Stupid Boy Projects

June 14, 2009

If you haven’t yet read about Danny Wallace and his “stupid boy projects”, you should.

His book Yes Man, on which the recent Jim Carrey movie was (very very) loosely based, came across my desk the other day and I started reading little bits. Like this, from “About the Author”:

“Danny Wallace is a writer, producer, and cult leader…Yes Man is currently being adapted for film by Warner Bros., which must be strange for you, because you’ve not even read it yet. Danny is 28, and lives in an old match factory in the East End of London. He says hello.”

or, from the Prologue:

“I should just say thanks to all those people I’ve written about in the next few hundred pages. Their names are real, apart from those few cases where I’ve changed a name or detail to save anyone any obvious embarrassment, or – in one rather central and vital person’s case – just because they thought it would be cool, and so asked.”

So I ordered Yes Man, and the previous book, where Wallace describes how he became a cult leader (yes, it’s actually true, and, it turns out, mostly by accident), Join Me.

They’re laugh-out-loud funny. But they’re also touching. Because these “stupid boy projects” (as a girlfriend of Wallace calls them) are really about a twenty-something trying to find the best way to live his life. About a desire for connection, and making himself and others happy.

Cleverer and deeper than I expected from trade paperbacks I bought on a whim. Let Danny Wallace surprise you, too.