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You're Not Much Use to Anyone

2.99  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  71 reviews
David is a freshly minted NYU grad who’s working a not-quite-entry-level job, falling in love, and telling his parents he’s studying for the LSAT. He starts a Tumblr blog, typing out posts on his BlackBerry under his desk—a blog that becomes wildly popular and brings him to the attention of major media (The New York Times) as well as the White House. But his outward fame ...more
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published July 22nd 2014 by New Harvest
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Average rating 2.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  390 ratings  ·  71 reviews


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Julie Ehlers
Jul 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one.
Imaginary conversation between David Shapiro and his publisher:
Amazon Publishing: Hey, David. So glad I was able to get you on the phone. Listen, I hear you have a Tumblr with over 30,000 followers and that you are, in particular, very popular with other Brooklyn hipsters like yourself. This is exactly the sort of buzzy project we really need to launch our trade publishing program! How about you write a novel for us?

David Shapiro: [Thinks for a minute.] I don't know if I'm qualified to write a
...more
Hank Stuever
May 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
Pathetic. (And yes, I do get it: it's about alt-lit, it's about the flat voice of the mind's constant status-updates, it's about how this generation is different to the bone than the previous ones, etc.) This is just a badly conceived, badly executed book -- why is it even a book? Is there a _less_ friendly platform for this kind of project?

But that's not the real question here. The real question is all on me: Why do I keep getting suckered into reading these kinds of stories. I need to BE
...more
Stu Campbell
Jul 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
I'm glad I got this out of the library, cause it ain't worth a dollar. Seriously, it's a lightly fictionalized version of the authors tumblr blog that reviewed Pitchfork reviews. He had a small modicum of success from it, but so what. The story is paper thin, and the narrate atom is the most narcissistic self possessed douchebag I've read in a long time. He must have checked his hair 50 times in the damn book. seriously, stay way
Megan K.
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I like alt-lit and You're Not Much Use to Anyone is no exception. Alt-lit is generally characterized by its matter of fact style and also the inclusion of modern technology. It feels like Minimalism must have felt in the 60s. Stripped down to nothing but lines and the space between. It makes me feel like you have to work for an emotional connection and if you can make one then it is one you've earned not one that was handed to you.

That is the review I wanted to write. But considering the recent
...more
Dirty Dayna
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was ok

2 #poorrichwhitekid stars
I received this ARC via netgalley and the publisher New Harvest for an Honest Review.
This book is deemed semi-autobiographical which makes me think parts are either dramatized (maybe meeting Obama? ) or made up and I can’t really decipher which. While the book does approach a fairly new topic of blogger famous it doesn’t come out as “very funny” which I was expecting.
This seems to follow the author on his transition from student to blogger to internet famous. There is
...more
Larry H
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance readers copy of this book from NetGalleys in exchange for an unbiased review.

The last year of college is often fun, but the level of tension and uncertainty ratchets up for many students. There is often uncertainty—even fear—about what you're going to do with the rest of your life, where the money to support you will come from (if you aren't working while going to school), even what will become of the relationships you have. And unless you have a job lined
...more
Brett
Mar 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Usually after I've finished a book I don't expect to read again I'll drop it off in one of the neighborhood free library boxes. I was on my way to do that after finishing this one, but the recycling bin was closer...
Angie
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Oh the irony of this title.

I'm not sure what the point of this whole thing was supposed to be. The reviews that greet you the minute you open the file all talk of it being "funny, piercingly honest..." and "very funny and deeply moving..."

Did we read the same book? There was humor in this book? Did I miss it? The piece I read wasn't funny or "piercingly honest" or whatever other blurbs are being thrown at this one. Maybe I just didn't get it. Maybe it's too "inside" of a world I'm very far on
...more
Angelina
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
self centered emotionally stunted view of the world from a boy playing at adulthood. written like a 15 year old. still, an easy read that does say something, though nothing i particularly wanted to hear.
Shannon Daigle
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
At first I was engaged, but ultimately I just couldn't get on board with the plight of the millennial. This one went back to the library half-read.
Anna
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, funny
Yeah. 4 stars. Because I couldn't wait to get back to it, all the time. I loved it. I don't understand you haters. This book was real talk. Plus it made me laugh out loud 7 or 8 times. Super-easy read, and ok no, it's not deep. But do I have to be torn apart by every novel I read? Does it have to be devastating to get 4 stars? Does it have to be A Little Life? Jesus! No. And I saw someone said this book is "lightly fictionalized" so maybe it's mostly true, and this David Shapiro just wrote down ...more
Mike Kleine
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars really. I wouldn't consider this "essential reading". If anything--it's easy to read. Kind of just goes nowhere, which I sort of expected; but it REALLY goes nowhere.

The ending kinda destroys how good this could have been.
Nicole
Aug 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: review-copies
1.5/5 stars

First, I want to make this clear. I do not regularly read memoirs or autobiographies, but the premise of You’re Not Much Use to Anyone was interesting to me. The book is about David Shapiro who created a famous Tumblr called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews. David would write reviews on the music website Pitchfork’s reviews. You’re Not Much Use to Anyone goes through David’s life after graduating from college, gaining a girlfriend, working a job he doesn’t particularly like, writing blog
...more
Peter Knox
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, fiction, 2015
I saw the buzz and interviews, knew the subject and author, and impulse bought at $2 for Kindle then needed a book to read one day. I read this straight through in that one day.

It was enjoyable and entertaining in the way that everyone has a graduating college and figuring things out through finding jobs and relationships while exploring what it all means to discover your passion and how that affects your job and relationships.

This funny refreshing honest self aware first person take on all
...more
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
This was good. I read some reviews that it was whatever but I really liked it. Flew through it actually. Easy straight forward read. A guy, the author, as it's clearly based on his life, is a newly graduated kid who is living off his parents still even though he lives on his own and he is putting off law school and ends up getting a job where he's able to write a blog about a website that is all reviews of bands that he has an opinion on too. It gets huge and he gets interviewed but it's also ...more
Mike
Nov 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Millennial hipsters smoking and blogging and complaining in New York City. Wow, that basically encapsulates everything I dislike in the world.

Oddly, this book is shockingly earnest. Do millennials not do irony? Or maybe it is so drenched in irony that I missed it.
Amanda Byrne
Calling this a DNF. Just thinking about it makes me wrathful. I learned my lesson last year - slogging through wrathful books is not worth my time.

Maddy Kissling
Aug 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Very self indulgent drek. We get it, you like Belle and Sebastian and smelling your girlfriend's hair and your privacy. That doesn't warrant you writing a thinly veiled autobiographical novel.
Melissa Mitchell
Jan 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, read-in-2015
DNF Only gave it one star because I couldn't award 0. This book honestly had nothing going for it, in my opinion. I actually paid for this. It wasn't a lot, but it was too much.
Adam Witt
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The antipathy toward this book makes a lot of sense: David Shapiro's writing can be a little cloying (such privilege and lack of gratitude), a lot deadpan, a lot more misogynistic, and is, through-and-through, millennial. It ends up becoming much more than the sum of its parts.

Boy meets girl, boy makes blog, boy's blog becomes very successful and he ends up internet-famous, boy is not very kind to girls he meets, book kind of ends. It smacks of a less-nihilistic, flatter Chuck Palahniuk: you're
...more
Madeline
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
There should be some sort of law in publishing that you can't write about yourself at 22 until you're out of your 20s. This book is like every smug guy who has ever cornered me at a house party to mansplain music and pop culture.

Because it's a thinly veiled memoir, I feel bad giving only one star, so I'll give an extra pity star along with the list of most cringeworthy quotes:

"I catch up to her and we ride east as the sun sets in front of us, which looks really sick, and I tell her about why I
...more
Kate
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I appreciated the perspective and reading something set in the early days of Tumblr.
Will Speros
May 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
heteronormative navel-gazing
Katie Cummings
May 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is the most millennial thing I have ever read. Coming from a millennial.
Byron
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be surprisingly well-written, for someone who became (not really) famous for writing essentially the equivalent of a LiveJournal. Essentially, it does for novels what the show Girls does for TV shows, both for better and for worse.

On a certain level, this isn't anything other than a barely fictionalized account of some kid graduating from college, taking a shitty job and writing a blog in his spare time, and in that sense, I get the complaints. He wasn't involved in some
...more
Lena Cox
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: debut-novels
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m torn between describing David Shapiro’s debut novel, You’re Not Much Use to Anyone, as the oft told tale of directionless affluent kids living off their parent’s money while trying to orient themselves or the confessions of a self-aware awkward new adult.

David, the protagonist, comes off as the less manic version of Hannah from Lena Dunham’s Girls. His tone borders on detached when discussing his girlfriends or the direction
...more
Curtis
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Shapiro's semi-autobiographical novel, You're Not Much Use to Anyone, is like a big screen version of Seinfeld directed by Woody Allen with music by Belle and Sebastian. David Shapiro first gained national attention for starting a blog called "Pitchfork Reviews Reviews." In his novel, the fictional character (also named David) gained national attention for starting a blog called "Pitchfork Reviews Reviews." I like this novel because it's about subjects I'm interested in (blogging and ...more
Jaclyn
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I've never read David Shapiro's blog, I rarely read Pitchfork Reviews, and I'm not a huge Belle and Sebastian fan. Had I been, I think I would have rated this book higher. As it was, however, I enjoyed it. It was a pretty fast read, and was humorous at times. I couldn't tell if David has Aspergers, as other people guessed he had, or if he was just playing that up for humor, but I enjoyed his writing style.

The name of this book comes from a Belle and Sebastian song, which seems to be David's
...more
Natalie S.
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
David Shapiro writes like the "voice of our generation" that other generations would ascribe to my generation.

You're Not Much Use to Anyone is Shapiro's somewhat fictional memoir. He's the guy behind Pitchfork Reviews Reviews, and I like him (his character?) about as much as he seems to like himself, which is enough but not very much.He's an awkward person (character?) who writes awkwardly, but not in an entertaining or unique way—it's self-deprecating and often feels uninspired. I'm certainly
...more
Sara
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this because I also hate Pitchfork. (And possibly also a bit because my favorite Belle & Sebastian song is Sleep the Clock Around. (That's the song the title comes from.))

The writing's not great. The first words in the book are "Me and Camilla walk..." (yes, it's all written in present tense) which gives you a pretty good clue of what kind of quality the prose is going to be. (Although there is the occasional startlingly pretty run-on sentence.) I will admit that I actually like this
...more
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