For some of us, it's the automated voice that answers the phone when we'd rather talk to a real person. For others, it's the fact that Starbucks insists on calling its smallest-sized coffee "tall". Or perhaps it's those pesky subscription cards that fall out of magazines. Whatever it is, each of us finds some aspect of everyday life to be particularly maddening, and we often long to lash out at these stubborn irritants of modern life.
In Life's Little Annoyances, Ian Urbina chronicles the lengths to which some people will go when they have endured their pet peeves long enough and are not going to take it any more. It is a compendium of human inventiveness, by turns juvenile and petty, but in other ways inspired and deeply satisfying. We meet the junk-mail recipient who sends back unwanted "business reply" envelopes weighted down with sheet metal, so the mailers will have to pay the postage. We commiserate with the woman who was fed up with the colleague who kept helping himself to her lunch cookies, so she replaced them with dog biscuits that looked like biscotti. And we revel in the seemingly endless number of tactics people use to vent their anger at telemarketers, loud cellphone talkers, spammers, and others who impose themselves on us.
A celebration of the endless variety of passive aggressive behavior, Life's Little Annoyances will provide comfort and inspiration to everyone who has ever gritted his teeth and dreamed of sweet retribution against the slings and arrows of outrageous people.
I thought this would be more of a comedy read. The book was read as just everyday goings on. Those everyday happenings that can drive us crazy and make us ponder what is the point?
Do telemarketers really accomplish any thing besides annoying us?
How much harm to the environment has AOL done by sending out millions of CD's in hopes to drum up subscribers. I'm very happy with google and gmail, thank you very much. Although the AOL CD's can be recycled into Christmas ornaments, glassware coasters, mirror balls, etc.
I like his counter-annoyance tactics. He gives quite a few suggestions.
In spite of bringing up many annoying subjects, I think this is a "feel good" book. It's not "just me"...these things bother other people also.
I will be reading/listening to this again and taking notes for my counter-annoyance action plans.
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Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Yes it was pleasantly Light listening. Was interesting to hear how others deal with annoying situations, people.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
All the anecdotes dealing with cars, parking, meters etc seemed very relevant and creatively effective. I also liked the bit about cashiers asking for personal information; I had a good laugh. There were some annoyances that did not have as witty or creative solutions, I found those parts of the book annoying.
Which character – as performed by Stanley Tucci – was your favorite?
He only spoke as narrator. He did an excellent job relating a compilation of stories and anecdotes in an interesting and pleasant voice.
Could you see Life's Little Annoyances being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
I could see a tv series that does a candid camera style show where we see the pranks as they are unfolding.
Any additional comments?
Short and sweet. An easy book to fit into small chunks of spare minutes without compromising the content.