REVIEW: 488 Rules for Life by Kitty Flanagan

In brief: The most comprehensive rules for almost any occasion you’ve ever thought of (and then some).

The good: Very funny and very true.

The not-so-good: Page 297.

Why I chose it: It was in the shops and I was laughing at random pages.

Year: 2019

Pages: 304

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Rating: 9 out of 10

I must admit to not being much of a TV watcher, so I didn’t know that 488 Rules for Life was originally part of The Weekly television show. While we are talking about confessions, I didn’t know that this book was a send up of 12 Rules for Life until I saw the book in a catalogue and thought it looked like Kitty’s. Oops. I did read a few pages of this book in store and found it quite funny, so it was a nice surprise to find it as one of my Christmas presents. It’s a light and humorous book poking fun at human behaviour across a range of situations. As Kitty says, the number of rules might seem excessive but once you start reading you could find yourself thinking that some rules really should be better known.

The great thing about having hundreds of rules is that there is one for nearly every situation a person may come across and then some. The book is helpfully divided into sections of home, office, travel, sport etc. Some parts were far more relevant (and funny) to me. I think there is definitely some merit beyond the humour for the movies section in particular. I agree with Kitty in that there is no way you can look at (or gasp, answer) your mobile phone in the middle of a movie without sending out a giant searchlight ray from around your hands across the theatre. Definitely not one to do for great movies (although if you do it during Ad Astra like I did, all that happens it you wake some people up). The language part was also particularly funny, particularly if you’ve ever had to Google what the latest slang meant. (Unfortunately I can’t use the term poncewobble here because I don’t have siblings to make up an amusing anecdote).

488 Rules for Life is a funny, light read. I feel it’s best picked up and read in smaller sections or some of the impact of the humour could be lost (particularly if you are reading in a nice place where minimal rules are being broken around you). Some of the parts will resonate more than others, depending on what you relate to in your life. Behind all the humour though, there are definitely some rules that need to be adopted by the mainstream! (I vote for the entire reality television section).

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: 488 Rules for Life by Kitty Flanagan

Add yours

  1. Like you, I’m reading this little by little, flagrantly ignoring one of the early rules about not reading in the bathroom! Or is that too much information?

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