Famous for his role as Jeremy in the hit TV show Peep Show, Robert Webb has demonstrated his talent in humour and acting. However, his memoir How Not To Be A Boy showcases that he also has a talent for writing.
Combining both humour and serious, important messages concerning the patriarchy and the role of masculinity in day-to-day life, How Not To Be A Boy is a book that has simply not gained the attention it deserves amongst individuals. Maybe it’s because Webb isn’t primarily an author, but the themes he discusses are somewhat in line with those like Matt Haig, who is now primarily known for his two best-selling memoirs. How Not To Be A Boy should definitely be on the top of everyone’s reading list, no matter what gender you identify as.
Not only is the book divided into manageable chunks, meaning it is incredibly easy to pick up and put down at any point, it also flawlessly intertwines Webb’s incredible humour to discuss some taboo topics, such as inherent toxic masculinity and physical abuse. Webb goes into incredible detail from his earliest childhood memories and into his experiences at university, outlining his relationships with both men and women and how these impacted his growth as a man. The book also deals with death, grief, failure, acceptance, love, and fatherhood – what more could you ask for?
This book got the attention of other famous authors, like Matt Haig and J. K. Rowling, who both had great things to say about it, but I do believe that everybody should read this, especially those at university. It teaches life lessons in the least patronising way possible, and in a very accessible reading format with its multiple short chapters. If you’re a Peep Show fan, it’s also even better if you read it in Webb’s voice, which is actually a lot more natural than you may think.
To summarise, How Not To Be A Boy should be on the top of everyone’s radar. Despite turning two years old this year, it remains relevant, and I feel it will remain relevant in years to come. It’s especially important for people of all ages to appreciate it too, as there are many lessons and experiences which would be beneficial for numerous ages.
How Not To Be A Boy is available to buy via Waterstones.