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The Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grown-up

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  444 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Sooner or later, each of us must face the day we develop a disturbing new interest in lawn care; the day we order sauvignon blanc instead of Rolling Rock; the day we refuse to see any concert where we cannot sit down. Sooner or later, each of us must face the day we turn uncool.

Dan Zevin, who “was never exactly Fonz-like to begin with,” is having a hilariously hard time m
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 11th 2002 by Villard (first published January 1st 2002)
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3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  444 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Chelsea Cain
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you were born between 1970 and 1972 and grew up in a home with cable television and are now a partnered, mortgage-approved, contributing member of society, but you saw Hole play live back when Courtenay Love was crazy, but not yet cray-cray, and you still have the t-shirt from that show in a garbage bag of band t-shirts you keep in your garage next to your cardboard file box of childhood Star Wars figures, then you will love this book. Super funny, smart, pitch-perfect essays about a very spe ...more
May 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
I really wanted this book to be funny, but unfortunately, it just isn't. In a couple of the vignettes the author captured that little bit of humor that we have to have about ourselves as we grow older. For instance, his comparison of traveling in Europe at age 20 and then doing it again at age 35 was funny and truthful. Most of the book misses the mark, though. The premise is that we all grow into habits and behaviors that we used to deem uncool, and that it's good to do that with a little bit o ...more
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
I really thought this book had tremendous potential, especially in that I feel like a VERY reluctant grown-up. I don't know whether I feel like according to this book I am not ACTUALLY a grown up, or if there were just parts I don't yet relate to. Dont get me wrong, there were funny parts, I guess I just feel the author could have went so much more in depth than he did. It's still worth reading on those days when you feel like "what the hell happened to me?" being a functioning, working adult wh ...more
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
Funny premise, terrible execution.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
The theme drew me in. A light, breezy read. Mostly I found myself thinking "that's amusing", but not actually chuckling.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
The chapter on traveling abroad now vs. in college was hilarious and spot on! I also really liked and identified with the essay on losing friends as you get older.
I picked this book up off of the shelf of my local library on a complete whim. Best. Decision. Ever. This is a completely hysterical collection of essays that centers around the antics of a 30-something writer. The collection of essays is centered around a series of confessions that are rather cleverly entitled. I, for one, am glad that his life is such a shenanigan, and that he chose to share it with me! I am also quite glad that before creating a book that he first got sturdy on his writing le ...more
Jan 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it
I would actually give this about 3.5 stars if I could - I don't feel it deserves a 3, but I can't put it up there with books I give a 4, so it's somewhere in between. This was a funny, introspective book that I could definitely relate to. There are definitely moments when you're dealing with a plumbing situation, or responsible for children who are asking your permission to go somewhere, where you stop and realize - I'm actually becoming a grown-up (reluctantly, being the key word). And Zevin de ...more
Nov 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gen-Xers
It took us until we reached our 30s, but it seems that many of us born in the 70s are finally ready to admit that we're adults. Maybe. The notion sneaks up on us at certain moments (I have a lawn? And I care about what it looks like!?), and Dan Zevin shares his grown-up revelations in this quick and funny book.

I'm sure that many, if not most, humor writers are compared to Dave Barry at some point (or David Sedaris if they're gay), but I think that Zevin truly shares Barry's ability to make the r
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
A compilation of memories and regrettable truths about, basically, going from being young to…not being young. Even from a teenager’s perspective, this book is extremely funny and enjoyable, I was constantly laughing out loud and I’m sure I smiled the whole way through. My opinions may be a little bent due to the author being my uncle, but I would say this is an excellent book, and definitely an easy, quick, satisfying read. This would be a novel I recommend reading while under stress and needing ...more
I was hoping for a little more from this. Zevin is officially a "grown-up," albeit, a reluctant one. Like many of us in our thirties, Zevin comes to this sudden realization with a jolt. His friends have disappeared, he realizes he no longer has time for the stuff he used to do, and he actually cares about his lawn. A lot. It did have several funny parts to it, but maybe I'm not deep enough into my thirties to really appreciate it? Or maybe it wasn't quite as funny as the hype. Either way, the tr ...more
May 24, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: late 20 somethings, 30 somethings.
I liked this book a lot... first of all, it was short. WOOHOO for books that will impress my husband with my incredible reading speed. It's kind of weird to say that I enjoyed a book that was essentially all about some random guy I don't even know (self obsessive much?), but his observations are dead on with what I am experiencing as I move from my 20s to my 30s... I spend way more on lawn care these days than I do on beer, much like Zevin.

The point? Well, the point is to not take yourself (or a
Maria (Ri)
Jul 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
What a funny read! There were so many parts that just made me burst out laughing! My husband heard a good bit of it as I would read him quite a few of the funnier parts! Thankfully, I don't count my husband and I as being fully "grown-up" yet, but we are moving ever closer! However, if I ever turn into a "pet person" please do not be afraid to tell me! That's when I'll know I'm totally over the edge!! Like, lizziwhizz, I wish there was more to this book, and I'm sure to search out more of Dan Ze ...more
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Is a funny look at a reluctant acceptance of adulthood. The book is broken up into a series of vignettes which discuss different aspects of adulthood; golf, home improvement etc. The stories are funny b/c the reader can relate to his changing self image and reluctance to leave his cooler youth behind. Downside - the stories are told at 20,000 feet and have a certain disconnected feel to them. Any of these stories if further developed could have made a very funny book of their own.
Feb 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who have recently gotten a "real" job, recently married people
Shelves: memoirs
This is the first book my little dog has ever eaten, at least she picked a good one. Zevin was such a charming narrator that even though many of his observations on aging annoyed me, I was willing to forgive him. I didn't like his use of lingo. However, I really liked his analysis of married people and how they fall out of touch with friends. The "juice" conversation had me laughing for a few days. Pleasant read.
Nov 25, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is very funny - it's written by a guy who basically has realized that he is no longer the guy who parties all the time with no responsibilities. He's surprised to find himself caring about his lawn, ordering wine instead of beer, wanting to take naps when he travels to Europe rather than party all night. It's great for anyone who has woke up and realized that they "grew-up" and do not really know when it happened. It's a short, fast read, I finished it in less than 24 hours.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
This one was just not my style. I get it, you woke up one day and realized you'd turned into an adult, with all kinds of boring responsibilities. I heard the truths in these short essays, but I just wasn't laughing. They were amusing, even clever, but not very meaningful. Nothing here helped me move on in my own life.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I RARELY laugh out loud while reading. I lost track of the number of times I lol'ed with this one. Dan Zevin is a pro at observational humor, and this book is broken into brief chapters, each a hilarious tale about one of the "uncool" things he can now "confess" to doing as a reluctant grown-up. I don't know whether it's good or bad that I could relate to so many of his stories. :)
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I laughed out loud throughout the first third of this book. Read the last 2/3rds of it a few weeks later. Not sure if it was my mindset (things are much busier at work now) or if I just couldn't relate as well to the particular subject matter included in the rest of the book; I'd rate the first third a 5, and the rest a 2.
Jul 18, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: essay lovers
Shelves: 2005booklist
I read this entire book on a plane to Syracuse. Fun essays about growing up and realizing that, yeah, growing up stinks. Fun part? When he visits his 20-something brother in Spain. His brother lives out of brown paper bag. The author brings many pieces of luggage. That is the first of many comparisons. Book #57 of my 2005 Book List, finished reading it on 12-20-05.
Sarah Johns
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I read this after reading, Dan Gets a Minivan, which was also a great read.

It's great to see someone else explain in such a funny and well written way, what all of us reluctant grown-ups feel and deal with. It's as if he pulled some of my thoughts right out of my head.

I recommend this to everyone.
Megan Greenberg
Jan 02, 2010 rated it liked it
i barely remember a single line from this book -- but what i do remember is laughing hysterically. i read this when i was in my early 20's, i should definitely re-read it as i am nearing the end of that decade of my life.

just hysterical.
Jun 20, 2008 rated it liked it
A usually funny book. The author is 35 looking back at how he used to be as a college student and young adult. More than anything it is his bio of how he went from partying to being "fairly boring" in his words.
Aug 30, 2010 rated it liked it
If I could, I would rate this book 3.5 stars. Its a relatable story about realizing that one is growing up. I felt that the book started out stronger than it ended but it was an enjoyable read. I highly recommend for anyone looking for an easy and light read.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
More like a 3.5. Definitely had some hilarious moments--I laughed out loud at least half a dozen times. But some of the sections didn't push the humor quite far enough; at times it felt sort of like a deflated Dave Barry book, and I wish he'd have just GONE THERE.
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
Got about halfway through and had to quit. If I want to hear whining, I have two kids who are experts and much more entertaining. Yeah, it's a pain to be an adult and have responsibility but shut-up.
Apr 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2010
By Dan Zevin, with emphasis on the Zzzzzzzz for BORING. There is more humor and insight about aging Gen X in one line of code from Microserfs than there is in this entire book.
John Sigman
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote a long review. It was well written, and "sold" the book quite well. Then when changing the edition I read from paperback to hardcover, the review disappeared. Suffice it to say the book is very well written and quite entertaining.
Joe Basile
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
i found this book in the trash which isn't always a good sign but I enjoyed it. I read it before I turned 30 and it briefly made me appreciate coming to age a bit more. I really like the chapter about adults finding adventure through food and the chapter about massage. it was a good quick read.
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
It was just OK...not as many LOL moments as I was hoping for. The only things it made me think about doing were the therapist and the cleaning lady...I think I need to look into those!
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Dan Zevin is a Thurber Prize winning humorist and author of the upcoming Very Modern Mantras: Daily Affirmations For Daily Aggravations, which you can follow on Instagram @modernmantras and Twitter@modern_mantras. His other books include Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad and The Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grownup, both optioned by Adam Sandler’s Ha ...more