19 March 2006
I've started reading books again on the tube, so I'm going to start reviewing them on here, partly as a reminder to myself of the books I've read. If you're watching The Apprentice, you can also see my review for Alan Sugar's book that accompanied series one.
First up for a new review, then, is Danny Wallace's book 'The Yes Man', which I read at the turn of the year.
We have Tony Hawks to blame or credit for books like this, depending on your viewpoint. Since he walked around Ireland with a fridge, there's been no shortage of people doing ker-azy things and then writing books about them.
Danny Wallace previously travelled the world with Dave Gorman, trying to meet other people called Dave Gorman. He also set up a cult in his book Join Me. For this book, 'The Yes Man', Wallace decided to agree to do whatever anyone asked of him. The best bits are when he says 'yes' to seeing his friends more, meets new people and challenges himself at work. The worst bit is where he pretends to believe that a 419 spam email is genuine and somebody really does want his help transferring money out of Africa. As he gets all excited and travels to Holland, you know he's doing stupid stuff just so he can write a book about it. These books work best when there's an element of silliness, but an air of sincerity too (as in Tony Hawks' first two books).
If you like the idea of 'The Yes Man', you'll enjoy reading it. The adventure draws you in, it's laugh-out-loud funny at times and Wallace has a talent for observation. He's mangled the truth enough to give it a proper story arc, so it doesn't get repetitive. And the ending is genuinely touching. If nothing else, the book will make you wonder how your own life would change if you said 'yes' more.