How Not to be a Boy – Robert Webb

So my life has taken an unexpected turn and, as such, I found myself at home reading on a Monday afternoon – not altogether an unpleasant way to pass the time it has to be said. The book I finished reading was the autobiography “How Not to be a Boy” by Robert Webb

I’ve always been a sort of casual fan of Robert Webb – I would enjoy anything he happened to be in, thought the sketch show with David Mitchell was lots of fun and adored the crazy, screwed up character he played in Peep Show. But it was his unexpected performance in a charity dance show that, for some unknown reason, really blew me away… you don’t know what I’m talking about? Then stop reading this right now and watch….

So anyway… on with the book review

Don’t Cry; Love Sport; Play Rough; Drink Beer; Don’t Talk About Feelings

But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone?

Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life.

Hilarious and heartbreaking, How Not To Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters, and the understanding that sometimes you aren’t the Luke Skywalker of your life – you’re actually Darth Vader.

Rating: 5/5

My thoughts:  The blurb describes this book as “hilarious and heartbreaking” and I have to agree. There are moment of pure joy and moments of utter heartbreak, causing both laughter and tears in equal measure. The thing that really struck me about this book was the honesty. I’m sure we could all tell a story about our lives and gloss over the parts where we behaved like complete morons but in this book we see Robert Webb shine a light on every moment where he knows he behaved like an arse and own up to the fact that he was in the wrong. As such there are times when you want to shake the young Webb and tell him to stop being such an idiot, and there are times when you just want to hug him close and tell him that things will work out… eventually.

All in all a very emotional read that lets you know there is a lot more to that funny guy on the screen than you might know! Give it a read, you’ll be glad you did 🙂

3 thoughts on “How Not to be a Boy – Robert Webb

  1. I was never a dedicated fan of Webb’s TV work, but this autobiography definitely made me see him in a new light! What a lovely review! 🙂

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