Now, I am not a man. That much is true. But Danny Wallace is fantastic, and this book is really funny. You definitely don’t need to be a man to appreciate it.
Wallace manages to get himself into a variety of awkward situations, but the great thing about most of them is that they are relatable. They aren’t the kind of mad-cap stories you hear about and secretly think – ‘that didn’t happen – this person is exaggerating’ – they are honest, sometimes mundane situations that happen to us all, and are beautifully human. From realising you have last night’s underwear lodged in your trousers mid-way through your morning commute to somebody else pressing the lift button when YOU’VE ALREADY PRESSED IT (do they think you’re incapable of pressing a button?)Wallace writes warmly and hilariously about his experiences at home, at work and in day-to-day life (which often involves the pub with his mate Colin, a gem of a character).
The best moments are when Wallace really lets us in to his inner dialogue – he’s determined to try the cash machine because perhaps the person in front if him just can’t use it properly, sure it’s ‘out of order’ but he has an overwhelming need to check for himself – we’ve all been there. Wallace has now become a father and there are numerous references to his wife and child, which I found really heartwarming; it’s nice to spend time inside the head of someone so clearly a loving and kind person. But again, you don’t need to be a parent to find these stories funny.
It being a collection of short anecdotal stories, there are obviously some which are funnier than others, but overall it is a strong, light-hearted colelction that you can pick up and put down and which will never fail to cheer you up. Read a couple in your lunch hour to brighten up the day, sneak in one before bed to give you a laugh before sleep. I found them really cheering; quick snapshots into the life of an awkward character who is a talented writer and, we gather, an all-round good egg.