Oz Barton's Reviews > Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking

Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking by Allen Carr
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really liked it

This book is badly written in the way that only a self-help book can be, and I wanted to dislike it based purely on that principle.

I also wanted to dislike it because of the author's horrifying habit, throughout most of the book, of classifying smokers as poor pathetic creatures to be pitied, only to throw in a very brief chapter at the end begging readers not to become those condescending, self-righteous ex-smokers. (Perhaps he doesn't feel that pity is, by definition, condescending?)

I wanted to dislike this book because Carr absolutely insists that certain smoker experiences are universal. He says multiple times that everyone's first cigarette is unpleasant and results in coughing, which was simply not true for me — and no, I'm not lying to myself about this to "justify" starting, as Mr. Freud — ahem, Mr. Carr — smugly asserts. This is a very minor detail, but for me it erodes the author's credibility.

I further wanted to dislike this book because of Carr's zealous adherence to the status quo — just for an example, his explicitly stated assumption that smokers were able to cope with life before they started smoking, which ignores the high incidence of smoking among oppressed minorities and those with anxiety disorders.

For these reasons, I'd like to give this book a 1-star review.

However, I began reading it several weeks after I quit smoking, and can now safely say that reading it has definitely helped me to stay quit, to brush off a relapse with very little drama, and to stop feeling so anxious about the "forever-ness" of quitting. This book helped me not to care about cigarettes anymore, not to be afraid of living without them. Despite itself, it did what it set out to do.

For this reason, I'd like to give it a 5-star review.
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Reading Progress

February 27, 2012 – Started Reading
February 27, 2012 – Shelved
March 27, 2012 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Lily (new)

Lily Brilliant review

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