With a sharp eye for the magnificently absurd, Rod Liddle sets light to modern-day Britain.
How did we get to be like this?
No previous generation has enjoyed the luxuries we take for granted today. But peace has made us complacent, freedom has made us irresponsible, affluence has made us acquisitive, comfort has made us neglectful of others, and security has made us tremulously insecure.
Unable to defer our gratification even for a moment, we want everything, and we want it right now – regardless of whether we can afford it or not. Our homes are viewed not as places to live in, but as ‘assets’ to generate money. Our collective civic decency has been replaced by a persistent, resentful sense of victimhood. Sedated by a dumbed-down popular culture, we are bullied by a tiny, unrepresentative elite of privileged metropolitan bien pensants, and afflicted by imaginary illnesses (Morgellons, anyone?).
What is it that has transformed the British – who in living memory were admired for their unassuming, stiff-upper-lipped capacity for ‘muddling through’ – into the feckless, obese, self-deluding, avaricious and self-obsessed whingers we have become?
Savagely funny and relentlessly contrary, yet with a poignant sense of all that we have lost, Rod Liddle mercilessly exposes the absurdity, cant and humbuggery of the way we live now.
Reviews of Selfish Whining Monkeys: How we Ended Up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy
- ‘”Selfish, Whining Monkeys” more than justifies Liddle’s status as one of Britain’s funniest, most daring columnists. If he weren’t so offensive you’d almost call him a national treasure’ James Delingpole, Mail on Sunday, ****
- ‘Readers will probably know in advance if they are going to enjoy or be offended by Rod Liddle’s new book. Liddle is, by some margin, Britain’s most prolific pundit … His loyal readers will love it’ Evening Standard
- ‘Liddle lured me in with his riotously entertaining take on everything from attitudes towards obesity to what he calls our “respec” culture. He’s admirably self-deprecating and happy to take his share of the blame for the problems he identifies’ Matt Cain, Independent
- ‘The best way to read the Liddle book is as a self-loathing joke’ Julie Burchill, Spectator
- ‘There’s much to enjoy in this book: Liddle’s heart is indeed in the right place when it comes to the poxes of neoliberalism, democratic emasculation, commodity fetishism and globalisation on our body politic’ Will Self, Guardian
- ‘Filled with his trademark dry and self-hating wit, I would recommend even Rod-sceptics read his book; although sometimes called a contrarian, all his arguments are reasoned and reasonable and it’s not your standard country-gone-to-the-dogs polemic. Far from being nostalgic, the society he describes us leaving behind sounds depressing and cruel at times, although filled with a certain Viz-like British humour’ New Statesman
- ‘If you haven’t heard quite enough yet this summer about middle-aged, middle-class, straight, white men and how they are so badly done by in Broken Britain, then this is the book for you’ Independent, The Hot List
- ‘Liddle has much to be happily unhappy about; he is after all a man whose anger is in tune with the distemper of the times. He believes — as do many of our countrymen and women — that this is a bad moment in our nation’s history, and that things are getting worse. His book should sell’ David Aaronovitch, The Times