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Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And…

Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life

by David Mitchell

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To clarify: this is written by the comedian David Mitchell, not the author David Mitchell. This book is a collection of columns that Mitchell wrote for the Observer from about 2009 to 2013, grouped loosely by theme and accompanied by commentary explaining what circumstances prompted the column to be written and whether anything had changed since the column was originally published. (One of these was a deeply incorrect prediction of the outcome of the UK's 2010 general election.)

Overall, this was an amusing enough diversion. More recommended for established fans than for newcomers. Newcomers may wish to check out any episode of QI in which he appears (a good one can be found if you do a Google search for "qi rodney bewes"). ( )
  rabbitprincess | Apr 17, 2017 |
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

It's a collection of columns previously published in The Observer, but as I don't live in the UK and therefore have not been in contact with said paper, all was new for me.

This was the first I actually read by David Mitchell (not to be confused with the author of Cloud Atlas, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and more recently The Bone Clocks). I've seen/listened to him on a number of BBC shows though. And liked it. If you did as well, I think you'll enjoy the book too.

Some columns seemed a bit old to still be published (from 2009 if I remember correctly) and there were quite a few that focused on things I hadn't even heard about on the news, but some introduction is usually given. I especially liked the - perfect for the holidays - column on his parents' Christmas cards policy. It reminds me of home. Two strikes and you're out...

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
I like the cut of his jib, the way his mind works. Awkwardness, embarrassment and understated common sense rules. I, too, can be a curmudgeon, wary of modern technology, but had always thought this was because the hassle of understanding it outweighed the benefits it would bring. But David understands it as 'the simple contentment of not knowing what you're missing (which) is irreplaceable once lost'. He's got a point. And he made me laugh. ( )
  LARA335 | Feb 24, 2016 |
Sort of a summation of some of David Mitchell's articles as featured in the Observer newspaper, he annotates them and (quite possibly) edits them. I'm unsure as to the specifics, but that's not particularly a bad thing.

As one would expect, the mini-essays in this book are on a variety of topics, though most of them could be described as "British". It is an enjoyable book for its humour and scope; no fan of Mitchell could deny that it is definitely him speaking. I enjoyed his opinions and style of writing and found most things to be very interesting, even, dare I say it, thought-provoking.

I would suggest it is more of a dip-in-and-out book rather than something you read all the way through in one (or a few) sittings, much like a newspaper is issued periodically as opposed to at the beginning of the year. It is funny, at times quaint and very much David Mitchell. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
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"What's wrong with calling a burglar brave? Why are people so f***ing hung up about swearing? Why do the asterisks in that sentence make it okay? Why do so many people want to stop other people doing things, and how can they be stopped from stopping them? Why is every film and TV programme a sequel or a remake? Why are we so reliant on perpetual diversion that someone has created chocolate toothpaste? Is there anything to be done about the Internet? These and many other questions trouble David Mitchell as he delights us with a tour of the absurdities of modern life - from Ryanair to Downton Abbey, sports day to smoking, nuclear weapons to phone etiquette, UKIP to hotdogs made of cats. Funny, provocative and shot through with refreshing amounts of common sense, Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse celebrates and commiserates on the state of things in our not entirely glorious nation."--Dust jacket.… (more)

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