Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

The A-Z of Being Single

The A-Z of Being Single: Jeff Green, February 14—16, 2014
My rating: ♦♦◊◊◊

The-A-Z-of-being-SingleA suitably ironic choice for Valentine’s evening, The A-Z of Being Single purports to be the go-to guide for singletons, unhappily coupled up and those in a satisfying relationship. Green rattles through everything from how to flirt to time to split in alphabetical order with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

The first issue with this book is its title. I would have expected The A-Z of Being Single to be something of a survival guide to singledom and although there are a few suggestions (if you pay the single person supplement, set your alarm so you can move over and use both sides of the bed), the majority of the advice is centred around dating and relationships – the exact opposite of what the title suggests.

Green does present a witty repartee and is able to illicit more that the odd chuckle but, title aside, there are three huge problems.

First, Green races through every section at a crazy pace. The whole thing feels like it was knocked up in an afternoon and there is no time to just enjoy the piece for what it is. I would have liked to see Green adopt a Peter Corey approach in making a Coping With… Being Single of sorts. Copey’s Coping With… Exams & Tests is the perfect example of an A-Z that lovingly and funnily explores each entry with the paced respect they deserve.

Second, there’s a lot of repetition. A lot of the jokes are centred around the usual stereotypes – men just need sex, beer and food while women are high maintenance, overly complicated experts in nagging – and that of course the communis opinion starting point for such a piece. The problem is, there is no second layer of humour or further developments, so we have essentially the same jokes over and over again under a different guise.

Third, it’s very repetitive.

The concept of this book has a lot of potential, and Green can be genuinely funny. He should have taken more time over this one. What we have feels like more of a rough outline of notes for the book, or a working draft, rather than a finished product and is quite disappointing.


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This entry was posted on February 17, 2014 by in 2 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare