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Dishonesty is the Second-Best Policy: And Other Rules to Live By

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  410 ratings  ·  30 reviews

** THE NEW BOOK FROM THE AWARD-WINNING COMEDIAN AND WRITER**

'Mitchell is an exceptionally clever, eloquent and spot-on commentator. We should be grateful for him.' Daily Mail

David Mitchell's 2014 bestseller Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse must really have made people think - because everything's got worse. We've gone from UKIP surge to Brexit shambles, from

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Kindle Edition
Published November 5th 2019 by Guardian Faber Publishing (first published November 1st 2019)
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Mandy White
David Mitchell is a very funny man - he is also very clever. My family are all English and I married an Englishman so we watch a lot of UK TV. You have probably seen David Mitchell on QI, Would I Lie to You, Mitchell and Webb and plenty of other UK programs.

When reading this book I was reading it as I imagined he would be saying it all - hard not to. I really enjoyed this look at life through David's eyes - a series of columns from a British paper. He talks about everything from Trump to
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Tommye Turner
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In the review section for this book on Goodreads, I saw that a few people put the book down after reading the introduction. I can sort of see why. It wasn't the happy, comical interpretation of modern society that many of us would be expecting from David Mitchell. The tone of the introduction does not fit well with the rest of the book. This is, of course, because the book is a collection of Mitchell's columns from The Guardian, not a traditional work of creative nonfiction. This is not a ...more
Jo
A collection of Mitchell's newspaper columns covering 2014-2019. A mix of wit, humour, sarcasm and despair. Rather entertaining.
BMK
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What David Mitchell's does well, amusing whinging.
Kinga
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
A collection of David Mitchell’s columns from The Observer, which summarise in a often funny and always perceptive way the rage and Weltschmerz I’ve felt over the last 4 years. Brilliant, amusing and, in many places, depressing.
Jo-Ann Duff (Duffy The Writer)
Well, what a timely read. The world really is upside down and completely bonkers at the moment. Britain, well I’ll try and leave Brexit chat in 2019, where I wish I could also leave Trump and his outlandish knee-jerk reactions. However, here we are in 2020 and rather than thinking, we can shake off the bad stuff and the evil do-ers who lurk behind cameras (Weinstein), in front of them (Spacey, Louis CK, Lauer), and warmongers (well, we all know those characters). I’m sat at home, on my laptop, ...more
Abi McManigan
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is actor and writer David Mitchell's second compilation of columns he wrote for The Observer newspaper and I don't know if it's because these columns are more recent but I found this book even better than the first.

The columns are organised into categories and I loved hearing David's view on each and every one. He is so articulate and he presents a well thought out, well constructed side to his arguments that's very difficult to argue with. He just always seems so rational that you will
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Colin Murtagh
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second set of columns collected from the Observer. Given it’s David Mitchell, and that they have come from the observer, it should be fairly obvious which side of the liberal metropolitan elite he comes from.
His topics, as you may expect, cover Brexit, Cameron, May, Boris et al, alongside such more diverse topics as popular culture, the Olympics and the internet. It’s all done in his slightly grumpy curmudgeonly voice, distinct enough that you hear the columns as if he’s speaking
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Olya
Dec 22, 2019 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I zoned out after the second essay. Or was it the third. Might have been the first one actually...
Emmi Kauppila
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life goal: osata valittaa yhtä viihdyttävästi kuin David Mitchell!
Laura Vermeeren
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hahahaha
Megan Hemmings
Maybe I’d like this book more if I was British or middle class, but as I’m neither, I found it very annoying and whiny. I’m a big fan of David Mitchell usually so I was surprised that this book didn’t do it for me.
Betawolf
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opinion columns for The Observer, ranging across the usual set of current affairs and personal observations, but most closely circling British politics of the last four years.

Mitchell is obviously used to working with words, and his pieces are excellent writing of the sort that often goes under-appreciated -- too much of a sprint next to the memoirist's personal novel, and without any overarching argument to make into a nonfiction book of any other sort. They really are well-crafted, though,
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Stamatios
(NOTE: This is a review of the audiobook edition)

I really wanted to love this book. I belong to the majority of people who find David Mitchell smart and funny. So I was disappointed to find myself thinking that he is neither knowledgeable enough to be erudite nor amusing enough to be hilarious. What I got from this book instead was some mild entertainment and only a handful of really well constructed profound quotes.

I think the problem was that Mitchell's targets were too obvious (the elite,
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Benjamin Stahl
I love David Mitchell usually, and I enjoyed Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse. This book lacked severely in what I had hoped for however. I mean, there were some funny moments, and it's not like a fan can dictate what a comedian chooses to cover in writing - (not to mention this book was just a compilation of his Guardian columns - but this book is mostly just Mitchell ranting and complaining about Brexit, Donald Trump and whole range of other prescribed topics lefties can't come to grips ...more
Ross
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cynical, pedantic, and pessimistic. An excellent book.

"By now, you should have descended into misanthropic apathy"

I'm skeptical about books that are built around previously written online / newspaper articles from the author, but it really works here. The first part has a great through-line of David's take on various unusual dishonest aspects of society, from polite lies to medicine advertising to what cosmetics are considered lies and what aren't.

The second half has great breakdowns of various
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Lewis Virgo
Dishonesty is the Second-Best Policy: And Other Rules to Live By by David Micthell is a good book for the most part. From his takes on our current crop of politicians and other gripes like train companies, social media, the internet plus the shape of plates. It is fun and entertaining for 78% of the book but it goes down hill very quickly when it comes to Chapter 8, the one on Brexit and the following last chapter is in the same category. I disagree with with his views on most of the issues ...more
Puffling
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the audiobook quite hilarious; it extracted a wide variety of loud laughs from my body. This is very quotable and some of it will definitely stick with me.

While reading I kept waiting for him to throw out something that sounded genuinely out of touch. After all, I'm a queer millennial and he's a middle-aged white guy. But I could find no fault with the combination of admitting not knowing what's best and having some genuine suggestions.

This was very funny.
Zach M
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was gifted this book by someone who knew I greatly enjoy David Mitchell in the various projects he has worked on. I had no idea he was a contributor to The Observer and was quite excited, upon receiving this book, to be able to read his takes events that have been in the news for the past few years.
Steve Gillway
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brexity, drollery, comedy
Straddles biting sarcasm and heartfelt political belief. Has the authentic voice and delivery of Mitchell, but is probably more dour than he would have wanted. He is aware of this and tries to redress it in the afterword.
Mat Davies
Entertaining collection of Mitchell’s newspaper columns. It’s a pot pourri of a book. It’s funnier than you might expect, more optimistic and, at its heart, moral and decent. A bit like the author then.
R.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love David Mitchell and will gladly hang out any time or place. It started to drag though in the second half when it became quite focused on British politics.
Steph Jones
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this a lot. I really like David Mitchell and his thought process around his opinions. It's funny, topical and interesting. Easy to pick up and put down as and when you want.
Steve Mitchell
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
If each of the articles was dated, along with the headline and a little background rather than featuring them as an appendix then this would have received a full five stars
Sammie
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 ...more
Andrew
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
English
Jason McCracken
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarcastic, cynical, pessimistic and more than a bit depressing. This is my type of humour.
Chrissy
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written with his expected wit. I gave this book a four because I enjoy the topics he explores. Not quite as funny as he is on Would I Lie to You but I enjoyed his musings.
Mark
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Best listened to at 1.5 X speed. Political comments felt strangely outdated, with things changing so rapidly.
Andrew
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
3.5
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

David Mitchell is a British actor, comedian and writer. He is one half of the comedic duo Mitchell and Webb, alongside Robert Webb, whom he met at Cambridge University. There they were both part of the Cambridge Footlights, of which Mitchell became President. Together the
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“In an increasingly virtual world, feelings are as valid as facts.” 1 likes
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