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  • How Not to Be a Boy

  • By: Robert Webb
  • Narrated by: Robert Webb
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (499 ratings)

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How Not to Be a Boy cover art

How Not to Be a Boy

By: Robert Webb
Narrated by: Robert Webb
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AUD $16.45/mo after 2 months. Renews automatically. Cancel anytime.

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Publisher's 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 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.

©2017 Robert Webb (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Quite simply brilliant. I (genuinely) cried. I (genuinely) laughed out loud. It's profound, touching, personal yet universal. I loved it." (JK Rowling)
"Takes us deftly from hilarity to heart-stopping hurt.... A truly great read." (Dawn French)
"A witty and honest coming-of-age story." (Ian Rankin)
"If you have ever loved, liked or known a man, please read this book." (Katy Brand)
"A brilliant, brave book." (Matt Lucas)

What listeners say about How Not to Be a Boy

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5/5

Listened in one swoop, tbh I had never heard of this "bloke" and now I have a new personal hero (?)

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3 people found this helpful

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Very much recommended

Articulate, genuine, honest and flowing, this representation of a life was moving and I am very glad indeed that I listened.

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2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely adored this book

I loved Robert Webb before and I love him even more now. This book fills me with hope and optimism for men of the present and future. I would recommend this to everyone.

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2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great story, just a bit gender-politics-wank-heavy

This book doesn't need to frame itself as an exploration of gender politics. The stories are enough. I was left with the feeling that he is a pretentious twat, who says he used to be a twat and wants to think he's changed, but hasn't, knows it and doesn't like himself much. It's like Russian dolls - snobby knobhead inside a snobby knobhead inside a snobby etc etc. Best bit was the poem reading as an Audible extra.

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1 person found this helpful

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Every person ever should read!

Wonderful insight into Rob stepping out of toxic masculinity and acknowledging how it shaped him

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1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding listen, devoured it with haste

Where does How Not to Be a Boy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
A great listen- I liked the fact this memoir had more of an angle to it, like comedy bio meets Caitlin Moran esk commentary on the patriarchy.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How Not to Be a Boy?
When he explains his family came up with a code word for the oncoming tide of gender nonsense that his daughter will get taught at school. His daughter asks if going to non-uniform day as spiderman and not a princess if she'll get laughed at and says "Shall I tell just them they’re laughing because of the trick that makes men sad and women get rubbish jobs?’ Out of the mouth of babes aye.

Any additional comments?
Listening to his charming voice for eight hours was no challenge!

Just to let you know, I work for Audible, but the views expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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Powerful, honest, bleak and funny

Deeply personal and brutally honest. Very funny but will definitely make you cry, too.

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Comprehensively wrapped

I tend not to buy men’s memoirs nowadays because I’m a bit tired of white male voices. BUT … this was so bloody brilliant, warm-hearted, feminist, beautifully crafted, and I’d go so far as to say, a must read for all young men. Clearly, I shouldn’t judge a book …

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Totally brilliant

This is one of the best books i’ve listened to…. So beautifully written, frank, gut wrenchingly honest, thoughtful and intelligent. Don’t listen to the last bit first as Rob says he would.. it doesn’t give you any inkling of how deep and serious the story gets. Im recommending this to everyone!! Love his comedy, but never knew what an emotionally intelligent man he is.

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Everything I Hoped For and More

Every line delivered with the delicious humour for which Webb is so fantastically known, every personal insight covered with self-effacing cheek and soft reflection.

How Not to Be a Boy should be required reading for every individual (no matter where on- or outside- the gender spectrum they fall), if not only to see the ridiculousness of socialised gender but for a lesson in how to gently probe through one’s past with love for whoever we were and whoever we once thought we might be.

Another drop of joy plonked into the pond of the world by Robert Webb, utterly fabulous.

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