Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “You Can Get Arrested For That” as Want to Read:
You Can Get Arrested For That
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

You Can Get Arrested For That

2.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  246 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
What started out as an innocent board game inspired Rich Smith to undertake a daring crime spree across the United States - a journey to break the dumbest American laws on the statute books.

In the Land of the Free, it is illegal to:

- Lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory (South Dakota)
- Play a trumpet with the intention of luring someone to a store (California)
- Cat
Published August 1st 2007 by Corgi (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about You Can Get Arrested For That, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about You Can Get Arrested For That

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 425)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 03, 2011 Danielle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One afternoon I thought to myself, "I should go to the library and get a book to read." So, I drove to the library in my car. I took my kids with me, so I had to buckle them into their carseats, and get the library books we were returning and put them in the car, too, so I did that and then we headed to the library. When we got there, there were a lot of other people there, too. They were looking at books, and some were checking them out to take home. I found this book and thought it looked funn ...more
Daniel Simmons
Dec 15, 2012 Daniel Simmons rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fun concept. Lousy execution. Lousier writing. A brief browse of would be more edifying, and probably more entertaining.
Mar 30, 2014 Erich rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
Maybe the tagline should have been 2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 awful book.

The premise of the book is great, look up all those crazy state ordinances like "It's illegal to tie a giraffe to a light pole" in Minnesota or "It's illegal to have oral sex in South Carolina" and then willfuly break them. Unfortunately this book only had the good premise and lacked in good writing and good follow through.

The author does no research on the origins of theses laws, only manages to break 18 of the absurd laws a
Mar 18, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up for inclusion in an upcoming book giveaway but thought it looked like a quick and entertaining read. It was. I always enjoy seeing stuff on dumb laws, so I found it interesting that someone would come to the US from the UK specifically to break a bunch of dumb laws. He made a valiant effort, although it is a good thing he only had to *hunt for* whales in Utah -- since he chose the Jordanelle Reservoir, which is a man-made lake to do it in, his chances of actually finding one wer ...more
Jul 28, 2007 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: humor
These guys are so funny. They find a bunch of absurd laws in several states, and then set out to go "break" them. These are the types of laws that have fallen by the wayside, that nobody pays attention to anymore but are still on the books. They indeed "break" many laws, but are a little disappointed when nobody seems to notice and don't get arrested. It was a fun read with a bit of travelogue.
May 11, 2009 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is what comes of having a snow day—you read lots of books and get a headache. I don’t know what I enjoyed more, learning about the dumb laws or reading about Rich’s attempts to break them. Also interesting were the impressions of two Brits traveling across America. I bet they’ll be more careful about which flags they display next time they’re in Chicago!
N. Wood
May 22, 2013 N. Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book from start to finish, and it's one that I like to read over again. Having never been to America, it was fun to see the kind of laws they have there that are lesser known there by Americans, and it was fun to read Rich and Bateman's adventures while breaking them.
Sep 17, 2013 Donny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After reaching the thirty-third page of this book, I realized that, despite the entertaining premise, I would not be finishing it, especially since I have any number of far more valuable books requiring attention. The prologue is promising, but the opening of the first chapter is disjointed and does not flow well into the rest of the book. The narrative is exaggerated and colloquial, and employs a sort of jocular humour that relies on references to popular culture that simply did not resonate wi ...more
Jul 11, 2008 Richard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a case and point regarding the problems of selling a book idea before a word of it has been written (or before the event that is supposed to inspire the book has even happened). Rich Smith recounts in this book the process of scoring the book deal itself, and the instant interest and publicity he got for the concept, regardless of the fact that he had nothing at that point than to suggest that he go to America and break ridiculous laws. Perhaps this was to show some of the general d ...more
Apr 19, 2011 Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought this book was going to be okay. At first the narrator's dry wit and humor reminded me of Will from the Inbetweeners. But as the book went on you could tell that the "crime spree" and the resulting book was the product of having signed the book deal before the author even stepped foot in America. The breaking point for me was the second time the narrator admitted a law he was breaking wasn't even an actual law (and I have serious doubts about most of the laws at issue in the bo ...more
Oct 21, 2009 Claire rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Baldwin
Dec 02, 2013 Mary Baldwin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There were a couple of moments where I laughed, a couple where I was genuinely engaged with the story.
... In a book almost 300 pages long; that's not exactly a rave review.

With a love of journalistic style, an interest in law, adventure and overseas culture (as well as a fully functioning sense of humour) I expected to enjoy this book. But it just didn't hit the mark. A sad fact as books based on stories like this, if done well, can be wonderful. A favourite example of mine is 'Around Ireland wi
Jeremy S
Jan 11, 2008 Jeremy S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Book is about two guys that find out dumb laws of different countries, including the U.S. In the book that main character is bored one day and somehow finds the dumb laws on line. Soon after that he goes to his friend and asks if he would like to go on a trip to the U.S and break the laws across the country (they live in London, by the way). After a little talk his friend decides to go. His buddy and him fly to America and go on a roadtrip to break the dumb, un-heard of laws of the U.S.

Dec 11, 2008 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This was hilarious! There are so many ridiculous laws out there and 2 Englishmen, Rich and Batemen set out to break a few. Their account of taking on the law had me laughing out loud and telling my family about their adventures! I actually borrowed the book from the library around 9 am and then returned it around 6 o'clock. I couldn't put it down! I was also excited to see they made a stop at my hometown, but their visit here was short. They did, however, break the law they set out to break! I e ...more
Connie N.
The original premise is clever--choose some of the obscure, crazy, and unbelievable laws that are still on the book in the U.S. and set out to break them, such as fishing in your pajamas or playing cards with a Native American. But the author and his friend are young 20-year-old guys who spent most of their time drunk or talking about getting drunk or breaking real regular laws. They seemed proud of the fact that Bateman got a speeding ticket and laughed about the fact that he wouldn't pay it. A ...more
It was just ok. It has a great premise; two guys from Britain cover over to the US to break as many of our dumb laws as they can. The problem is that they aren't very successful at breaking these laws and they seem to spend more time traveling than actually breaking laws. I'm pretty sure there are hundreds if not thousands of dumb (mostly outdated) laws to break. Someone should try this again.
Feb 13, 2008 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
This book is based on a great idea, but suffers horribly from a poor execution. It was kind of interesting to find out what those dumb laws were, but even that could not save me from losing interest before I got halfway through. You would think that this kind of trip should be a fail-proof recipe for a collection of amusing anecdotes, but from the sound of things Smith and Bateman had a really boring trip. Perhaps it was just that Smith's uninspired storytelling was enough to kill all of the hum ...more
I picked up this book for a light read over the Thanksgiving holiday. Yes, it was light, and even lighter on substance. Rich Smith and his friend Luke, whom he refers to as "Bateman," are two twenty-something Brits who use their dumb American lawbreaking spree across the U.S. as the premise for this book. Bateman (and I suspect Rich as well, though he's probably too embarrassed to admit it) has the personality of a badly behaved frat boy, with side trips to Hooter's and drunken blackouts promine ...more
Aug 01, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2009
I enjoyed it though I rarely laughed out loud. I am familiar with many of the cities mentioned in the book, even the smaller ones. I've actually been out to little tiny Globe, Arizona as it isn't far from where I lived in Mesa. Luke and Rich seems like guys I'd enjoy hanging out and having a few drinks with -- hopefully without breaking any laws! I was a little surprised at the small number of laws they attempted to break. I'm sure there are a great many more they could have along their travels, ...more
Linnea McGowan
Dec 01, 2007 Linnea McGowan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for:
I had high hopes for this book... what a FANTASTIC premise - two guys roaming around America breaking the long-forgotten ubsurd laws of yesteryear! HUZZAH! But sadly, the author and the co-pilot Bateman have very little personality and Rich lacks the verve necessary for excellent storytelling.

I think my favority thing about this book was finding out what the crazy laws were that are out there to be broken!

...sidenote: I only put this under adventuresabroad because THEY were on an adventure abro
Oct 07, 2013 Robin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad book. Fluffy. If Dent, Arthur Dent, had a chance to visit America without the benefit of cool Ford Prefect or his towel. Good for reading in airports or on the beach. Two and a half stars.

This book would have been greatly enhanced by the inclusion of some of the history behind the laws or interesting information about the cities they visited. As it is, Rich Smith writes mostly about rental cars and Hooters uniforms. There's only so much you can say about that. Even he doesn't sound esp
Feb 28, 2016 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thank God that is over. This guy is arrogant misogynist who couldn't write to save his life. Let's just say Twilight is written 10x better than this rubbish.
Dec 11, 2009 Marya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Despite the title, this book (or at least the first few chapters I was able to get through) is really about the author's bar stories (i.e. the see-how-cool-I-am-by-not-really-caring-how-cool-I-am stories). Case in point: He details how, on his 21st birthday, he went into a San Francisco club on Goth night. So?

Maybe you should experience this book in that spirit: with a drink in one hand, a snack in the other, and a couple of other people around to chime in with their own BS.

Jun 25, 2008 Lynnea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very interesting - not exactly what I expected... Basically this guy's story of how he tried to break some dumb laws including how drunk he and his friend got drunk almost every night and couldn't remember what he did over night, the women he met, etc. Those things turned me off but I was interested in the dumb laws he tried to break and the facts about the different states he gave.
Ed G
Jan 30, 2009 Ed G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it's ok, not quite what I'd hoped for when perusing it at the bookstore.

[update:] I actually enjoyed this book. I was probably hoping for more when I first started reading it and put it down for a long time. When I took it on a trip with me and finished the book I found myself relating some of the stories to friends.

Don't buy the hype from the cover but it's fun all the same.
Jan 27, 2013 Unwisely rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
This was, indeed, a book. It rose to flashes of interestingness, and I didn't have to force myself to finish is or anything, but it wasn't particularly good. Mostly it felt dashed off in a couple of weeks - the story was okay, but no one bothered to, say, check how many of the laws were actually laws or anything. It was certainly a fast read, at least...
Jun 08, 2009 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The title is the best part of this book. It had so much potential, and was a real big disappointment. They didn't try too hard to actually accomplish the goal of breaking the dumb laws they listed. The laws they chose weren't the most interesting...and fact they were British guys in the US didn't lessen the reality that they didn't follow through as expected.
Aug 05, 2011 bigmuzz rated it liked it
on what is essentially a trip to become hardened lawbreakers (although the laws they break are rather silly!) they seem to spend the majority of their trip either drunk or hungover. which sometimes made me laugh more than the actual stupidity of some of the laws.

makes me want to discover some ridiculous laws of my own to break...
Anna Call
Irritating assholes who drink and fail to get laid! Tourists on their most boring behavior! Dumb kids whose book deal gets out of hand before they're even signed! Find all that and more between the covers of this idiotic little pean to pointlessness. I dropped it halfway through.
Mar 27, 2012 Shelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book as I was planning to move to the UK. I bought it as a joke (i.e. what does the average non-intellectual British guy think about America). Lucky for me, the book WAS actually helpful in understanding the British male mind and quite a good laugh as well.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Confessions of a Cineplex Heckler: Celluloid Tirades and Escapades
  • All my best friends
  • 5 People Who Died During Sex: and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists
  • Be My Guest
  • My Kitchen Wars
  • Artemis
  • 50 Boyfriends Worse Than Yours
  • The Chinese Parrot (Charlie Chan, #2)
  • Eyes of the Calculor (Greatwinter Trilogy #3)
  • The Urban Hermit: A Memoir
  • Mental Floss: Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets
  • Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth
  • mental_floss: The Book: The Greatest Lists in the History of Listory
  • Rules of Engagement (Sir John Fielding, #11)
  • Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers
  • The Circle (Inspector Henrietta Mallin, #1)
  • Rebus: The St. Leonard's Years (Inspector Rebus, #4-6)
  • Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life

Share This Book