By Ben Stein, who can be too conservative for my tastes, this slim book is just mean spirited and misses the humor mark by a mile. It consists of 35 short essays on how to ruin one's life. Topics include: Don't Clean Up After Yourself, Be a Perfectionist (Right like Martha Stewart has ruined her life), Don't Learn Any Self-Discipline, Don't Learn Any Useful Skills.
The book's problems are many. I'll list a few:
- It's not funny and a humorous book should be. This just comes off as smug and obvious. There were no surprises or insights into human nature, which one expects from even mediocre humor.
- It preaches to the choir. There's no way anyone with one of these chronic bad habits would read this book.
- It's mean-spirited. Stein just comes across as condescending, as someone who's looking down at people with problems from some Mt. Olympus vantage point.