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How to Ruin Your Life

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  269 ratings  ·  31 reviews
This book is a collection of Ben Stein’s “How To Ruin” Series: · How to Ruin Your Life · How to Ruin Your Love Life · How to Ruin Your Financial Life These books will not only make you laugh out loud, they will allow you to honestly assess your life. Learn from these books—and for heaven’s sake, do the opposite right now!
Hardcover, 110 pages
Published September 29th 2002 by Hay House
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This is cute. I like Ben Stein's sarcastic humor despite the execrable documentary Expelled. Mr. Stein notes 35 tips on how to be a failure, all of them common sense. Yet, as a social worker, I know common sense is not as common as it sounds. Of course, one way to ruin your life (my tip, not Mr. Stein's) is to never read. So the ones who need this book will never read it. Such is life.

Since Mr. Stein's tips are a bit common sense and all-encompassing, I decided to impart my own wisdom (using Ste
Joe Juarez
You've been in my house for a long time, why didn't I read you sooner?

And it's a good thing I did. Ben Stein has done himself a great deal by writing a book about how the selfish could get their way (which some people - one I am thinking about now - do).

I know this book is meant as a joke. But really, what person would follow this 35 chapters of self-destruction? I think I answered that question above.

But for anyone that was warned about their selfishness, this book is highly recommended. It ma
I went through a Ben Stein phase where he and I used to email back and forth. He came here to give a speech and I left my copy of "Tommy and Me" he had previously sent me in the car so my sister bought this for me so I'd have something to get signed.

This book is a quick read and it really is good advice, BUT it is all given sarcastically and I tend to not like sarcastic humor, and am finding I don't like sarcastic advice either through this book and also through another one I have going called "
Mar 29, 2009 Shelleen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone needing a reminder that they are not all important, teenagers in my ward
After reading the first ten pages, I was ready to give this book 5 stars. It is self-help in reverse. It is how to self-destruct and not be successful. He gived 35 steps to ruin your life. But in the end, I think it boiled down to step number 3 Convince yourself that you are the center of the universe. All his other steps refer to this one and makeing sure you do not think about anyone else but yourself.
Kim Lindsay
I liked the tongue-in-cheek prose, but I felt like it would have been better as a 50-page book.
Overall I found it humorous and a decent read.

I think the idea could've been better utilized in an allegory or fable-style fashion with more cautionary tales, rather than a series of sardonic one-liners, but I still found it amusing.

I took one star off at the end due to the knock at vegans & agnostics/atheists. While it's never good form to slam your political, religious, & idealist opinions in a holier-than though attitude, I felt Ben was ironically doing this by dogging these viewpoint
I've liked Ben Stein's style since the highly underrated game show Win Ben Stein's Money. This was great for a laugh and had some valuable and appropriate points laid out in an entertaining, slightly hyperbolized truth.
Jen Jenson
This was an obnoxious book. Ok, so I giggled a few times at first but really it was negative. I know it’s a plan to ruin your life, and that it is. I figured it would be written slightly different. I was annoyed the whole way through, but it was so short that I just finished it. Sad thing is there are many many people that I know that this book described to a T, and perhaps this book might be beneficial to them a) might give them an eye opener… or b) make them even worse. I don’t recommend this ...more
A very good, sarcastic guide to the attitudes and behaviors so often associated with ruined lives. This is an excellent book and deserves a wide readership. Read and learn.
Leigh Ann Wilson, Ph.D.
This book is such a fun read, particularly if you like Ben Stein's dry humor. If you know his seedy past of drug addiction and how he overcame it, this little book is even more meaningful; you are reading advice from someone who *knows* what it's like to be down. Plus he's adamantly pro-life and conservative, which ordinarily would cause me to hesitate before reading anything he's done for fear of moral damnation. :)

This book would also be a neat little gift for teenagers or young adults heading

Just what I needed after a few heavy-reads.
I am thinking about passing this to at least 2 people I know very closely. Then again, it might backfire and "ruin my life" LOL

I wish there was a post-millennium version of the series so that the "methods" could include:
1-Mindless social networking
2-Getting in grave-debt for stuff you don't need
3-Voting for the Conservatives
Joshua Woodbury
This short self help book aims to teach the secret to happiness by demonstrating conduct certain to lead to loneliness, conflict, and unhappiness. I would have lost interest had the book been lengthy, but it is very short, and chapters like convince yourself you are the center of the universe, fight the good fight over everything, and criticize early and often, made it worthwhile.
Mickey Reed
Ben Stein's reverse-psychology self-help book is hysterically spot-on. Taking this from the opposite point of view really makes the reader pay attention and perhaps even see more clearly their own behavior. Very interesting take. I do believe that a bunch of people in my own life need to read this one. Goodness! Exactly how I've been feeling lately.
P.M. Bradshaw
I really like Ben Stein. This book, however, was just okay.

Stein's sarcastic delivery is very funny, particularly if you can hear his voice in your head as you read it. But the premise is kind of a one-trick-pony, and wears thin even at only 110 pages.

It's worth few chuckles and 45 minutes of your life, but not much more than that.
Stephen B
This is maybe one of the worst books I've ever read, while stein has good delivery for his trademark tone this book becomes repetitive very quickly. Stein Espouses obvious advice like "Don't save any money." Yes, thank you, I know things like saving money and being nice to people are important. Duh.
Daniel Currie
I listened to the 1CD audiobook version of this book.

Ben intends to tell you what to do thru telling you what not to do, hence the title.

Even at 1CD, it gets tiresome listening to him tell you all the stupid things to do to ruin your life. There are a few funny moments, but not nearly enough.
It is a very short book, listed all the possible things a person can do to ruin his/her life. Many of the points are already common senses to many people including myself, but there are a few that remind me that I sometimes also do things that can ruin life, which I should be aware of and avoid.
This book is just gushing with quality advise like, "Make the people around you feel small" and "Don't save any money" and other gems like, "Remember that no one else counts".

This is just a little tongue n cheek look at how people go about causing themselves a lot of trouble in life.
Ben Stein's wit is outrageous and fun. The book also had tons of excellent advice. The only thing that got tiresome after a while was that all of the advice was given in the form of sarcasm.
While Ben meant for this to be a work of satire, unfortunately people really do follow his plan to ruin one's live and behave in the manners suggested in this book.
Kristi Willard
Graduate from high school, don't have children before you're married, and stay married. These are the three keys to staying above the poverty line. Who knew?
Jason Shuttlesworth
Straight-forward short guide on how to not achieve success in Life. It's like the anti-self help book and point on accurate.
I've always enjoyed Ben's style of humorous. This little "guide book" would be good for a few people I know! lol
Jeremy Brown
I love Ben Stein, but the jokes in this book wore off fast. I expected more to the book both in size and content.
This book started off very well, but it got repetitive which made finishing it a bit of a chore.
Straightforward, to the point, true, and completely hysterical. :-)
Cory Kerr
Really good quick read of what to do to be miserable.
Erika Batey
Dry, Witty, and Hilarious - (like Ben)
this is kind of a fun book :)
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Jewish-American economic and political commentator, writer, actor and attorney. He gained early success as a speechwriter for American presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Later he entered the entertainment field and became an Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian, and game show host. He is famous for his monotonous yet humorous voice in acting.

Stein has frequently written commentaries on econom
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