Jack Mckeever's Reviews > Dishonesty Is the Second-Best Policy: And Other Rules to Live By

Dishonesty Is the Second-Best Policy by David   Mitchell
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really liked it

The first book of David Mitchell's I've read, and one that largely qualifies his continued 'national treasure' status. For the most part, it's every bit as funny, pedantic and sardonically thoughtful as you'd hope. Akin to other comics like Frankie Boyle, Mitchell writes about politics with a level of insight and nuance that goes way beyond the depth of many of our current MPs.

In his own classically self-deprecating way, Mitchell writes in his introduction that the reader should 'dip in and out' of this book. And there are moments where the pedantry becomes a little too much. If you read more than 30 pages in one sitting, you might sometimes find yourself going 'Oh DO shut up'. This is particularly a problem in the 'Changing Tastes in Taste' chapter.

There're also some inconsistencies, depending on your point of view. In one column about Jeremy Clarkson assaulting a producer because there was no hot food available at the hotel, he begins by condemning Clarkson, before going on to write about how annoyed he'd be in the same situation. As it's a book, there are moments where any humour has potential to get lost in translation. But largely you can imagine Mitchell announcing this rhetoric on the likes of 'Would I Lie To You'.

Most of the book is Mitchell at his best. The chapters about culture, Brexit and communication & advertising in the internet age are incredibly pertinent (particularly for me as a freelance copywriter). And even the chapter entitled 'Civilisation May Go Down As Well As Up', which feels ruefully accurate right now, is hilariously distracting enough from our current turmoil.
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Reading Progress

March 25, 2020 – Started Reading
March 25, 2020 – Shelved
April 4, 2020 – Finished Reading

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