How to Be a Husband

Tim Dowling

You’ll never get divorced if you never get married. Not even your granny minds if you live in sin anymore. And if you’re single you can choose curtains without somebody else butting in. So why bother with marriage? It can’t just be an easy way round having to buy your own deodorant.

Guardian columnist Tim Dowling is a husband of some twenty years. His marriage is resounding proof that even the most impossible partnership can work out for the best. Some of the time.

So while this book is called ‘How To be a Husband’, it’s not really a how-to guide at all. Nor is it a compendium of petty remarks and brinkmanship – although it contains plenty of both. You may pick up a few DIY hints. You might learn that while marriage is founded on love, it endures through bloody hard work. Most likely it will make you whimper with the laughter of painful recognition.

‘How To be a Husband’ is a cautionary tale about throwing caution to the wind. It’s the strange romance of two people consenting to share a roll-on. It’s a new manifesto for marriage and an answer to why, even when we suck at it, we stick at it.

Reviews of How to Be a Husband

  • ‘You’ll whoosh through this book with cheery hoots of laughter… Dowling’s a very fresh and smart writer… There’s a proper laugh every couple of pages… But as well as being funny, which he has to be, Dowling is sometimes plangent… and he is more often than not wise… there’s pleasure and treasure here’ Sam Leith, Guardian

    ‘There’s no denying [HOW TO BE A HUSBAND’ss] enormous readability … Dowling’s frequently hilarious Bildungsroman, detailing his evolution from feckless layabout to equally feckless husband and father, offers wisdom, insight and laugh-out-loud one-liners in equal measure … Gloriously entertaining’ Alexander Larman, Observer

    ‘This isn’t a self-help book … What [Dowling] has done, effectively, is invent an entirely new genre in literature: that of the self-hinder book … A rare delight.’ Spectator

    ‘Less a self-help than a self-hinder book, the Guardian columnist’s account of how he has coped with the challenges of matrimony (answer: badly) should really be called How Not To Be a Husband.’ Thomas Hodgkinson, Spectator, Books of the Year

    ’A charming book that claims erroneously, not to be a self-help guide. I’ve read it. My wife has read it. Divorce has been postponed, at least to Boxing Day.’ Sunday Times, Books of the Year

    ‘A charming book’ Sunday Times