From Publishers Weekly
Wallace, a freelance radio producer for the BBC in London, takes three simple words uttered by a stranger on a bus-"say yes more"-as a challenge and says "yes" to everything for a year. He says "yes" to pamphleteers on the street, the credit card offers stuffing his mailbox and solicitations on the Internet. He attends meetings with a group that believes aliens built the pyramids in Egypt, says "yes" to every invitation to go out on the town and furthers his career by saying "yes" in meetings with executives. The potential for enlightenment and insight into the human condition abounds, yet Wallace doesn't dig deep. Mostly, he covers his relationships with his male friends and former and current girlfriends. While the writing is lively enough-arch and full of colorful British slang-the minutiae of Wallace's world won't fascinate readers as much as it seems to fascinate him. The book is culled from his diary, and it shows: the text is crammed with casual observations and mundane details of everyday life. It meanders through the year, shapeless and slack. Still, Wallace raises an interesting question-if you said "yes" to everything, would you be prepared to deal with the outcome?
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Following up his charmingly offbeat Join Me
(2004), in which he inadvertently started a cult, Wallace recounts his year as perhaps the world's most foolishly agreeable person. Lost in the doldrums (for a variety of reasons), Wallace, a British journalist and comedian, realized he was closing himself off from the world. He was turning down invitations, manufacturing wild excuses to get out of having fun. Then came a chance meeting with a stranger who advised, "Say yes more." So Wallace did, embarking on a year-long odyssey of eccentric discoveries, unexpected delights, and a few unsettling experiences. Wallace is an agreeable storyteller, not afraid of presenting himself in an unflattering light (especially if he can make us laugh). If this were a novel, we would probably shake our heads and call it ridiculous. But it's all true (saying yes really did lead to the author's winning $48,000), and it's thoroughly entertaining. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved