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Being Anti-Social Paperback – May 19, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Hilariously funny! The stories of several people are expertly woven into one with the narrator's story keeping everything centred. It's different enough not to be predictable and the main character's quirkiness is the main attraction of the book. This a great book for relaxing after a stressful day. -- Joana James for Readers Favorite

About the Author

Leigh K Cunningham is a lawyer with a career as a senior executive for a number of public companies in her home country of Australia. She has master's degrees in law (Master of International Trade & Investment Law) and commerce (Master of Commerce) as well as an MBA (International Management). 
BEING ANTI-SOCIAL, Leigh's latest title (May 2012) won gold at the 2012 Readers Favorite book awards in the Chick Lit category,, and was #1 in Comic Fiction on Amazon's bestseller list. 
RAIN, Leigh's first title for the adult fiction market (April 2011) was named the winner in the Literary Fiction category at the 2011 Indie Excellence Awards. RAIN was also awarded a silver medal at the 2011 Independent Publisher Awards (IPPY) in the Regional Fiction: Australia/New Zealand category. RAIN was #1 on the Amazon bestseller list for Women's Fiction (December 2011).
Leigh's first two children's books, THE GLASS TABLE and its sequel, SHARDS are recipients of silver medals from the Mom's Choice Awards. SHARDS was also a finalist at the 2011 Indie Excellence Awards in the Juvenile Fiction category.  
Website: leighkcunningham.com Twitter: twitter.com/leighcunningham Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Leigh-K-Cunningham
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Vivante Publishing (May 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9810720939
  • ISBN-13: 978-9810720933
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,090,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Mccarty on June 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I usually don't like to write reviews,except for those books that aren't very well known and something I've stumbled across that I feel many others would enjoy. Often when I read a book, I'll put it down frequently because I have a low attention span or because it's too "scary" (even though I keep getting these "scary" books; don't know why. Probably need a therapist...) This was one of those rare books I had no trouble keeping in my hands. I had the opposite problem. Making myself put it down so I could get some work done. I loved the lead character, Mace. I loved her independence, her honesty, her quests for self-improvement. And most of all, for her humor. Mace quotes Oscar Wilde often and I enjoyed every reference. As a matter of fact, I may have a t-shirt made with one of the quotes.

I highly recommend this book to all readers that appreciate intelligence and humor in the written word; qualities sadly lacking in most modern fiction.
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Format: Paperback
Despite Being Anti-Social's cartoonish, pastel cover art I disagree with it being labeled as chick-lit. It lacks the light hearted approach to life and love that defines the genre and instead is a fairly serious minded analysis of character, though there are the occasional flashes of dry humor, mainly from well placed quotes by Oscar Wilde, who certainly has sage advice to offer for every occasion.

When Mace Evans is accused of being anti-social by her older sister she gives the complaint considerable thought. While she admits her idea of a good time is an evening spent alone with a bottle of merlot and a slab of chocolate on her couch, she resists the idea that she "unwilling or unable to associate in a normal or friendly way with other people". Over the course of a year or so, as Mace approaches forty unmarried and childless, she examines her past and present relationships in an effort to define herself.

Being Anti-Social is well written but I found it difficult to sustain interest in what is essentially a first person monologue. Perhaps if I had been able to identify with Mace it wouldn't have been such an issue but I found it difficult to like, or even understand her. She treats the people in her life carelessly, often with barely veiled contempt, and I thought her behaviour bordered on narcissistic, expecting family, friends, lovers and even colleagues to accommodate her personality 'quirks'. Though there are incidents that counter her selfishness, and some signs of growth, I didn't warm to her, which I think is crucial in such a character driven piece.

As I was unable to make that crucial connection with the main character, Being Anti-Social did not really work for me, despite the author's technical proficiency. However I do think this novel would find an audience amongst readers who can relate to Mace and her journey.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being Anti-Social, set in present-day Melbourne, Australia, is award-winning author Leigh K. Cunningham's second novel for adult readers. Because I thoroughly enjoyed her first, Rain, I looked forward to reading Being Anti-Social as soon as she published it. I wasn't disappointed.

Mace Evans is one of five children in her family, with two older brothers and two sisters, one older and one younger. She's 38 when the novel begins, and she's unmarried, childless, and "anti-social," according to her older and "unloved" sister, Shannon. She's also a severe disappointment to her mother. On the other hand, she respects and admires her younger sister and her brothers. She considers her father "cute, cuddly, lovable, and a beacon of life."

Despite her proud independence and desire to be left alone, Mace is also one of a group of five women who've been friends from their high school days--but she admits she continues to like only one of them, Kimba, "the voice of reason."

Mace is "rather successful" in her "career as a finance executive," even though she tells us her co-workers consider her "unfriendly," "abrasive," and "offensive." On the other hand, she's kind to her secretary and secretly enjoys the fights her peers so frequently engage in.

The novel begins with Mace's admission of the crucial mistake she made in her life. She fell in love with Ben, married him, and remained in love with her "perfect husband" to the end of his short life. (He's dead from leukemia when the novel begins.) And yet she caused their separation and divorce by embarking upon an affair with another man, Joshua, who was "a star when it came to bedroom achievements." After Mace ended the affair, Joshua vengefully told Ben about it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
People are the worst and sometimes (or most of the time) it's better to spend time alone. Being Anti-Social by Leigh Cunningham explores one woman's experience with her friends and family and her anti-social perspective.

Mace is one of five children and she adheres to the thought that middle children have particular personality traits that drive their behavior. When her older sister calls her anti-social, this affects her psyche and drives her to act antagonistically toward her sister. Nearing 40, Mace has had some upsets in her life in the affair she had while married and the death of her husband after their separation. Getting her life back to the level it was before all this occurred seems impossible but her friends and family attempt to help her regardless of what she wants.

While the specific setting of a story isn't always vital to the narrative, bringing clarity to it ought to be done in an effective manner so as to not shock readers. I was unaware it was Australia due to lack of outside clues until the Mace brought it up in relation to the traveling she's done and then some of the linguistic choices made sense. While pegged as a humorous, chick-lit story, I found it to be neither of those things - with the majority of the humor coming from Oscar Wilde quotations - and instead a relatively serious introspection into the psyche of Mace's life and grief, sprinkled with a conservative amount of levity through some of Mace's observations.

Overall, I'd give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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