Man vs Bookshelf

Man vs Bookshelf: The Moaning of Life

This entry is part 39 of 104 in the series Man vs Bookshelf
Smug bastards

I’m not going to open this blog by saying ‘if there’s one thing I like, it’s moaning’, because I hate that saying.


Nobody likes only one thing. Not even me, and I hate liars even more than I hate Cheerios so I’m going to open with honesty, and the following line:

There are seven things I like, one of which is moaning.

With that in mind, I was quite excited to get into this book, which accompanies the TV series of the same name.

Karl Pilkington and Me

Karl Pilkington has obtained an odd kind of celebrity.

On the one hand, he’s famous for the same reason any number of contestants on Big Brother, TOWIE and the like are. He’s an idiot.

But of course, Pilkington is different. Yes, his ideas are ridiculous. Yes, he’s miserable and mad. That’s all true.

But he’s also likeable.

I never listened to The Ricky Gervais Show when it was on the radio. When Pilkington was a producer and only part-time contributor. Before he became well known across the country.

I came to the Ricky Gervais Show when it became a Podcast. Where it was less about Ricky Gervais’ chat with Stephen Merchant and more a study of Karl’s strange mind.

I loved it from the off. The show is still one of the few I will laugh out loud at every single time I listen to it. I actually can’t hold it in, and it doesn’t matter how many times I listen to it. How well I know it all. It continues to be funny time after time after time.

So, through the podcast, I came to love Karl Pilkington. Yet, I never watched any of his shows post-Ricky Gervais Show.

I’ve mentioned already the book in question accompanies a TV series of the same name. I’ve never seen that, and never will, although I’ve no doubt it’s funny.

Nor am I sure when I picked up The Moaning of Life the book. Although, given its hardback, it can’t have been long after it’s release in 2013, five years ago at the time of writing.

Needless to say, as with my other Karl Pilkington book (Karlology) and most other books on my shelf, I’ve never read it.

But how did this man I found so funny in podcast translate to the page?

The Moaning of Life


That’s the answer. End of review.

I gave the book a 3/5 on Goodreads, so bang average, but that’s not fair of me. What a bastard I am.

The reason I never read or seen The Moaning of Life is that I don’t particularly like travel shows. Okay, that’s not exactly what this is, but for all intents and purposes, it is.

In the Moaning of Life, Karl examines the big issues in life. Marriage; kids; money and vocation; happiness and death. This he does by travelling the world, checking out how other cultures view these topics.

It’s a great premise. Of course it is. And a brilliant idea to get Karl – who is pretty unique – to do it. But that doesn’t change the fact it’s not my kind of thing.

So while I give it a 3/5 I have to say to Karl, it’s not you, it’s me.

And I mean that.

Because, while the

subject matter made this a non-starter for me, it was still so well written.

Pilkington is as engaging and humorous in book form as he is over my headphones. He writes like a pro and his moaning but considerate personality translates well onto the page.

So, if you know and like Karl, and you’re into books looking at all the cultures of the world, give this book a go.

At one point he even saves a turtle.

How cool is that?

Next Time

Next time out we’re sticking on the non-fiction route.

This time, though, we’re moving away from the comedy and the world trips and back onto one of my favourite things.

That’s right, it’s football.

More specifically, football management, with the book Will You Manage?

See you then

Series Navigation<< Man vs Bookshelf: The Dark TowerMan vs Bookshelf: Will You Manage? >>
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International worst-selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). An author of mystery and suspense novels including the James Perry Series of mysteries.

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