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Book review: Parsnips, buttered

Parsnips Buttered(Parsinps, Buttered. Bamboozle & boycott modern life, one email at a time. Joe Lycett, Hodder & Stoughton, 2016). I am partial to a buttered parsnip. But I wouldn’t eat a whole plate at once. And that is probably my mistake in reading Joe Lycett’s book in a single sitting. It is clearly designed for dipping into and I am sure it works well in that respect. Read in a single sitting it just becomes a bit much. Although there are worse ways to while away the hours waiting to board a flight.

The book is structured around a series of short ‘How to…’ chapters. Such as ‘How to behave in the office’ and ‘How to improve the railways’. However, it would be unwise to use the advice offered as the basis for actual action. Because, If anything, the author’s surreal approach is channeling the spirt of Henry Root.

If there is a business lesson to take away from the book, then it might be that the best way to deal with a vexatious emailer is to take it in good humour and play them at their own game. Indeed, when Joe Lycett took on a casino the hilarious response from the manager more than trumped his own efforts. And you do have to give full marks to the author for acknowledging this.

Overall then this book amuses. But if it’s business advice you are looking for then these fine words actually butter no parsnips. Having said that, I suspect Lycett himself would agree..he says himself ‘this is a comedy ook and solves nothing’.

Read this book if:

  • You need a little bit of light humour in your life
  • You work alone and miss the office banter!

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