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How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself Paperback – August 7, 2012
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"I went into college armed only with a trash bag used as luggage, a boom box held together with duct tape, and a battered 1965 Chevy. I so needed this guide back then. I am jealous of people who have it now."
"Suck it, Proust. This book about stuff is much better than those things you wrote."
"You may have read every college guidebook on the market, but it's pretty much guaranteed that none of them will tell you the things you really need to know about university life -- like how to survive a hangover, and how to make tacos. How To Be A Person, written by Lindy West, Dan Savage, Christopher Frizzelle, and Bethany Jean Clement, will give you advice on everything you were too embarrassed to ask about."
The Huffington Post
"From the writers and editors of The Stranger comes a true, real-life guide to conquering life on your own, covering a range of topics (such as majors to avoid, how to do laundry and everything you need to know about philosophy in a single paragraph) with no-holds-barred realism."
"Don't be fooled by the bitingly funny humor. This guide teaches simple tasks like how to wash socks, make tacos and not commit a heinous mistake on an English paper as well as how to face complicated situations such as deciding whether to experiment with illegal drugs, choosing an area of the United States to call home or coming out of the closet. Reassuring, practical and thorough, How to Be a Person is perfect for any recent high school or college graduate."
"It could become an underground Bible for all incoming freshmen..."
New York Post
"This brand-spanking-new book gives funny, no-bullshit advice on the full gamut of college life, from making friends and getting along with roommates to sex, drugs, politics, and, you know, learning stuff about stuff so that you can get a job and hopefully not have to move back home and work at the car wash and ask all the neighborhood high school kids, 'hey, guys, where’s the cool parties this weekend?'"
"…just as you should not read this book if you already know how to be a person, you probably should read it if you don't. There are quite a few things in here that most college grads surely wish they'd realized at 18. …Really, this is a great book for someone who knows how to be a person to buy for someone who doesn't."
"…may just be the first essential guide to university life since Animal House."
The Snipe News
"The all-purpose guide to your formative years, or, should you come to this later, reformative years. …if you take to Savage Love's sass-with-a-conscience, you'll find no better one-stop guide to … well, life itself."
"How To Be A Person should become required reading for anyone entering into the realm of academia or even just leaving home for the first time. There’s a lot of value even for those that have been away at school for a few years as well. Reading the knowledge contained within this book might even convince you that you’re looking forward to the return of classes."
"This book is immensely readable. I found myself reading it at work, at dinner, even while driving (kidding) It begs to be picked up and read in the little cracks of the day where nothing is really happening. …It is chock-full of advice on sexual confusion, drunken escapades, infidelity, and double standards. The college population would feel a lot more enlightened, and get laid a hell of a lot more, if they listened to Savage. For that alone, you should get this book."
The Campus Companion
"Being no-nonsense is a way of life at The Stranger, and How to Be a Person reflects that. The book is divided into sections like 'Different Sexual Positions You Need to Try in College' and 'How (Not) to Be a Foodie', and gives straightforward information plainly and with humour. It’s useful and hilarious."
“'How To Be A Person'” has a lot of salient advice for the college and post-college population, from proper drinking advice and realistic advice about drugs to balancing a budget (in the guise of looking at the advice the Bible gives) and doing laundry. It’s all realistic and sometimes quite poignant; the passages on 'What No One Else Will Tell You About Heartbreak and Death' sum up the latter topic in two paragraphs, but they’re two of the most clear-cut and truthful sentences I’ve ever read. To me, it seems that 'How To Be A Person' is vital reading for anyone college-aged who needs a jumpstart in their lives. It’s a fast read, and it’s snappy and frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious. At the very least, it’s one of the most realistic advice books on the market for today’s 20-somethings."
The Daily Campus
"Don’t be fooled by the title. How To Be A Person: The Stranger’s Guide To College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos And Life Itself is not a college guide at all, but rather a guide to being a cool human being while attending school. …this humorous collection that addresses everything from how to handle drugs to how to write well."
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Top Customer Reviews
It's funny in parts, but funny in the way an unexpectedly loud fart or the "Harold and Kumar" movies are funny. No depth, no real insight, nothing particularly distinctive that you can't read about elsewhere. After reading it - which takes about an hour - I was surprised that the authors were so experienced in the field because the writing is so juvenile: lots of words in all-caps, gratuitous swearing and slang. Maybe they were trying to show they are still hip to the college vibe, playing to their audience and such, but it comes off as rather desperate.
You want to know more about sex, buy "The Guide to Getting It On." You want serious insight into the modern college experience, read something by Alexandra Robbins. This book is for when you want to giggle and roll your eyes at advice like "If you see someone overdosing, call 911" and "Sort your laundry," interspersed with the occasional far-left rant and banal dissertations on gay, lesbian, and transgender lifestyles. Don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed.
How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself is a practical guide to life for recent high school graduates, with some emphasis those bound for college. That isn't to say that adults won't also enjoy the how-to's, anecdotes, life-lessons, and advice the book provides. For those of us who are older, it facilitates reflection, understanding, and perhaps allows a filling-in of holes in our lives. For the parent, even (especially) the conservative one, "How to Be a Person" can shed some light on some of the obstacles, down-sides, and moments of judgement that your aging teen will probably encounter in the coming years. Or, if there are some subjects you're just uncomfortable discussing with them, this book will do it.
In "How to Be a Person"'s chapter "How to Write Good," contributor Christopher Frizzelle says, "Don't use clichés." I'm gonna use one. You can't judge a book by its cover. Despite looking like a tongue-and-cheek guide filled with satire and misinformation, at its core, there is warmth, deepness, encouragement, and all around sound facts and advice. Yes, there is a liberal sort of "live free" tone expressed by the authors, but many red flag moments that a young adult may encounter are handled appropriately. Do not smoke crack/meth, shoot heroin, snort coke, how to practice safe sex, how to prevent and look out for rape.Read more ›
Chapter 6 is the Q&A advice section, which I found a bit dry as it's dealing with some individual cases.
My own days as a college freshman are a decade behind me, but I still have a number of relatives and oblivious freshmen who I though might benefit from a book like this. And while there are a few good parts in this book, overall the ratio of solid material to filler is just a little too low for me to gift copies to the oblivious in my life.
The biggest problem I find is that the book's attempts at humor often overshadow the chance to give solid information in a humorous way. For example, the book begins with a 'what you need to know about college' section, which includes a breakdown of different majors and cultural differences you might encounter when you're meeting people from across the country. The problem is there's a joke/truth ratio of about 95/5, and the jokes aren't that funny. So the book neither entertains nor informs.
The best parts of the book are like the above mentioned 'why you're a feminist' sections, which can be humorous while still focusing on being informative. Similarly, sections like 'how to do laundry' are an important thing for newly independent adults to learn, and this book gives a solid rundown, while remaining entertaining.
Another large part of this book is a selection of 'Savage Love' articles, curated to apply to college student problems. How you feel about this will really depend on your opinion of Dan Savage, but I doubt you're even contemplating buying a book that has Savage's name boldly across the cover if you don't like the man.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Purchased as a gift for my 17 year old nephew. It covers (bluntly and in detail) all the things you DON'T want to talk to your kid about, but you are fairly sure they need to know.Published 1 month ago by Thomas Stephan
A few bits of decent, funny advice, but not a compelling book overall.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Bought for my daughter leaving for college and she loved it! Funny and has some really good advice.Published 3 months ago by Casy
I bought this as a graduation gift for my nephew, he absolutely loved it. It's a funny read that hits some very important topics. A must have for young adults.Published 7 months ago by crystal porter
Its ok. It was a very quick read and had a few funny lines here and there. Don't take this as actual advice though, it is supposed to be funny not entirely true.Published 11 months ago by Spencer P.
Pathetic, shallow and bigoted individual. To be a 'feminist' means to have prejudice against men just because they are men. Read morePublished 11 months ago by amazon customer
I was encouraged and excited by the subject matter the authors chose to undertake. Unfortunately, the book is delivered in a juvenile and shallow style and lacking in thoughtful,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by cook
This book would be a great graduation gift. My son actually asked me to buy it for him and I'm glad I did. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Suzanne Lindemann
This book was funny in parts. In some parts it was a bit informative, though maybe I'm past the target age range because a lot of it seemed pretty basic (I have been doing my... Read morePublished on January 20, 2014 by AppleADay