We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
How Not to Be a Boy Audiobook

How Not to Be a Boy

Regular Price:$21.31
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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

What the Critics Say

"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 Rating

4.7 (108 )
5 star
 (89)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.6 (97 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.8 (100 )
5 star
 (89)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    james slater 09-05-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    30
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant read. Well worth the credit."

    Alternating between furiously funny and fascinatingly introspective, this book had me laughing out loud and blinking back tears.
    Bought and finished in one day and left me wanting more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bethanie Jensen Atlanta, GA 09-04-17
    Bethanie Jensen Atlanta, GA 09-04-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    22
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh god. SOOOOO good!"

    It's been a long time since I read a book that was entertaining, enlightening, poignant, and a million other complementary adjectives. I am laughing and welling up in equal measure. I have to say, it is very brave of him to include so much personal info from his teenage years. You have to get this book. You will NOT regret it!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tobias Middlemarch St. Petersburg, Florida, USA 09-04-17
    Tobias Middlemarch St. Petersburg, Florida, USA 09-04-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    23
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thank You Robert."

    I love your story very much, and it helps to hear from someone who's undergone trauma similar to mine. Thanks for sharing it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon 08-30-17
    Brandon 08-30-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some Girls Wander By Mistake"

    Agree or disagree with his positions as laid out in the book, what is provided is an interesting look inside Robert Webb's head. One's experiences and life help provide an excellent insight into their views and, if you ever wondered what drove the man, Robert gives you a road map to his. That is a core strength to the book if you want to understand him better.

    The weakness of this book is that it gets lost somewhere along the way. You will be moving along this memoir and then the soapbox comes out of nowhere. It's his book and it is his right to wedge it in out of nowhere, but it comes off as forced and ruins the flow. The last few chapters are a perfect example of this. Great memoir segment and then BAMMM "Hello, I am Robert Webb and let me explain again to you that I am a feminist ally." No problem with him saying it, just a matter of flow.

    The again, you have to take all of this with a grain of salt. It comes from the point of view of a person who can play the bass line to "A Forest" by The Cure.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JVinceSate 10-09-17
    JVinceSate 10-09-17 Member Since 2015
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Touching autobiography - Overlook the quality"

    Despite the quality of the audio being a little lackluster (it sounds like an over-compressed iPhone recording or similar) this is still a wonderful book and a wonderful listen.

    Robert Webb is a brilliantly funny, sensitive comedian - if you're a fan of PeepShow and his other work this audiobook is a real delight. The quality issues you get past because it's just such a pleasure to listen to Webb and learn about his life. In fact some of his jokes about the "Never Gonna Give You Up" audio-quality jokes in the beginning of the book actually make the less-than-ideal quality of the audiobook seem like an in-theme joke.

    Love it love it love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miranda 09-24-17
    Miranda 09-24-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    21
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'm clueless"

    I made it to chapter 8, I have no idea what the story was about or where it was going. It was just a bunch of words.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren L Johannesburg, South Africa 09-24-17
    Lauren L Johannesburg, South Africa 09-24-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    20
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great memoir-cum-polemic"

    I live in South Africa and have seen one episode of Peep Show in my life - on a Virgin flight to London, so barely knew who Robert Webb was until I read this courageous, funny and poignant memoir. Webb is male version of Caitlin Moran in my mind and a welcome new voice for the anti-gender cause, or however you want to define the 'let's all be free to be fully human' cause. Brilliantly narrated, of course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CATALINA RESTREPO R. 09-20-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant!"

    Honest, profound, real, funny and serious. A great read, a must read especially for parents of boys.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew E DuPriest 09-14-17 Member Since 2011
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    20
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An intimate experience"

    Webb gives us (mostly) unfettered access to his formative years, laying himself bare. I can't imagine a better way to experience these stories than through his narration. It's an excellent opportunity to feel intimately connected with him as a fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Chaplin 09-13-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wrong title"

    It should be:
    "autobiography- of my most BORING life"
    Robert you must have written this book after you read the picture of Dorian Gray.
    You did not have to punish the rest of us.
    I cancelled it.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • sarah
    9/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating charming sad redemptive"

    Great performance - really special having the book read by the author as it feels like a book just written for me.

    As a child of 70/80's really lived and loved all the cultural references.
    I had no idea of the books subject but do captivated listened in 2 marathon sessions while gardening....satisfying listen and very tidy garden thanks for enjoyable day.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    Dartford, United Kingdom
    8/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Completely brilliant. Very funny and very poignant"
    Would you consider the audio edition of How Not to Be a Boy to be better than the print version?

    This is brilliantly narrated by Webb himself, and you get SO much from autobiographies narrated by the author. When the author happens to be Robert Webb, you get a gold-standard, addictive audiobook that you'll immediately try to make everyone else on the planet listen to as well. He delivers the funnies to perfection, but his economy on the more emotional and poignant passages is almost unbearably moving. I feel like cheering and clapping.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's completely satisfying if you're a fan of Robert Webb as a comedian, or just like amusing books in general. It's VERY funny throughout and the humour is smart and stylish. But there are passages and observations that are described so movingly by the author, the emotion will pin you to the spot.


    Which character – as performed by Robert Webb – was your favourite?

    The way the author commits all the members of his family to the page is just lovely, flawed and human though they are. But it's the author/narrator himself who you really root for. I have so much respect for the way he's laid himself bare in writing this book, and am hugely impressed by his wit. I was a fan before, but now I'm die-hard.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES and then I'd go back to the beginning and start again, in the same sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    It's achingly brilliant, I can't recommend it highly enough!

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Tamzin
    9/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terribly cyclical and terribly funny"

    A very thoughtful, hilarious and slightly wallowing (in a honest/vulnerable rather than bad way) account of Roberts Webb's mostly teenage/university life. Having recently listened to Trevor Noah's 'born a crime', the bar was set pretty damn high, but this book is also awesome. Webb's account of his upbringing makes you think a lot about sexism, and particularly the negative effects of gender stereotyping on boys (which is often overlooked) it will also probably make you call your parents

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Elliot Pulver
    9/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thoughtful. Touching. Funny. Beautifully written and performed."

    Before listening to this, Robert Webb was, to me, little more than the man-boy Jeremy Usborne. This book will change your view of the author, society, and yourself.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mr Andrew M Winder
    Cheshire East
    9/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More, more and more please..."

    What a great listen, very entertaining and funny. Thank you for making me laugh and enlightening me on many of your experiences; great stuff Mr Webb.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Nicola Gilbert
    Glasgow, East Renfrewshire United Kingdom
    9/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic"

    A really beautifully written book that had me sobbing at times, but also really funny. I had to turn it off at some parts whilst listening on public transport because I genuinely couldn't stop laughing. It has a strong messages throughout about gender such as how society has forever wrongly told men to "man up" and the adverse impact this can have on both men and women. I cannot recommend this book enough and it is told brilliantly.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Kay
    Hampshire, England
    8/31/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Autobiography with a twist"

    Robert Webb is hilarious and honest in this book, both in his writing of it, and his reading.

    It's an autobiographical book, with the added twist of being blatant and upfront about the (not so) hidden political agendas. This book is not about trying to say men shouldn't be proud to be men, but it does try to address the stereotypes put on boys as they grow up, which then go on to hinder everyone in general.

    This book is full of both funny insights and incredibly honest pain. It uses Webb's personal accounts and experiences to try and reassure boys and men that it's okay to cry, it's okay to have emotions and to like pink.

    We hear all too often about how stereotypes on women hold them and wider society back and, as a female, I have seen that and know it all too well. It's less talked about how the same happens to men. This books was refreshing in that it came at the subject from a different point of view.

    I will be recommending this book to both men and women. It was a great listen, and it made me think about my life and the world around me. Thank you Robert Webb for writing such a raw, honest and thought-provoking book.

    And I loved the Audible Extras.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Pussinbigboots
    London, UK
    9/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Emotional roller-coaster and fully relatable."

    I adored Robs story, from his heartbreak to his pure embarrassment.

    Will recommend to everyone who is a true Robert Web fan, actually to anyone who will listen.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Listen to this book now"

    Deconstructs gender norms in a funny, eloquent and personal yet universal way. Read it now.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • beckybee
    9/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should be required reading!"

    Society would be so much healthier if every 16 year old was given a copy of this book to read. I loved it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.