Is It Just Me, Or Is Everything Sh*t? Review
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There was a time when I suspected that I might be the slightest bit cynical. Sure, it’s my job to be critical—but maybe (just maybe) I’d started to complain just a bit too much. But then I read Is It Just Me, Or Is Everything Sh*t?: Insanely Annoying Modern Things, and I realized that I am a big, shiny ray of sunshine—or at least I am in comparison to Steve Lowe, Alan McArthur, and Brendan Hay.

Is It Just Me is a 250-page collection of gripes about things that the authors hate—listed in alphabetical order, from “Abstinence Programs” to “Z-List Celebrities Saving the Planet” and everything in between. From what I gather, the authors hate (in no particular order): Republicans, Democrats, people who practice various religions, critics, people who like stuff, movies, books, music, TV, technology, most foods, several words and/or phrases, and anyone who’s trying to do some good. Oh…and handball.

When I first saw the book’s cover, it seemed like the perfect book for a cynic like me. I thought, Yeah! I hate annoying stuff, too! And as I started reading, I chuckled along from time to time, amused by the authors’ bitingly sarcastic criticisms.

At times, the observations are witty—and perceptively funny. At other times, however, they’re just plain whiny (not to mention mean). Many feel rather pointless—as if the authors ran out of complaints and still had a whole bunch of space to fill. And though the original UK release has supposedly been Americanized, there are still plenty of entries that won’t make a whole lot of sense to many American readers. For example, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t encounter many restaurant service charges until my recent trip to Italy.

Though the book’s concept is an amusing one, after a while, the endless gripes are simply exhausting—and even depressing—to read. Even this bitter, cynical critic got tired of all of the complaining—and that, my friends, says a lot. I started to dread picking up the book as much as I used to dread going over to my grandma’s house as a kid, where I was forced to drink tiny glasses of well water while listening to her complain about the neighbors (and most of her family members) for hours on end.

While it does have its moments, Is It Just Me, Or Is Everything Sh*t? eventually feels like a pointless snarkfest. The authors will most likely hate just about everything that you hold dear—and they won’t hold back in complaining about it in the most profane of ways. And after a few chapters, it’s just not fun anymore.

Fortunately, the authors also hate critical praise. They hate it when reviewers claim that a book was “hard to put down.” So they’ll be happy to hear that I had no problem whatsoever putting their book down. In fact, I was happy to do so.

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