The Art of Not Falling Apart

The Art of Not Falling Apart

3.81 (612 ratings by Goodreads)
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New Statesman's Best Books of the Year, 2018
Mail on Sunday, Books of the Year, 2018

We plan, as the old proverb says, and God laughs. But most of us don't find it all that funny when things go wrong. Most of us want love, a nice home, good work, and happy children. Many of us grew up with parents who made these things look relatively easy and assumed we would get them, too. So what do you do if you don't? What do you do when you feel you've messed it all up and your friends seem to be doing just fine?

For Christina Patterson, it was her job as a journalist that kept her going through the ups and downs of life. And then she lost that, too. Dreaming of revenge and irritated by self-help books, she decided to do the kind of interviews she had never done before. The resulting conversations are surprising, touching and often funny. There's Ken, the first person to be publicly fired from a FTSE-100 board. There's Winston, who fell through a ceiling onto a purple coffin. There's Louise, whose baby was seriously ill, but who still worried about being fat. And through it all, there's Christina, eating far too many crisps as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life.

The Art of Not Falling Apart is a joyous, moving and sometimes shockingly honest celebration of life as an adventure, one where you ditch your expectations, raise a glass and prepare for a rocky ride.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 147 x 210 x 25mm | 468g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1786492741
  • 9781786492746
  • 329,860

Review quote

[Christina's] moving and funny book, The Art of Not Falling Apart describes with searing honesty what it's like for a single woman in middle age to lose the one thing that was holding life together - her job. * New Statesman's best books of the year 2018 * The whole book was such a gripping read... The honesty is refreshing. It is also beautifully written... Everyone who works in healthcare would benefit from reading this book. * Peter Carter, Nursing Times * In this incredibly inspirational book, she reflects on the lessons she has learned since being made redundant, and highlights ways to deal with personal challenges, that range from domestic abuse and having a severely disabled child, to being publicly sacked at your employer's AGM. This is not a typical 'how to' guide that promises all the answers - readers may find some along the way, but they may also simply enjoy it as a witty and beautifully written memoir. * Verena Vogt, Irish News * Funny and uplifiting. * Mail on Sunday, 100 Sizzling Summer Reads * Christina Patterson is a passionate, funny woman who refuses simply to struggle on. She believes in living. And throwing parties. And friendship. And sex. And buying a flat in a Tuscan watchtower from the internet on a whim. And also the power of anger. Like all good journalists, Patterson leaves her best story until last... the final chapter is a revelation. * Jackie Annesley, Sunday Times * [Patterson] puts her marvellous empathetic talent to good use, interviewing other people whose worlds had collapsed. The Art of Not Falling Apart is the result, a surprisingly joyful book by a writer so good that the people who sacked her were clearly morons. * Allison Pearson, Sunday Telegraph * Patterson invests her case histories with such intelligent passion and cracking candour that you feel as if you are listening to your cleverest, funniest, and, above all, kindest friend. This is a manual on how to survive in the 21st century. * Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday * Poignant and very funny -- Sunday Express Tender and funny. * Sunday Post * I thoroughly enjoyed it - a kind of war reporter's dispatches from the barricades of modern life. * Robert Harris * A page turner! Insightful, sad, funny and so well written. * Kirsty Wark * Brilliant, poignant and also very funny. * Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller * A tender, beautiful exploration of how we survive pressure, from a tender, beautiful writer. * Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections and Chasing The Scream (a NYT bestseller) * A wonderful, gutsy writer. * Clive James * A clear and important voice in British journalism. * Carol Ann Duffy * One of the best columnists around. * Andrew Motion *
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About Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson is a journalist and broadcaster. A former columnist at the Independent and Director of the Poetry Society, she now writes for The Sunday Times and the Guardian about society, culture, politics, books and the arts and is a regular commentator on radio and TV news programmes. She was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2013 for her campaigning work to raise standards in nursing and has contributed to books on poetry, literature and health. She lives in London.
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Rating details

612 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 30% (183)
4 36% (219)
3 23% (142)
2 8% (52)
1 3% (16)
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