Saturday, July 22, 2006

Life in Toby-land

Toby Young has terrible instincts. Scratch that, make that utterly terrible instincts. But his shortcomings make for a fun, albeit rather pedestrian, follow-up to his "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People".

While not as good or sharp as his first memoir, "The Sound of No Hands Clapping" takes a further look at life in Toby-land. In this world, the reader winces a great deal at the protagonist's ordeals. Moving beyond the world of "People" and Vanity Fair, it focuses on the next chapter of his life, where he is wooed by a Hollywood mogul, tries his hand in the world of theater and the birth of his firstborn.

While a great more fractured than his first effort -- I would have liked to see more about his experiences in Hollywood, or at least focus on one of these three endeavors -- it's a good, harmless read and a typical sophomore effort from a writer. It's not too disappointing, but bound to be forgotten after the publicity tour runs its course.

Unless you're a big fan of wincing.

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