“It sounded to me that to be a gentleman, you needed both manners and bravery. And that thought was horribly fascinating. Because I thought only wimps needed manners. And only tough guys were brave”
Following Peep Show, and alongside Back, the new Mitchell and Webb sitcom, comes part-memoir, part call-to-arms from the award-winning and hilariously funny Robert Webb
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.
“Quite simply brilliant. I (genuinely) cried. I (genuinely) laughed out loud. It’s profound, touching, personal yet universal … I loved it”
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“With enormous poignancy and insight … Webb’s early portrait of himself as a hapless underdog navigating the boulder-strewn path of masculinity is vividly drawn and very funny … Echoes of Adrian Mole”
“Takes us deftly from hilarity to heart-stopping hurt … A truly great read, full of heart”
“Frank and compelling … Laugh-out-loud funny … also, in parts, blink-back-tears sad. Why would I blink back tears rather than give full rein to the emotion? Well, Webb can explain”
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“Written with wit and clarity, How Not To Be a Boy is a funny, rueful, truthful book. I enjoyed every page”
Robert Webb has been a male for his whole life. As such, he has been a boy in a world of fighting, pointless posturing, and the insistence that he stop crying. As an adult man, he has enjoyed better luck, both in his work as the Webb half of Mitchell & Webb in the Sony award-winning That Mitchell & Webb Sound and the Bafta award-winning That Mitchell & Webb Look, and as permanent man-boy Jeremy in the acclaimed Peep Show. He also played Bertie Wooster in the acclaimed West End run of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. Robert has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman, and now lives in London with his wife and daughters, where he continues trying to be funny and to fumble beyond general expectations of manhood.