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The Big Turnoff: Confessions of a TV-Addicted Mom Trying to Raise a TV-Free Kid

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Pages are clean and binding is tight.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 5th 2007 by Algonquin Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Shauna
Jun 08, 2008 Shauna rated it really liked it
I'm excited to finally read this book by my friend Ellen!

updated 6/9/08 This was a quick, fun, entertaining read. If you know Ellen like I do, it's totally in her voice. Which I found totally funny. I applaud her for her courage and determination and commitment. To everything she does. I was very impressed and it kept me entertained and enthralled during my 6 hours in the chemo suite today!!!!
Andrea
Oct 17, 2007 Andrea rated it liked it
Kudos to the author for her efforts keeping her kid from being a zombie in front of the TV - to her credit he turns out great - though she is a little neurotic, going from one extreme to the other. A slightly above average rating from me.
Tracy
Jan 26, 2008 Tracy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: general audience
Recommended to Tracy by: my mom
You will never feel the same when you turn on your television after you read the "The Big Turnoff" by Ellen Currey-Wilson. Published in 2007 by Algonquin Books of Chapel-Hill, "The Big Turnoff" follows the journey of the author after she makes the decision that her soon-to-be-born child will not be exposed to television. Currey-Wilson makes this decision based studies that show the detrimental influence television has on children and on her realization that she is addicted to television.

Her boo
...more
Michael
Jul 01, 2008 Michael rated it liked it
This Portland author lives right in my neighborhood and wrote this memoir about her experiences trying to overcome her TV addiction and raise a son without television. Based on what she presents in the book, I would say she succeeded remarkably, although she definitely had her moments of zealotry, extremism and judgmentalism. (Is that a word?) Actually, much of the book goes beyond just the TV-free theme and gets into the challenges and rewards a neurotic and overprotective parent faces in raisi ...more
Chessa
Apr 21, 2008 Chessa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents, people planning to have kids, fans of memoirs
I really enjoyed this book. I chose to read it as this past week was Turn Off TV Week.

Yes, the author has nutjob neurotic tendencies (she seems to find fault with whatever scenario occurs) - but these don't detract from her overall mission, which is to conquer her addiction to TV and to raise her son without it. This book had a lot of humor in it, and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. I could relate a LOT to the author's struggles with TV - having watched MORE than my fair share grow
...more
Jennifer
Apr 25, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, parenting
For much of my childhood, we didn't have a TV and I think it affected me in many ways. Aside from having huge holes in my pop culture knowledge when it comes to TV shows, I also think it influenced why I am such an avid reader. The issue of television was a big one for me when I had my own son so this book was of particular interest. This is a really well-written book about one mother's quest to keep her son from watching TV and the difficulties of doing this in our TV-focused society. I very mu ...more
Erin
Mar 30, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Big Turnoff by Ellen Currey-Wilson. The memoir follows the author’s adventures raising her son without television when she herself is a TV addict. She talks about the challenges (will her son fit in at school without knowing all the cool TV shows? How will she find time for herself without plopping her son down in front of Sesame Street?) and joys (playing with her child, being the her son’s friends’ favorite house to visit) of trying to raise a TV-free kid in the modern wor ...more
Amanda
Dec 16, 2010 Amanda rated it it was ok
I wish this book had been written by someone who was a little more likable. Currey-Wilson just comes off as neurotic and self centered. It was hard to read a book where the author claims to be on a moral high horse and then uses the line, "I just ignored him" at least once a chapter when referring to her husband. Great, the author doesn't want TV to norm horrible behavior for her son, that's noble. But what kind of values are getting normed when the author treats the people around her with such ...more
Angela
Mar 13, 2008 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-fluff
Gift from my husband. I think he's trying to tell me something.

The woman who wrote this book is a bit neurotic (she doesn't want her kid to watch TV because she wants him to be his own person, but then freaks out that people will think she's weird and tries to keep it a secret). But as someone who is a bit of a TV addict and hopes to have a TV free environment for her soon to be born child, I enjoyed her story. This book is purely for entertainment and is just one woman's experience. It's a fun
...more
Nancy
Dec 19, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Hilarious book about a firsttime mother who wants to raise her child without TV. Fuuny scenes of her trying to hide it from her friends. Whether you agree or not with her fanaticism, what was most interesting to me was to see when and why her good friends introduced their children to TV. And, how hard it is to belong in the world as a kid if you don't watch TV. Not the usual lecturing view, it was very funny but also gave me a lot to think about.
Jennifer Wyld
Aug 09, 2008 Jennifer Wyld rated it really liked it
This is a funny story of a woman, who does enjoy her TV, who raises her son without it and all of the social issues it brought up, with other parents, her own family and even her husband. It is also full of great statistics and other hard facts about tv and media and their effects on youth. If you are looking for some inspiration to start a tv turn-off week in your community, this book could be it.
Keri
May 07, 2008 Keri rated it really liked it
Easy to read and interesting. Not as many facts and information about the negative aspect of television that I had somewhat expected. More just an account of how someone who loved to watch TV chose to restrict TV viewing for her only child and came to desire less TV time herself. Good book.
Nina
Oct 28, 2008 Nina rated it it was amazing
This book mirrored my struggles... how does a child of the 1980s who grew up along with the TV Guide schedule raise a child better.
Joanna
Aug 13, 2008 Joanna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: moms and moms-to-be.
Great concept and am putting what I read into practice about turning the tv off for myself and my child.
David
Aug 09, 2011 David rated it liked it
Interesting book. I can empathize with the author, who says she was partially rasied by the TV. I wondered why my family wasn't like the families on Growing Pains, Family Ties, etc, just as the author mentioned that in real life she had a sister with a beard, which of course would never happen on a TV family. I also believe that TV is the "boob tube", and the need to buy more and more does almost evaporate without the TV. I learned that without a TV, it is much easier for a person to know him/he ...more
Natasha
May 02, 2014 Natasha rated it liked it
The author is a comfortable kind of crazy. She has the kind of neurosis that you can relate to and at the same time say, "Whew, at least I'm not that bad". I found parts pretty funny and then incredibly depressing. I admire what she's done and that she's painfully honest, though she is the definition of a helicopter parent, and a self-centered one at that. I found it funny that she was trying to force her kid into watching tv at the end so he'd be more like everyone else.

There is some F-bombs,
...more
Betsy
Apr 05, 2015 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing antidotes at best

I find that Ellen Curry Wilson's account of trying to raise her son without television full of amusing antidotes that are written in a comic engaging manner. While she does leave the reader with important points to reflect on it felt at times like used this book as a platform for generalized liberal opinions that lacked any research to prove her point. I actually do not endorse a TV free lifestyle as much as i am interested in how other writers approach writing about con
...more
anne
Jul 29, 2007 anne rated it it was ok
not particularly well written and only occasionally entertaining. i mostly think the author is psychotic. she's addicted to tv and refuses to allow her child to watch. while i like that she is fighting the good anti-tv fight, i think she's a bit bananas when she constructs baby blocks so that she can breastfeed in front of the telly but keep it out of the kid's sight line. her plan backfires a bit when she can't even coerce him into watching lion king (but he is psyched about the car instruction ...more
Emma Willis
Sep 26, 2012 Emma Willis rated it liked it
Not what I expected, but I felt was well written and a nice easy book to read. The author is quirky and honest, and although she is coming from a different place than me (I generally find TV and movies boring, and greatly dislike the idea of sitting through most movies more than once!), I admire her. I didn't understand why she couldn't be honest about not letting her son watch TV with her friends & acquaintances - you would think that would be something to brag about - although from the att ...more
Lorena
Apr 15, 2008 Lorena rated it liked it
I liked this book, I thought she was a nut case and had no sense but that is what made me like the book, reading about how crazy she was about keeping her kid away from the TV and how she did go out of her way so that he couldn't even see the screen. I really don't understand how she was able to do so when most restaurants and stores have TVs, I guess she never took her kid to Best Buy or the electronic section at any other store...
Catherine
May 19, 2007 Catherine rated it liked it
The title of this book sums up the content nicely. The author, admittedly, is a completely neurotic mother. I got the impression that she realizes she's a work in progress and is striving to tone down her erratic behavior and her tendency toward being dogmatic. Although I love reading and do read a lot, it's very difficult for me to give up TV for one day. The author has some interesting points, but I agreed with her husband, who described her as a "zealot" about the subject of No TV.
Sally
Jul 11, 2011 Sally rated it liked it
It was an okay read. I guess I was hoping for a not just a story of her journey but maybe more with insight as how to pull it off. Still good, though. I could have done without some of the topics discussed.
Bulan Aricha
May 29, 2007 Bulan Aricha rated it it was ok
TV memang ada baik dan buruk untuk anak2.Makanya harus dipilah2.Kalau aku sih nganjurin sebaiknya anak2 ga usah di depan TV mending diberi buku banyak2.Nanti kecanduan TV
Maura
Aug 13, 2012 Maura rated it really liked it
This was a good read and is more than just about limiting tv. It is a woman's journey with mothering a young child. It was helpful to read.
Katja
Aug 20, 2010 Katja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gave what I expect to be a pretty realistic view of the struggle and reward of raising a TV-free kid.
Jennifer
Jennifer rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2008
Brandy Garner
Brandy Garner rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2013
Laura Krikie-Chapin
Laura Krikie-Chapin rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2016
Fustian
Fustian rated it liked it
Sep 13, 2010
Jennifer
May 28, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it
Didn't make me change my ways unfortunately.
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