Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Book review from Tidd

The Little Guide To Unhip

by Kate Rigby

You'll never have so much fun disagreeing with an author. And that's really the point with Kate Rigby's "Little Guide To Unhip" : she has assembled a highly subjective hotch-potch of clothing, pop stars, TV shows, cultural icons, social situations, food, pets, and various other phenomena, and rated them on an 'unhip scale'. They're all personal choices, and as she admits at the end, "you may disagree on some of my inclusions".

I disagreed with her very first choice! Gilbert O'Sullivan, whatever else he fell into, did have one of the great, era-defining songs, "Nothing Rhymed", after which I can forgive him anything. Now if she'd said Leo Sayer ... but wait ... read on, perhaps she does? 

Rigby writes with wit and dash, and more than a little personal reminiscence. You get the distinct impression that she has lived through, even suffered, each of the unhip manifestations she describes. She also writes with a great deal of affection for her subjects; clearly "unhip" does not mean "terminally awful", but simply "something she may (or may not) enjoy but doesn't rush to put on Facebook".

She deviates very briefly from the blueprint : can religious organisations be rated on a hipness scale? I'm not sure they can.  However, you will laugh out loud as you read through this short, undemanding yet comically rewarding book. 

One final thing - why the "unhip" of the title, why not "uncool"? This is part of the joke, as Rigby has used a term that is in itself "unhip" in these oh-so-cool days. 

Thoroughly recommended.

(please note : the link behind the title takes you to the book's listing on Amazon)


  1. Great, quirky review of great and quirky book! :D

  2. I really enjoyed the review TiddK.
    I really need to read this. I'm trying, honestly and there are so many fantastic reviews everywhere.It's on my To Do list.
    Tee Eye of Erasmus

  3. Many thanks for the review of my book, Tidd! Very much appreciated. Sorry to be slow on posting a thank you comment but then I'm a bit slow when it comes to finding my way around sometimes! :O