Why We Suck - A Book Review | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Why We Suck - A Book Review

Why We Suck - A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid by Dr. Denis Leary, Published by Plume, a part of the Penguin Group, ISBN: 9780452295643

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was waitin on this book and promised to do a review once I'd finished.

Well, here it is.

What B.o.B says -
Do you Suck? Would you like to not Suck? Do you know other people who Suck? Would you like to tell them how to Suck less or how to possibly become totally Suck-free? Dr. Denis Leary is ready to help you overcome all the sucky things that make you such a suckass. Not to mention all the fat, loud, lazy and stupid suckholes you have to deal with at the office, family gatherings, or while using public transportation. Part memoir, part self-help tirade but definitely a full-time funny assault on the poseurs, politicians and pop-culture icons who have sucked in public for far too long, this book is a call to arms for everyone who feels the way the good doctor does: Skinny jeans are for skinny people; Men will never change. Not even into clean underwear; If God didn't want us to eat meat, why did He make the cow so slow? (Ever eaten a cheetah burger? Nope. And you never will.)


Of course this book is terribly funny. Nobody is spared. But at the same time, Leary is incredibly self-deprecating. He tells stories from his life, particularly growing up, in order to illustrate the points he is trying to make in regards to women, children, men, families, anyone really.

He's quite insightful when explaining why the rest of the world hates Americans. And sadly, a lot of it can apply to Australians as well.

[This paragraph has been edited, see comments] Leary is a firm believer in that if you want something you have to go out and get it, make it happen. In one chapter he uses the stories of how he became a published poet and how he learned to act (he wouldn't take no for an answer and never gave up) and finishes the chapter with some choice words of wisdom gleaned from his parents and his own experiences. One of my favourite's was -
No one owes you anything and being born into a free society means you get to say whatever the hell you want but it doesn't mean anyone has to listen.

And one of the things his dad taught him -
The harder you work, the luckier you get.


Leary hates political correctness and throws it all out the window when he tackles something like stereotypes. In a chapter entitled We'd Hate You Even If You Weren't Black, Leary points out -
...the reason we have stereotypes is because the first four generations of each individual tribe ESTABLISHED that behaviour when we all arrived.


A lot of people would dismiss Denis Leary as an un-couth loud-mouth (which he is) with no brain from some of the snippets they may have read about him, but Leary does have a brain. He makes some very good points (despite the long sentences!)and comes across as very switched on. He says what a lot of people think and are too afraid to voice in a very witty way. If you're easily offended (esp by the f-word) then I wouldn't recommend this book, especially if you're a woman or have kids. But if you can read this sort of book in the frame of mind that it's supposed to be read in (if you like what B.o.B says then you'll basically like the book) then you will really enjoy Why We Suck.

Two Thumbs Up from me.

8 comments:

  1. Well... I used to be easily offended by the f-word but slowly I got used to it. I don't use it but I don't have anything against people who do. I think this book and I will get along fine. Haha!

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  2. When I was in America half the students were taking pills for OCD, ADD, CRS, Lazy Syndrome. I was told it's because it's such a large country. When I was in China nobody had any disorder. Which country is larger?

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  3. I'm not easily offended. But some of his rants about autism were offensive to me, personally. I am the mother of a child with autism.

    I think he's an ass. In all fairness though, I've not read the book, and probably should before making comments such as these.

    Might try it. When it comes into a library. Sure as hell not giving him my money, lol.

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  4. I haven't read any of Denis's works before. Though your wonderful review has made me want to give this book a try for sure.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    Keep up the wonderful work.

    Cheers!!

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  5. @Alice You should def grab a copy from somewhere.

    @Mia I think it's a ploy by the drug companies to make more money!

    @Melissa - I must admit, that was the one chapter that was quite polarizing. I think he has a point, but I also think he is insensitive to those people who genuinley suffer from autism or who have children that do.

    @Chatterbox This is the first of his books I've read. I'd be interested to see what some of his others are like. Might have to check the library I think

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  6. Another here who thinks she may well do damage throwing the book across the room. Again, I have not read it, but as a mother who cries herself to sleep many nights from the pain of watching my son suffer because his life is so fucking hard, I think his idiocracy would infuriate me. Misdiagnosed? Hell yeah. But I would doubt you could even raise more than a one in a thousand figure. No-one wants there child to struggle with this monster, let me tell you.

    Rant over.

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  7. I have amended a paragraph in my review to remove references to Leary's views on Autism, which I don't agree with. I don't wish to promote or encourage those views and after careful consideration decided that my wording in that particualr paragraph was misleading. I have not heard Leary's rants on autism, the only place I have read his views on the subject are in this book and I can totally see why people would be offended. I would hate it if someone with half a brain read my review and took Leary's ideas for fact.

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  8. It's the people with half a brain you have to worry about.

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