listing includes "America, I love you" and "Catchy yet shit first single". There is a vast array of different subjects covered and even things that you did not find annoying before, but after reading section in the book you would find them annoying. An example is cafes that charge a huge amount for breakfast and justify it by putting a bit of basil on the tomato.

      As mentioned near the beginning of the article though, there were things in this book I found very offensive and I will talk about a few of them. Firstly the Royal Family, where the authors call them names which I will not mention here and to put it lightly says that he wants Prince William to take him from behind. Bear in mind that the author is a guy and states that he is straight as well. It is just vile and it is said in a lot more detail and is frankly disgusting. I am not the biggest fan of the Royal Family, but 99% of them conduct themselves well and it is not like they asked to be born into the royal family, it just happened, so deal with it. Also I do not want to turn this into a race thing, but one of the prayers in my religion they completely go over the top with. Calling it bollocks, I could not believe it when I read it. There is no way this book would have been released if they had replaced half the words in a Christian extract with the word bollocks.

      There are also many parts of this book there are not annoying at all and have no reason to be in there. Subjects like Jimmy Carr or Charity and when firms say to come in "smart casual". I do not understand what can be annoying about smart casual. I just means do not wear jeans and you do not need to dress very smart. I feel they added things like this just to take up space.

      Overall a decent book that is very readable, but if you take offence easily or want to read a proper book with a story then this is not for you. Also I hope the author is reading this review right now so he can add the heading "Why this book is shit" to the book and put this article under it.

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      28.12.2005 12:11
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      An encyclopaedic attack on modern culture, slagging off modern day ideas

      So you hate tree hugging lefties, Tony Blair, Tory Toffs, loyalty cards and Lush? I have got just the book for you: "Is it just me or is everything shit?" which was a present from my beloved husband for Christmas. I’m sure bought it because the two authors hate Lush and for those people who know me or read my reviews, know that I love Lush, even if, as the book says, it is only a shop that sells soap (minus a few F words).

      This book is described as being “an encyclopaedic attack on modern culture, slagging off modern day ideas, phoney cretinous people and useless products” and although this is certainly true, I found this book is hilariously funny and a bit to the extreme. The title “Is it just me or is everything sh*t?” is a phrase many of us have used or have heard when conversing with friends and it was the title that made me want to read to it.

      The two authors Alan McArthur and Steve Lowe have written and had published a book which is extremely well written and gives you the task asking yourself one very simple question and that is: ‘Why on earth do we put up with so much rubbish in our modern lives?.”

      This book centres around categories such as people, food, drink, lifestyles, politics, the Royal Family, Religions and cults, Fast Food, Over-Pricing, American's and War to name a few.

      The layout of this book is simple, it is in a dictionary format with bold headings and we start at the letter A in the alphabet and with the topic 'Adult editions of children’s books' where Lowe and McArthur explain why it isn't cool for an adult to be seen reading a book such as Harry Potter just because the front cover has been changed to look more mature because it will not fool people into thinking we are reading Harry Potter and the genocide in Rwanda. From there we are taken through the alphabet and topics such as Advice Slips from Cash Machines not actually giving advice so what is the point of the slip, 10 reasons why Tony Blair is so rubbish, Charles, the Prince of Wales being described as a loony feudal sh*thead jug-eared parasite b*st*rd (as described on page33) right up to Z listed celebrities being irritating. Just about every topic, subject and issue is covered from modern day life and then some.

      As well as being a sarcastic rant and making you feel like a total modern day idiot who is being conned, this book has some classic laugh out loud pieces such as:

      A – Advice Slips. In what meaningful sense does a receipt from a cashpoint constitute advice? All it says is: ‘You haven’t got any money’. That’s not advice.
      It would only be advice if they said: ‘My brother’s just won some money on a horsed. I expect he’d lend you a couple of quid until you get paid.’ Or: ‘If you turned up to work on time occasionally, maybe you’d get promoted and we wouldn’t have to go through this pathetic charade every month.’ Cash Machine is also a misleading term: it sounds like a mechanical device for the production of free money. It’s not though.

      From that example and taking note of the obvious sarcasm you can get an idea as to what the book is about. The sarcasm and humour is often brought about through the use of grammar and punctuation and in some cases, the mis-use of both to make the point, swear words also form many parts of the point being made.

      There are over 250 topics covered in 288 pages and whilst some topics are longer than other and cover a fair few pages, some are just one worded responses such as ‘The Chuckle Brothers’ – Disturbing. Something I found extremely funny because it is just not expected after reading about Chick-Lit.

      I really enjoyed this book because it was better than I expected it to be, after reading the blurb I thought it was just going to be a rant at anything and everything the authors did not like, and although it was, it was extremely funny with a lot of dry humour and witty anecdotes that made me laugh out loud on many occasions. The use of the F word is extremely funny along with many more words I couldn’t possibly mention in this review.

      I would recommend this book to anyone who likes that something a little bit different to read, who has a dry sense of humour and can appreciate the sarcasm and someone who isn’t easily offended because that is not what this book is about, unless you are a tree-hugging, Tony Blair loving, shop loyalty card fan and even then you would be hard pushed to not find this book funny. I also enjoyed it because we now live in a world where being politically incorrect is deemed offensive and against just about everyone’s human rights in one way or another, but with this book there is no mention of being PC in fact it is anything but PC and it was such a nice way of relaxing away from it all and giggling and laughing at things I probably shouldn’t have.

      This is book is in hardback format and can be found at any online retailer, your high street bookshop and supermarkets with prices ranging from £5.99 with Amazon to £9.99 with HMV, so be sure to shop around for a good price.

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      • Product Details:
      • Hardcover 288 pages (November 3, 2005)
      • Publisher: Time Warner Books
      • Language: English
      • ISBN: 0316729531

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      If you hate: loft living; bar-clubs; Tony Blair; chick lit; global warming sceptics; Keane; loyalty cards; IKEA; Kabbalah; bling and Richard Curtis...then you need IS IT JUST ME OR IS EVERYTHING SHIT? - an encylopedic attack on modern culture and the standard reference work for everyone who believes everything is shit. Which it is. This book is for the large percentage of the population interested in saying NO to the phoney ideas, cretinous people, useless products and doublespeak that increasingly dominate our lives. This book is designed for everyone who thinks they may have mislaid their soul in a Coffee Republic. Never before has there been a book so completely full of shit. This very funny, well-informed, belligerent rant of a book adds up to an excoriating broadside against consumer capitalism that the authors hope will sell loads of copies.