by Tessa Coates, Stevie Martin
I loved this so much. I wouldn’t usually dream of reading a book with the subtitle ‘How to be a functioning adult without screaming’ but since becoming obsessed with Stevie and Tessa’s podcast Nobody Panic in September (and I mean true obsession, I’ve listened to their entire 5-year back catalogue of weekly episodes twice since then) I knew I needed to get the book. I waited to get the hardback as a Christmas present but I was too impatient to wait until I finished my Dickens to inhale it, so I got the audiobook, and damn was that the best choice I’ve made all year.
Tessa and Stevie have such a lovely rapport, it’s like we’re all sat around a table with a few bottles of wine and they’re telling me how to get myself together. They’re also stonkingly hilarious, easily triple the laughs per minute compared to any other comedy podcast.
I was worried the audiobook would be stilted compared to the breezy natter of the pod but it’s better than you could imagine. Most of the subjects and anecdotes from the book have also been covered by the podcast, but they’ve been refined and reformatted, and then the audio production (feat. sound effects) takes them to another level. My favourite sections were Tessa’s poem about tax, the oven symbol/Norse rune quiz, and the ‘how to rekindle a dead friendship’ tale told as a 19th-century novel. There are also so many asides tossed into the audiobook, it seems like they were having a delightful time recording it and I’m glad they mostly stayed in.
If you want to be enormously entertained for a few hours but also come away feeling more equipped to face life’s challenges, you must get this book.