A Guide To Becoming Distinctly Average
By Amy Elliott-Smith
Published by Crooked Cat Publishing
Depression is a bitch. Spending your life with depression, working with bitches is the worst of the worst. A Guide to Becoming Distinctly Average is a laugh-out-loud, dark comedy, which delves into the depths of a thirty-something dog groomer’s mind as she struggles to cope with life, depression and dogs who wee up her sofa. Ultimately, the question she must ask is... Can I carry on?
Amy began a career as a stand-up comic in her early twenties until anxiety and depression hit her like a shovel in the face, effectively halting her career. A quivering wreck, confined to her room in fear of an irrational and sticky end, Amy began to write. This lifted the gloom a little and, slowly but surely, she became one of you "normal" people, able to roam free in public once more.
Dazzling. Can't think why no-one ever wrote it before. Oh. It's because they weren't brave enough, smart enough or funny enough.
I met this woman at a comedy gig in LA. She was so funny and friendly to everyone I had to read her book. I'm glad I did and I hope to see her stand up comedy and read her follow up work again very soon. I wish you lots of luck and success Amy.
Never laughed at a book before but this is hilarious.
Pleasure to read. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Great book. Write lots more please. Laughed and cried. Brilliantly written.
This is a fabulous story. Keep writing them. More please!
A very insightful read. Hugely enjoyable and humorous with great pathos. Though I thought I did not know anyone unfortunate enough to struggle with depression, after reading this I recognize some of the traits described: the moodiness, the insecurity, the morbidness, and, I'm happy to say, the humour. Sometimes people are not just "having a bad day" and cannot simply "snap out of it" (a patronising term shamefully overused within my aging generation). As the author writes, "There is nothing anyone can say to us which we are not saying to ourselves but with plenty more venom". One never knows what is happening in the thoughts of those around us and I am grateful for this valuable insight. I am a firm fan having read 'A Guide To Becoming Distinctly Average'. Please keep me laughing and write another wonderful novel.
Big thumbs up and good luck
Funny, really, REALLY FUNNY!
As a fairly simple man I was a bit sceptical about reading this book but my wife insisted I would like it so gave it a go. It is brilliant! Funny and poignant in equal measure and emphatically engaging from start to finish. Apparently this is Amy’s first novel but I find that hard to believe, there must be more from her out there!
Amazing. What a debut!
Made me belly laugh especially the bit about sharks
I've never read anything like it. I suffer from depression from time to time and could really identify with the author. Brilliant writing and so funny it made me think about my depression in a lighter way.
This is a unique book. It presents the illness of depression in all its despair yet manages to be screamingly funny. The episode with the kangaroo costume had me laughing out loud, tears rolling down my cheeks, and I cried at the end too - for a different reason. Readers who are fellow depressives will be encouraged and heartened, whilst those of us lucky enough not to suffer, will get an insight as never before into both the ups and downs of depression. Well done Amy, you deserve to win!
Wonderfully funny and full of pathos. A real rib tickler!!
Great fun with a serious side
Finished this and cried it ws so powerful.Burst out laughing in parts as well.Think it is autobiographical because it is down as fiction but seems very realistic.A talented writer.I got lost in the narrative.Cannot find much about her on the web but hope she has another novel vry soon.
Read this book while on vacation. Very enjoyable - funny and enlightening and extremely touching. Highly recommend!
Such incredible wit.Never have I laughed so much reading a book.
Awesome, witty, hilarious and did I mention AWESOME! EVERYONE should buy this book & read it! Hurry up book number two that's what I say!
Loved it. Really moving with some extremely poignant moments. But it was also one of the funniest books I've read in years. I read in bed and my husband got quite annoyed with me laughing out loud as he was trying to get to sleep. Highly recommended.
enjoyed this so much I read it twice on holiday
A beautiful piece of work which highlights the ups and downs we all experience in one way or another. I smiled, felt sad, laughed out loud then wished I had written it myself :-)
Quirky, moving and totally hilarious.
Really enjoyed reading this book, so funny and light. Absolute delight!
Please add my vote for this book.
I've recommended this book to everyone I know. It wasn't in the slightest bit depressing considering the subject matter. Really did make me laugh a lot though wish it had been longer. Would easily have enjoyed reading another 200 pages.
Really fun and thought provoking too
Zeitgeist novel. Without a doubt.
What a first line and what an ending!!! The old cliche "I could not put it down" does not do this work justice; but I could not put it down! I read it in 4 hours and it stayed in my mind for days. I cannot believe this is a debut novel. So funny. I have never read anything quite like it. This lady is going to be very, very successful very, very soon!!
This book is really, really funny. As a therapist, I loved the 'Sigmund Avoid' chapter - it made me cringe and laugh out loud. I'm really looking forward to the next book by this author.
My partner bought me this for my birthday and i couldn't put it down. It struck a chord with me and made me laugh a lot. Thank you for writing this book Amy Eliot Smith. Good luck.
It takes a lot to make me laugh out loud, but this book did. It's both funny and moving. Without derision or making fun of the condition of depression I believe Amy Elliot-Smith has used her intelligence, wit and natural gift of story telling to show us that those who have depression are not 'weak' and don't spend their life staring worriedly through the window at the rain. Depression is a medical condition, like having a kidney stone, however, unlike having empathy and understanding for the latter, people, will shuffle off, feeling uncomfortable if you mention depression. HIV/Aids used to attract the same fear, anxiety and misinformation, now it has celebrity status. I'm sure A Guide to Becoming Distinctly Average will bring about a shift in how we view what is still a taboo subject.. BUY IT!
Brilliant book didn't want it to end.....had me crying and laughing...Well done...Looking forward to your next book.
Absolutely loved the book! Looking forward to your next work.
THIS HAS TO WIN
I cannot believe this book hasnt topped the charts!! Come on people get reading!!
I',m so happy to see this book up for this award. I loved every line and hope it gets recognition it deserves.
One of the most poignant novels I have ever read.
Don't read this book in public. You will laugh so hard that you'll draw a lot of attention to yourself!
Beautiful and funny book
A funny, witty, dark and well written book that I simply couldn't put down.
Superb book. Funny, heart warming and sad all rolled into one.
Amy Elliot-Smith has written a wonderfully witty, dry look at depression and how it has impinged on her life. She has great skill as a wordsmith and her observations can leave you either laughing out loud or deeply silenced by the poignancy of her feelings. Her honesty is humbling. She's opened her heart to her readers and it's a privilege to be invited in. I've been very moved by this book and I hope that it's an outright winner.
Great book. Hilarious from the very first line. Everyone I know who has read it has loved it; well worth a read.