Gary's Guide to Life tells the story of Gary Speedwell, who is writing what he is convinced will be a best-selling self-help book despite his own conspicuous lack of success.
Most people would give anything to be as successful as Gary imagines he's going to be. In his book, Gary aims to put that dream within your reach by unveiling the strategies that are going to lift him out of ordinariness and set him – and you – on course for phenomenal success.
Conventional wisdom holds that only people who have attained some measure of success are qualified to write self-help books, but Gary begs to differ. Brimming with self-belief despite mounting debt, tricky personal relationships and a life seemingly spiralling out of control, Gary is a self-help expert like no other.
Wanna-be self-help guru Gary Speedwell is going to be a success. At least, that’s the plan, and by following his own set of motivational strategies (inspired by personal-development authority Marshall Brewster), there’s no stopping him. Or at least, there won’t be if he can get things sorted out with ex-wife Kim and his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend Sandra. All he needs is to hook up with a powerful business-minded woman like Louise, and everything’ll be hunky dory.
With its subtitle: ‘How I Am Going to Achieve Phenomenal Success, and How You Can Do the Same’, this is a wonderfully witty and at times utterly hilarious take on all those worthy self-help guides that clog the relationships, counselling and psychology-themed shelves of our bookstores.
Gary’s Guide to Life is a very readable book, dishing up advice and strategies for improving everything from business meetings to getting to first base with your hoped-for love interest. Each strategy comes with examples from Gary’s own life, tinged, as many of them are, with naivety, enthusiasm and occasionally, moronic self-belief.
Michael Nabavian and Phil Wall are what we Brits like to call ‘Comedy Gold’ and if the pair don’t get their own sitcom in the near future, I’ll be highly surprised. If you like a laugh and a good story into the bargain, this one’ll fit bill very nicely.
Hilarious in its complete embrace of faith-over-substance approach to success and wealth, Gary’s Guide to Life will have readers cringing and laughing at this witty sendup of the Self-Help aisle. If you’re a fan of Dr. Phil types and take your self-help gurus seriously, you might not appreciate this rollicking satire. For everyone else, you’ll want to step in and give Gary a good shake for being so very blind to what’s blatantly obvious to the reader, but you’ll also root for him to succeed at being successful because he is so endearingly naive.