Bullies, Bitches and Bastards

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Bullies, Bitches and Bastards - Eileen Condon, Amanda Edwards, book reviewBullies, Bitches and Bastards was a very cheap Kindle download which caught my eye recently. In retrospect I can’t think why I bought it – other than it was only 99 pence. I really do need to be a bit discriminating with my Kindle purchases because it’s a silly load of nonsense that shows just how risky it is letting people self publish.

I’m a lazy Kindle user and the probability of me reading anything is much higher if the title is at the start of the alphabet though I must admit the sheer size of Anna Karenina still has me flicking past that one each time I go to the index. Anyone considering publishing an Aardvark Almanac would be sure to get read if I’d downloaded it.

I fired up BB&B and was soon really irritated. The book kicks off with ‘bastards’ and slags off annoying boyfriends and husbands. Chapter two does the same for wives and girlfriends. The clichés are legion and it reads like one of those annoying cheesy articles you find in women’s articles – a sort of ‘How to spot your man is a dysfunctional control freak – loser – sociopath etc?’ Of course the names are not quite so simple. You’ll find ‘The Enormous Baby Boyfriend’ who likes lots of expensive toys and won’t grow up, ‘The Moody Bastard’, ‘the Man from Atlantis’ (he’s the one who disappears – it only makes sense if you remember Patrick Duffy in Dynasty or was it Dallas?), ‘The Snake Charmer’ who’s a complete control freak (think of the hypnotic python in the Disney version of The Jungle Book) and my personal favourite, the ‘I’m not your boyfriend’ boyfriend. As you can imagine the girlfriends are just as predictable – the one that cries all the time, the one that’s only after your money and of course the ball-breaker.

It’s probably only because I’m stubborn in a Magnus Magnusson “I’ve started so I’ll finish” sort of way that I stuck with BB&B and kept going. Much to my surprise it improved once it moved on from the minefield of romantic relationships. Chapter three on bosses and colleagues offered some shockingly insightful revelations about office characters that many people will recognise without too much trouble. The ‘Beelzeboss’ who undermines and bullies her staff was one I recognised (though mine have always been men rather than women) and I was particularly amused by the ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ who winds up her childless colleagues by ranting on about her pregnancy, birth and angel-child. I knew one of those by the name of Pauline who went from taking phone calls in the delivery room to writing thank you notes from her months old baby telling everyone what mummy and daddy had been up to. (Fingers down the throat). More worryingly the lazy subordinate who intimidates the boss into doing all his work by a ‘work to rule’ attitude was a wee bit too close for comfort.

Blood may be thicker than water but chapter four tackles annoying relatives including the controlling father, the ‘me-me’ mother and the ‘tox-in-law’. You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives – sadly chapter five suggests that we should be a bit more picky with some of our friends. There’s the one who rejoices in the misfortune of others, the bossy one, and the Mag Hag who lives her life according to what the women’s magazines tell her to do. Chapter six covers neighbours and local folk which leans a bit too much towards a model of country life that’s not quite like The Archers.

Each profile starts with a description of the character and his or her worst behaviour traits. Next you get a bit of ‘typical dialogue’ and a little scenario that illustrates the personality type. Then you get typical things the person is likely to say followed by mostly very silly advice on what you need to do to deal with this type of person. It’s all rather shallow and mildly amusing though riddled with lots of stereotypes and clichés. There are some good lines you might want to steal and that will make some people chuckle but quite a lot will make you groan and move on quickly. You can’t help but get the idea that the authors really don’t like the human race very much. Eventually the book ends with a quiz to see if you’ve been paying attention and can identify the different ‘gits’.

BB&B is a little light hearted romp through the people you’d prefer to keep away from but it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call it literature. It’s a book for people who don’t really like reading very much and can’t deal with whole pages of text without their minds wandering off. It’s easily digestible, light and insubstantial – a book to flick through rather than to sit down and think about. It’s the sort of book that you could give to someone you don’t know very well or like all that much as a little stocking filler. But if you’ve bought a Kindle because you actually LIKE books and love reading, you’re possibly rather over qualified to read Bullies, Bitches and Bastards.

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Buy book online
Buy book online
Bullies, Bitches and Bastards
by Eileen Condon, Amanda Edwards

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Written by koshkha
koshkha

Koshkha has a busy international job that gives her lots of time sitting on planes and in hotel rooms reading books. Despite averaging about 3 books a week, she probably has enough on her ‘to be read’ shelves to keep her going for a good few years and that still doesn’t stop her scouring the second hand books shops and boot-fairs of the land for more. At weekends she lives with her very lovely husband and three cats, but during the week she lives alone like a mad spinster aunt. She will read just about anything about or set in India, despises chick-lit, doesn’t ‘get’ sci fi and vampire ‘stuff’ and has just ordered a Kindle despite swearing blind that she never would.

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