Second-rate ranting

<strong>Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? Volume Two</strong>

Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur <em>

Modern life is rubbish. Everywhere we turn, we are confronted by shysters, scam-artists and crappy TV programmes. Britain is run by idiots, the food's terrible and, given half a chance, ordinary people behave like complete morons. In short, the only hope we have left is to collect our various diatribes about the state of 21st-century life into an A-Z guide, priced at a reasonable £10.99. And then do another one.

At least that's what authors Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur would have you believe. As with the first volume of Is It Just Me . . . ?, their vitriol is directed with scattershot ferocity at a range of targets. Railway station pasties, over-stimulated children and Noel Edmonds all come in for a verbal kicking. Strangely enough, cash-in sequels don't make it on to the list, but we can forgive them that.

What can't be forgiven, however, is that somewhere along the line the authors forgot to add enough humour to the mix. While any of these rants would make entertaining pub conversation, on the page the effect is underwhelming. But let's judge the book on its merits: aimed at the gift-buying public, it would make the perfect Christmas present for a friend you'd like to see less of, or for parents to give to their second-favourite child.