Self-help, A-HA!

British comedian Steve Coogan performed his first ever New Zealand gig in Christchurch last night to a very receptive crowd.  Certainly from where I was sitting there was a lot of laughing, guffawing and giggling to be heard and much rapturous applause at the end.

Coogan portrayed several characters during his performance but by far the most successful was his Alan Partridge persona.  To be sure, nobody rocks a bottle green double-breasted blazer with brass buttons quite the way he does.  Who else would?  During this part of the show Alan presents his own special brand of “self-help” seminar entitled “Alan Partridge will rock you into FORWARD SOLUTIONS” and who wouldn’t want guidance in their life from someone as grounded and wise as Alan Partridge?  Well, most people probably.  If you’re willing to follow his advice then you really do need help.

All of which reminded me that the self-help industry is pretty good subject matter for mickey taking what with its often overblown rhetoric and enormous popularity.  If you are looking for some reading material that turns the self-help genre on its head then try the following –