Customer Reviews


389 Reviews
5 star:
 (286)
4 star:
 (63)
3 star:
 (24)
2 star:
 (8)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


144 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good of a primer on spying as you can get for a book that lacks a chapter on cobras
"How to Archer" is a companion book to the Adam Reed television show Archer: Season 1, which is an animated series about a spy (Archer) who works for the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS). If you are unfamiliar with the television show, I should stop you right here and recommend you watch a few episodes to obtain an understanding of the characters and...
Published on January 17, 2012 by Scott

versus
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny but short
As stated in my title, this is a very short book. Not only is it a small page count, but there's a lot of white space so there's even less content than you might expect.
Regardless, if you're a huge fan off the show (like I am) then I still recommend this book. It loses some of the show's humor by only being Sterling and not having the fantastic interplay among the...
Published on July 4, 2012 by Joshua Dancer


‹ Previous | 1 239 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

144 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good of a primer on spying as you can get for a book that lacks a chapter on cobras, January 17, 2012
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
"How to Archer" is a companion book to the Adam Reed television show Archer: Season 1, which is an animated series about a spy (Archer) who works for the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS). If you are unfamiliar with the television show, I should stop you right here and recommend you watch a few episodes to obtain an understanding of the characters and premise. The book is self-contained and you don't need to be familiar with past plot lines on the show, but you do need to have a basic understanding of Archer or the humor of the book will be mostly lost on you. You need to be able to read the book in Archer's voice to get a real grasp on it and appreciate it. Even the title's awkward non sequitur should jump out at you as "classic Archer" rather than confuse. So if you're a fan of the show, or once you've seen a couple episodes, you're ready to jump in and learn about the most important aspects of being a top ISIS agent - namely getting drunk, having sex with as many women as possible, and picking out the perfect turtleneck for a nighttime stealth mission.

In the tradition of his previous shows, SeaLab 2021 and Frisky Dingo, Reed has created a humorous look at what is presumably a 1960s (though the characters use some modern technology) intelligence agency that is lead by an agent who is arrogant, crass, sexist, egotistical, reckless, and self-serving. He believes he is God's gift to women and the US government, and is ready to share the secrets to becoming a master spy in his new book. The first thing fans of the show will likely appreciate is that this is not just a tie-in book thrown out there by FX to make a quick buck from the show or to promote season 3. You're not going to see pages wasted with "character dossiers" and episode summaries that are taken almost verbatim from the show's web site. This is mostly 100% original material created by Adam Reed (the actual author) for the book, and although you don't get the benefit of the excellent voice acting from the series, it reads just like a new episode of the show. Written in stream of consciousness, Sterling Archer's voice can't help but come out at you from every line and his arrogance is beautifully evident, even from the title, where Archer makes it clear that he makes his own rules in life, and the use of punctuation isn't necessarily one of them. At first glance, the table of contents reads like a legitimate spy manual, with topics ranging from "tactical driving" to "personal finance." However from the first page, it becomes evident that Archer's tactics are very non-traditional, to say the least, and rely more on convenience, his personal needs, and a good bit of luck.

The book has numerous appendices and is divided into the six most important aspects of being a spy (with several subsections under each of those:

Foreword (by Mallory Archer)
Preface (Archer's explains how HarperCollins approached him to do a book)
Introduction by Archer
1. How to Spy
2. How to Drink
3. How to Style
4. How to Dine
5. How to Women
6. How to Pay for it
Appendix A: Maps
Appendix B: First Aid
Appendix C: Archer's World Factbook
Afterword
Acknowledgements
Selected Bibliography
About the Author

"How to Archer" is fully illustrated with what appears to be all new and original illustrations. Although they don't add too much to the book and some of them may just seem like clip art, given that Archer is an animated show, I do think they are necessary and add to the format (the cover is even a clever homage to The James Bond 007 Annual). I was initially hesitant to read this, as it seems like it's just rehashing some of the same jokes from the show, and I thought they'd be lost on me in a non-visual/audio medium. Not to mention that I think one of the strongest aspects of the show is the interaction between the characters, and I was worried that a 200-page Sterling Archer soliloquy would be annoying. Fortunately, Reed manages to pull it off and I think it works very well in print format. It's just as clever as the show and I actually found myself laughing out loud (which I never do) several times. Archer's attitude perfectly translates to the book, whether it is the disdain he continually brings up for his publishers at HarperCollins (for not allowing him to write a chapter on cobras), or the entire chapter on Unarmed Combat where he discusses a dozen different fighting styles (none of which he has trained in because the classes were too early in the morning). Here are a few excerpts from the book to give you a sense of the style:

--------------
"I had Krieger replace the cyanide in one of my capsules with Binaca, and in the other with Xanax. That way I'm ready for pretty much whatever the day may have in store for me."

"I like to get out to Vegas at least once a year for a heavyweight title bout. Because that's basically like the Oscars for hookers."

"I could not (well, chose not to) attend hapkido training, but I think Steven Seagal holds a ham-flavored belt in it. So if you ever need to fight Marlon Brando's fatter, more ponytailed doppelgänger, just call Steven Seagal and ask him how he would go about it. I just assume he would eat his opponent while growling 'nom nom nom, I was in the CIA, nom nom nom...'"
--------------

"How to Archer" is a very nice companion to the show and I think they did about as well on it as they could. There may not be anything particularly revelatory for fans, but for the viewer who isn't satisfied with just getting Archer on their TV, it's a welcome addition.

Easter Egg Edit: The book includes a recipe for "Eggs Woodhouse," which you can see Archer eating at the beginning of season 3, episode 7.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


94 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE tell me H. Jon Benjamin is working on..., January 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
As pitch-perfect as this book is for capturing the tone of H. Jon Benjamin (really, how can you read this WITHOUT hearing his voice as Sterling Archer in your head?), the only thing better would be if they would have him release an audio version of the book!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


154 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obviously, January 30, 2012
By 
Michael Moore (Tempe, Arizona United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
If you enjoy the show, obviously buy this book. If you don't enjoy the show, you're dumb. Possibly doubly so because you're reading comments from people that obviously love the show. Go knit yourself a pie or something.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are the Bad Reviews Factually Incorrect? Also, Yes., February 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
I admit to being an enormous Archer fan, but I still would never give a poorly written stack of regurgitated jokes five stars. This book delivers the laughs, especially if you know anything about the show. Which I do.

But, humor being completely subjective, I still feel compelled to at least dispel a couple shameful myths put forth by other reviewers.

MYTH: "...three out of four jokes are ripped word for word from episodes of Archer..."

FACT: Let's do some math, shall we? Archer states at the start of the book that he's contractually obligated to produce a manuscript of no shorter than 30,000 words and will, therefore, deliver a manuscript of precisely 30,000 words. As I read the book the second time, I highlighted every word I could find that either retold a joke from the show or even so much as referred to a joke from the show. I even highlighted Alex Karras (whom Lana mentions in Archer S1 E10) even though the joke about him is completely different. Total word count on reused jokes: 322. That's 1.073%. So, essentially, the book is 99% new content.

MYTH: This book "substitute[s] rehashed dry jokes for actual information" and is "not much of a guide to anything."

FACT: This is a book by Sterling Archer, so if you're expecting an encyclopedia on the finer points of covert ops, you haven't been paying attention. Spoiler Alert: you won't actually learn how to become an international spy by reading this book. That said, unless you already know the recipe for Green Russians, or the proper way to prepare Eggs Woodhouse, or how to say "Would you like to have sex with me?" in 17 languages (including Portuguese, of course), then I can assure you this book has plenty to teach you.

For example, from the section on page 19 regarding the martial art of Savate:

"Savate is French for 'face kick.' And while the French have a reputation for being effeminate... I think this is unfair. Because they also have...the French Foreign Legion. So the next time you're feeling adventurous, walk into a bar in Algiers and call a Legionnaire a putain de merde. Then walk outside and feel around in the sand with your hands, trying to find your head."

Not the greatest advice, but at least you learned something (and I bet you laughed, too).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny...not as funny as it could be, May 8, 2012
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
"How to Archer" is funny, make no mistake about it. If you've seen the show--you have seen the show, right?--then it's easy enough to listen to the Sterling Archer in your head when you read. If you haven't seen the show, I imagine you're going to hate this book. That said, why are you looking at the review of a tie-in for a show you don't even watch? Go elsewhere.

For all its humor, I don't know if the book ever really hit me as being as funny as the show is. Sterling Archer, the world's greatest secret agent and sexist playboy, is an amazing character. But much of what makes him funny is playing off other characters. When other characters from the show (Woodhouse, Krieger, Pamela) are mentioned, the book is really funny. When it's just Archer talking about Archer...well...it can get a little stale. Still funny, mind you, but not as funny as it could be.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you not?, February 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
As a high functioning alcoholic, secret agent with narcissistic personality disorder myself - I can confirm that this IS the authoritative book on "how to women, dress and cocktail". Ever.
It's like it was written is some sort of zone. A zone of... Danger.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny but short, July 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
As stated in my title, this is a very short book. Not only is it a small page count, but there's a lot of white space so there's even less content than you might expect.
Regardless, if you're a huge fan off the show (like I am) then I still recommend this book. It loses some of the show's humor by only being Sterling and not having the fantastic interplay among the other characters, but Sterling is still pretty funny all on his own.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Small Doses, April 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
Wouldn't reccomend reading this straight through, versus the show where there's a range of characters/comedic tropes to balance each this book is all Sterling all the time and I hate that I stopped enjoying it halfway through.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars funny, February 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
Its a very funny book. Needs more woodhouse thou. Also more ray lol. Archer is hilarious, kreiger needs to be another top character too
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written, October 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (Paperback)
"How To Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written" By Sterling Archer

Copyright©2011 by FX Network, LLC
First Edition
ISBN: 978-0-06-206631-2

Excluding the cover art, the book's illustrations and type are printed in black-and-white. Some of the book's most humorous aspects are found in the footnotes and side-note boxes. Throughout the text, Archer kindly provides in-his-own-words definitions for lesser-known and self-invented terms. If you choose to buy this book, do so for entertainment purposes; it is a comical 2-3 hour read that offers a few good recipes, but I don't think it would be appealing to someone who isn't already an Archer fan. I have included the book's contents below with a few short descriptions of the different chapters.

vii.) CONTENTS
ix.) FOREWORD--Mallory makes full use of her contribution to demean the idea of Sterling being the best candidate to write a book on espionage(or any other book).
xi.) PREFACE--Archer originally gave himself the impression that he'd be writing his memoirs; after all, "HarperCollins would be eager to publish a book that would sell literally tons of copies." (p.1) Upon the discovery that the intended book would actually be a `how-to' on espionage, Archer (in fewer offenses) agrees to write it anyway as a service to his net worth... and because he managed to negotiate a chapter on cobras.
xv.) INTRODUCTION--More resentment for being made to write a `how-to' book.

-------SECTION ONE: HOW TO SPY -- Sterling grants fair warning on the dangers of exposing super secret spy secrets to amateurs.

3.) GENERAL TRADECRAFT--Archer outlines a few basic spy techniques and ploys: bribery, cutout, dead drop, disguises, double agent, false flag, honeypot, license to kill, mole, and Moscow rules.
15.) UNARMED COMBAT--A list of martial arts disciplines necessary for protecting a pretty face: Aikido, Boxing, Capoeira, Gatka, Hapkido, Judo, Karate (the `Dane Cook' of self defense), Krav Maga, Kung Fu, Muay Thai, and Savate.
21.) WEAPONRY--Sometimes the deadliness of Archer's unarmed body poses too much threat to be deemed fair; he names several less-threatening devices for these situations: bladed weapons, handguns, assault weapons, flare gun, explosives, and other weapons (ocelots and ping-pong paddles).
27.) GADGETS--The contributions of Dr. Algernop Krieger: pen gun, spy watch, garrote, cyanide capsule, hollow coin, knockout drops, knockout gas, adrenaline syrette, night vision goggles, x-ray specs, smartphones, the tactleneck®, and tactical suppository.
35.) STELLAR NAVIGATION--Not an Archer specialty.
37.) TACTICAL DRIVING--An emphasis on the importance of a car's power potential. Basically, the right spy car should be easily related to a cobra and include corporate sponsorships.
39.) OTHER VEHICLES--A spy of Archer's skill-level should also know how to captain the following: airboats, snowmobiles, Fiat 500, motorcycles, and elephants.
43.) POISON--Great tool for thinning-out the competing pool of spies.
47.) CASINOS--A paint-by-numbers guide to the "Sterling Archer Triple-A Power Play."
57.) SURVEILLANCE--Don't be blind.
59.) INTERROGATION--Torture best-practices.
61.) INTERROGATION RESISTANCE--Archer's secrets of `mental preparation.'
65.) ESCAPE AND EVASION--Getting caught, while not exactly something a spy should aim for, presents a challenge to escape and, thus, the opportunity to rub your awesomeness in the face of the enemy.
67.) WILDERNESS SURVIVAL--Only accept jobs involving 5-star resorts.
69.) COBRAS--The reason Archer wrote the book's other 29,999 words, fulfilling HarperCollins' word-count quota.

-------SECTION TWO: HOW TO DRINK -- Archer explains the difference between a martini and not-a-martini.

73.) COCKTAIL RECIPES--Because the `most interesting man in the world' doesn't always drink beer, Archer generously shares recipes for: Bellini, Bloody Mary, Brandy Alexander, Caipirinha, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, French 75, Gibson, Gimlet, Green Russian, Gummi Roy, Long Island Iced Tea, Mai Tai, Manhattan, Martini, Mint Julep, Mojito, Molotov Cocktail, Moscow Mule, Negroni, Peppermint Patty, Pimm's Cup, Pink Lady, Pisco Sour, Pruno, Sidecar, Singapore Sling, Sloe Gin Fizz, Tom Collins, and Whiskey Sour. [Note for garnish: all of the above must be prepared by a bartender, valet, midlevel diplomat, or woman]

-------SECTION THREE: HOW TO STYLE

95.) VALETS--Using Woodhouse as a reference, Archer cites the difference between a butler and a valet.
99.) CLOTHES--The necessities: Bespoke tailors, suits, formal wear, shirts, neckties, and accessories.
105.) SHOES--Make sure they're Italian.
109.) PERSONAL GROOMING--Topics to consider: hair, bathing, fragrance, nails, and shaving.
113.) PHYSICAL FITNESS--Do whatever it takes to look like Adonis (who modeled his looks after Archer).

-------SECTION FOUR: HOW TO DINE

119.) DINING OUT--Get a good table.
123.) DINING IN--Why you need a valet.
125.) RECIPES--Woodhouse's morning burden: Eggs Woodhouse, Creamed Spinach, Béchamel, Hollandaise, and Poached Eggs.

-------SECTION FIVE: HOW TO WOMEN -- Archer first notes the meager odds of someone who is willing to read this book ever scoring women.

133.) AMATEURS--Keep your eyes peeled for freebies. Sterling also offers a multi-lingual list of pickup lines.
137.) FOR THE LADIES--How to improve your chances with Archer.
139.) PROFESSIONALS--A (usually) surefire way to make sure she leaves.
143.) THE ARCHER SUTRA--Demonstrating the importance of a hefty production budget.

-------SECTION 6: HOW TO PAY FOR IT -- If you plan to take any of Archer's aforementioned advice, you'd be wise to pay attention here.

149.) PERSONAL FINANCE-- 1 + 1 = 2 ... embezzle ... 1 + 1 = doesn't matter, Cyril will figure it out.

153.) APPENDIX A: Maps--A connoisseur's guide to Phuket's (Thailand) greatest attractions.
157.) APPENDIX B: First Aid--(doesn't include candy or Zima)
159.) APPENDIX C: Archer's World FactBook--Archer briefs potential spies with need-to-know information on: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Côte D'Ivoire, The Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, The Gambia, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Romania, Somalia, Sweden, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay, Vatican City, The Western Sahara, Xylophonia, Yemen, and Zaire.

165.) AFTERWORD--Archer takes care of anyone on the fence with buyer's remorse.
167.) ACKNOWLEDGMENTS--A `thank you' to the underlings.
169.) SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
171.) ABOUT THE AUTHOR--As if there was anything left to say... cobra.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 239 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written
$16.99 $9.60
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.