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How not to be a boy / Robert Webb.

By: Webb, Robert, 1972-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Edinburgh, Scotland : Canongate Books, 2017Description: 328 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 22 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781786890085; 1786890089; 9781786890092; 1786890097.Subject(s): Webb, Robert, 1972- | Television actors and actresses -- Great Britain -- Biography | Men -- PsychologyGenre/Form: Autobiographies.DDC classification: 791.45028092 Summary: "Rules For Being A Man: 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 heart-breaking, 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." -- provided by publisher.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Following ten series of the award-winning Peep Show , comes part-memoir, part call-to-arms from the award-winning and hilariously funny Robert Webb

"Rules For Being A Man: 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 heart-breaking, 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." -- provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

British comedian and actor Webb (Peep Show) wrestles with what exactly it means to be a man in this deeply vulnerable and consistently funny memoir. Born in 1972, Webb grew up as a quiet and sensitive boy in Lincolnshire, England, with an abusive, alcoholic father. He was taught that "boys are brave" and that "boys don't cry." During his teenage years, he discovered his love of performing (as King Herod, he "made an entrance by stepping on my own cloak, choking") and his sexuality (with Will, "my new Best Friend, the first thing I want to do is undress him") and was devastated by his mother's death from breast cancer. As he entered adulthood, Webb continued to cope with his mother's death, but his repressed grief turned into anger, resulting in his frequent lashing out at others. Webb continued to contend with gender constructs and stereotypes, often ridiculing them (in birth announcements, parents "express 'pride' if it's a boy and 'happiness' if it's a girl"); he views phrases such as "Get a grip" and "Act like a man" as expressions that are debilitating, part of an entrenched mentality that encourages boys to bury emotions. Webb posits that "patriarchy was created for the convenience of men, but it comes at a heavy cost to ourselves and everyone else." Webb's memoir is a timely commentary on the value society places on masculine traits. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

In this debut work of nonfiction, Webb leaves his performance stage to examine "general expectations of manhood" and tell the stories that have made his life interesting.This is more than a straightforward memoir, as the author delves into a variety of sociological issues, primarily those related to conceptions of manhood. "Often," he writes, "when we tell a boy to 'act like a man,' we're effectively saying, 'Stop expressing those feelings.' And if the boy hears that often enough, it actually starts to sound uncannily like, 'Stop feeling those feelings.' " Throughout the book, Webb explores the different ways in which masculinity is perceived and enforced in culture, and he attempts to illustrate what happens when masculinity is challenged by a male himself. "The great thing about refusing to feel feelings is that, once you've denied them, you don't have to take responsibility for them," he writes. "Your feelings will be someone else's problem--your mother's problem, your girlfriend's problem, your wife's problem." In trying to understand the consequences of a regimented male experience, Webb falls into consistent heteronormativity. It's unfortunate that in a work focusing so incisively on understanding the male experience, the spectrum of masculinity is misrepresented. Interspersed through the comedy and memoir are rather myopic explanations of what boys, teenagers, and men are expected to do in society--e.g., not cry, not be a teacher's pet, play sports, have lots of sex. While intended to be humorous, these categorizations will feel exasperating for many readers. But Webb stays true to his comedic self and provides comic relief amid situations of adolescent torpor: "I'm very proud of the fine sprinkling of pubic hairs I've managed to grow, although that area in general looks like the head of a ninety-year-old woman recently returned from a perm too many at the hairdresser's."Intermittently funny but ultimately a frustrating missed opportunity.