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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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 (?)

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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!

1 of 1 people found this review 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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not what I expected....... But well worth a listen

I added David Mitchell's autobiography to my library a while ago. I enjoyed his partnership with Robert Webb with their sketch show work. So I expected a pretty similar listen. It wasn't. Robert Webb's upbringing was very troubled, and he had a difficult early life and significant trauma in his teenage years. I found it quite hard to listen to. Robert is very, very hard on himself. Often taking the piss at his teenage life which involved a lot of self-centred poetry, and angst. I have to say I didn't laugh as much as I expected to. Other reviewers have said they laughed a lot, so perhaps I mistook some of the irony for pathos. I found myself genuinely concerned for his mental health. He's obviously struggled with depression and alcohol at times. I hope he has become a better friend to himself now. The audible extras are well worth a listen and what I found to be most uplifting, and enjoyable. The actual book I found to be more interesting than enjoyable. If you're interested in Robert Webb, and he is a very interesting personality, I recommend you give this a listen.

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One of the best autobiographies I have read

Robert Webb is funny, heartfelt, intelligent and funny. I know I said funny twice because he is very funny. I laughed a lot, cried a bit and went "yes!" and "ah huh!" quite a few times. This book is a must read for every man, and every parent... and in fact every woman. Gender stereotypes hurt boys and men too, and Robert takes you on that journey in an honest and hilarious way. it has certainly changed the way I think about raising my son and I will be back to listen again and again. 10 out of 5 stars!!

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  • Afishy8
  • Placerville, CA, USA
  • 10-09-2018

Well written and relatable.

This audiobook is extremely well written, with a theme that most men (and women) can identify with. The story is compelling, and the narration performed by the author always adds extra flair to it's telling. Throw in Robert Webb's experience as a voice actor, and you have in this a satisfying, poignant, and funny narration, delivering a thoughtful and sometime message.

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Great but not GREAT

Really engaging and did open up a lot of territory around masculinity for me. Peppered with many elegant moments of humour and beauty. Felt that the memoir was generally somewhat reserved, particularly when addressing adult life and current relationships and falls short of classic memoir. Straddles the line between ‘issue memoir’ and ‘celebrity autobiography’ and as much as I love Webb found the autobiographical story a bit plodding when it deviated too far from the core tension around masculinity. Highly recommend though!

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Narration is perfect. Honest and Hilarious

Great book! Funny, honest, emotional and gripping. Love Roberts work. Great insight to Roberts younger life!

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Do yourself a favour and listen this book!!

Funny, raw and moving- Robert Webb speaks about gender issues and gender inequality brilliantly. A must read for everyone.