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Instructions For Living Someone Else's Life

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  335 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Chris Mortimer goes on a bender one night in 1988 and wakes to find it's 18 years later and he's married to someone he doesn't know. He's still stuck in his hateful job and he's an alcoholic to boot. Things are not looking good. This relies on humour to examine what is actually a poignant situation
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 23rd 2009 by Phoenix (first published July 1st 2008)
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May 30, 2009 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, Mil Millington takes us on a tour of the fabled "mid-life crisis" of the modern day mid 40 year old. Of course, none of us would ever admit that our pains were MLC so his hero finds himself waking up one morning convinced that he was out the previous night as a 25 year old, argued with his, then, girlfriend, and got blind drunk (not that any of us didn't do that, even 10 years later...)and that it was her fault he got drunk.
Our hero, Chris, sees his life, his job and his friends as they are
Nov 26, 2011 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
This was an intensely irritating book. The prose was so stodgy and overworked - like bad pastry - that most of the humour was lost amongst the overlong metaphors, musings and unfollowable trains of thought. And for what? Absolutely no incredible insights or outcomes, or even a decent conclusion. A nice wee passage on the relationship between sex, love and friendship, and also a very cool quote:

'Your internal logic is impeccable. If only more people solved life's problems by asking themselves, "W
Jul 11, 2008 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I didn't like the writing in this as much as Mil's other books - it felt like every single sentence was packed with as much wit and creativity as possible, which made for slow reading. His earlier books were less dense and therefore the cleverness was able to shine through easier. If you're feeling like you're not too happy with where you are in your life, the story can be either a downer or a kick in the pants depending on your mood.
Nov 01, 2013 Lainie rated it liked it
Big Mil Millington fan here. Not the best of his novels but still offered several laugh out loud moments. A good, fast read with space to set it aside when needed.
Sarah Goodwin
Dec 12, 2012 Sarah Goodwin rated it liked it
Not my favourite book by this author, I liked 'Things my girlfriend and I have argued about' and 'Love and other near death experiences' far more.

The thing that made this book difficult for me was a lack of information that had me constantly flicking between pages. The side characters were hard to tell apart, as they had no distinguishing characteristics, except Andy the sci-fi lover, and even then I had to wait for a reference before I realised who it was speaking.

The little asides into other
Jul 29, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Becca, Betsy, Bill
Mil Millington's latest book is about time traveling. Not of the strict science fiction type, but of the type that occurs normally to every one of us without noticing.
Chris Mortimer is a 25 year old guy in the 80's who wakes up one day and all of a sudden realizes that he is 43. He finds himself working a job that he hates and next to a woman he barely knows but who has been his wife for fifteen years. He decides to reconnect with old friends and get to know his "new" self, and to try to find ou
Derek Baldwin
A man in his mid 20s wakes up one morning to find that nearly 20 years have passed.... Setting aside the fact that this sort of story was the plot to just about every episode of Red Dwarf ever, this was pretty entertaining and funny. While it doesn't outstay it's welcome, I felt that the story just sort of petered out as if the author had got bored of it or been commissioned to write a few Guardian articles, or something. The exact same thing seemed to be the case with the other 2 of his books t ...more
Jan 05, 2016 Rhipheus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Best book I have read in a long time. This was a wildcard recommendation for me - had no idea what to expect but loved this book and was sad when it was over. It was really quite profound but so funny that I loved how skillfully it presented some of the subjects.

The basic premise is that Chris goes to sleep one night in 1988 as a 25 year old full of big dreams and plans for his life. He wakes up the next morning having time traveled to 2006 only to discover that he's an alcoholic deadbeat workin
Aug 14, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this. As a fan of Millington's, I was going to read this one (the fourth of his literary attempts) regardless of how good it was. To my pleasant surprise, Mil has figured out the art of writing. Although still somewhat linear and predictable, it felt like reading a real author. He also is moving on from simple witty insights to deeper social commentary (although still somewhat in the Tsk-Tsk fashion). Infused throughout with his brand of humor, this book actually leaves me looking ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Patti rated it liked it
It was one of those books about half way through you can't wait for it to be over. Maybe if I was a middle aged man going through a mid-life crisis, I would have found it more entertaining. I gave it three stars for the few laugh out loud moments in the first half. I think he had a great concept of waking up one day and finding you're the person you never wanted to be. The characters could have been so much more developed then they were. The main characters endless rants are what started to bore ...more
Feb 14, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. Very quick read, very entertaining, very like-able main character.
Chris goes out partying one night and the next morning when he wakes up, it's 18 years later..he's married to a stranger and still has the job he was going to quit the next day. Being 25 one day and 43 the next has got to mess with anyone's mind, but Chris handles it pretty well....funny, sweet and goofy; it's a treat from this witty writer.
Jan 17, 2009 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like Millington, you'll enjoy this book. It's not as crafty or witty as TMGAIAA, and it's a slight departure from his other novels. The theme and righting style are a little more sophisticated. Without giving anything away,...the book is about a guy, age 25, that suddenly finds himself in a 43 year life and body. I may be a little biased, I'm in my 40's and enjoyed his surprise with all the falters with body, life and mind.
A book that started so well and ended, well, ended not quite soon enough for me.

I love Mil Millington and wanted to really like this book, but he seemed to give up about halfway through. There were a few genuinely funny moments in the first half but it did peter out quite dramatically towards the end.

All in all I did enjoy it, but nowhere near as much as I'd hoped I would.
reserved from library - copy from pcl


Because Chris's thought contained, like a grub in an apple, a question no one would ever want to be asked; one that it would be terrible to consider even if you weren't required to answer it. p207

The human spirit is a powerful, powerful thing, and there's very little that it can't achieve, if it's out of spite. p166
Mar 22, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting story about how life slips you by and how you can (actually, in this case) wake up several years older having done nothing with your life.

This was not his best book but still an entertaining read with some downright hilarious moments. But I can't shake the feeling that a lot of the paragraphs were padded out to make up the word count.
Feb 02, 2014 Moira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first part of the book was not, what I would call, riveting. But then I got into it and quite enjoyed it. It had a lot of description that could have been edited out, as I found myself skipping over a lot of it in the beginning. But it was like he finally got into the groove of the story and I found it far more interesting.
Jul 01, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit of fun and a totally different style of book to what I normally read. At times I felt it tried a bit too hard to be funny, particularly in the first half, with the result that it got a bit wearisome. But the story ended well and I enjoyed the characters.
Graham Austin
I enjoyed this book. The book centres around a very interesting concept which makes for some very funny situations. The author is too keen to add his own witty observations on modern life, this can disrupt the flow of the book at times. Worth a quick read if you have a few hours to spare.
Shawn Ambrose
Apr 30, 2014 Shawn Ambrose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've come to the conclusion that I need to read every single book, short story, and article Mil Milington has ever written. I actually hurt myself laughing a few times. He might even be funnier than Douglas Adams. I KNOW, RIGHT?
Jul 24, 2011 Petra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
Saulustig! Die ersten zwei Drittel des Buches dachte ich, es sei außerdem komplett sinnfrei (aber es war mir egal, weil es einfach so spaßig war!), aber dann wird der Plot tatsächlich auch noch interessant und es gibt noch ein paar gute Erkenntnisse!
Mike Fleming
Not quite as good as Other Mil Millington's I have read but still pretty funny and very entertaining.
Jul 04, 2010 Pam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cute concept, but suffered from dense syntax and overcomplicated prose. I can usually get through that sort of style if the story moves along, but this one just wasn't engaging enough.
Jun 15, 2014 Lizzy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
bit too angsty for me, didn't finish. will try one of his others as loved "the things my girlfriend and I argue about"
Jul 16, 2014 Kat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
Eins der langweiligsten Bücher, die ich seit längerer Zeit in der Hand hatte und es war ein Kampf, es endlich fertig zu lesen.
Clare Coffey
This book was very enjoyable to read. I liked the main character- Chris very much. The premise was excellent- time travel almost!
Apr 29, 2016 rentus rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An allright read. No big finale, but this was obvious since you're waiting for the ending when there are only few pages left. Language was a bit too poem-y for me at times.
Alan Fricker
May 30, 2013 Alan Fricker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice early dig at why people become librarians and the usual sort of stuff you expect from Mil Millington. Enjoyable.
Story was interesting enough. But I wish I hadn't read the blurb, which spoiled the story a little bit. Some funny bits in there which had me laughing out loud.
Vasil Kolev
Dec 23, 2014 Vasil Kolev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice, but he gets sidetracked in his wit too much, and the story could've been three times shorter. It has some fun moments, though.
Apr 18, 2009 Fiona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spooky how this guy goes to bed at 25 and wakes up at 43 with no memory of the intervening years. Feels like that to me sometimes too
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Mil Millington is a British author of humorous books. He first came to public prominence as a writer when he created a web-site entitled "Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About. The site's main content was (and remains) anecdotes describing arguments and misunderstandings between Mil and his German girlfriend Margret, mother of his two sons. The site was hosted on Wolverhampton University's ...more
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“Humans make mistakes. Fortunately, to compensate for this failing, they also have the capacity to keep secrets and to lie. It’s beautiful, really, if you think about it.” 1 likes
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