Title: 488 Rules for Life: The Thankless Art of Being Correct
Author: Kitty Flanagan
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Published: 1st October 2019
Synopsis: 488 Rules for Life is Kitty Flanagan’s way of making the world a more pleasant place to live. Providing you with the antidote to every annoying little thing, these rules are not made to be broken.
488 Rules for Life is not a self-help book, because it’s not you who needs help, it’s other people. Whether they’re walking and texting, asphyxiating you on public transport with their noxious perfume cloud, or leaving one useless square of toilet paper on the roll, a lot of people just don’t know the rules.
But thanks to Kitty Flanagan’s comprehensive guide to modern behaviour, our world will soon be a much better place. A place where people don’t ruin the fruit salad by putting banana in it … where your co-workers respect your olfactory system and don’t reheat their fish curry in the office microwave … where middle aged men don’t have ponytails …
What started as a joke on Kitty Flanagan’s popular segment on ABC TV’s The Weekly, is now a quintessential reference book with the power to change society. (Or, at least, make it a bit less irritating.)
What people are (Kitty Flanagan is) saying about this book:
‘You’re welcome everyone.’
‘Thank god for me.’
‘I’d rather be sad and lonely, but right.’
‘There’s not actually 488 rules in here but it sure feels like it’.
In Kitty Flanagan’s second book, she has created a list of rules for life – some useful, some sensible and some that might not be quite workable, but all are done with Kitty’s unique and amusing humour. Divided into sections, Kitty has outlined rules for dealing with parties, travel, entertainment and work. Some sections are longer and have more rules, and there are special “sealed” sections about specific areas within a section that have detailed rules on what to include in fruit salad, or how to talk about sports – as a non-sports fan, Kitty’s rules are amusing, and are in tongue in cheek, because I think both sides of the rule can be seen, and I hope everyone enjoys reading these rules.
Each category makes sense – these are all areas in our lives we have to navigate every day, and we all have rules – though Kitty’s might not appeal to all, she certainly does it with good humour, and much like her first book, I can imagine Kitty reading this out as an audiobook – it would be very amusing, and very enjoyable.
What is nice about this, is that you can have a good laugh as you read along, and you don’t have to agree with everything Kitty says – her tongue in cheek attitude makes many of these delightful and good when you need a laugh or something light to read. It provided me a good break in between some heavier reading and thicker books that are taking me a bit longer to get through, and interspersing these with lighter ones can help power through.
Some of these rules are just common sense – don’t leave one square of toilet paper, don’t walk and text (one that I agreed with and had a chuckle at), and many others that I am sure others will agree with – and that are really based in common sense. At the same time, some are just hilarious rules that just make you laugh – and if you were expecting 488 – think again.
Books by comedians, especially comedians I enjoy watching like Kitty, vary in what they are about, their humour and delivery using the essence of the comedian and their unique style of storytelling or comedic delivery.
This was a quick read – doable within a day or two, as each rule is a short paragraph or two, and is very entertaining for anyone who enjoys Kitty’s humour and has read her previous book – you can imagine her talking about these rules in person, which makes it even more entertaining.
I would recommend this to fans of Kitty Flanagan or anyone who needs a good laugh and something light-hearted in their lives.