One little word can change your life.
You’ve probably seen the 2008 film of the same name starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel. Whilst based on the book it isn’t particularly similar. I thought the film was good. The book is great.
Where the film glosses over a lot of the smaller things that happen when you say yes the book goes into great detail, great awkward detail.
Quite early on Danny bumps into an ex who is on a date and after an already awkward conversion, the new boyfriend politely asks if Danny would like to join them for dinner. The resulting scene was painful to read but gives you a huge amount of respect for Danny for really doing this properly.
Originally I read the paperback but it had been a while so I downloaded the audiobook to review.
Yes Man by Danny Wallace Audiobook Review
Entertaining, funny, and with a genuinely powerful positive message, Yes Man is a fantastic story that has aged well. The book came out in 2005 and in 2020, I was still passing my copy on to friends.
The audiobook version came out a few years later around the same time as the film and I was very glad to revisit the remarkable journey that leaves you wanting more out of life.
It is always a joy when the author narrates their book and so far Danny Wallace has read all of his. The narration is good, Danny is relatable and it feels like a friend telling you a story. He does just read it, which I guess I can’t complain about but some adlibbing or reaction to some of the stories would have made it really stand out.
Danny Wallace is in a slump, for the last 6 months he has been staying in and saying no to almost every invitation he receives. Following a breakup, he retreats to his flat leaving his friends worrying about him.
One day, on a bus, Danny gets talking to a man who simply tells him to “say yes more”. This potentially throwaway comment really hits Danny and he decides to take it on, all too literally.
If you know anything about Danny Wallace you will know he loves a project (also called a “stupid boy project” by his ex). He has accidentally started a cult, started his own country, tracked down old school friends and challenged his friend Dave Gorman to find 54 other Dave Gormans.
In “Yes Man” Danny sets himself the challenge to say Yes to absolutely every invitation and he really does it. He buys anything that lands in his inbox, replies to internet scams, adopts multiple grandmas, opens dozens of credit cards, buys a car, gets a mullet, and ends up all over the country and at points all over the world.
Yes, he ends in some awful situations. The lunch with his ex and her new boyfriend, several meetings with an old school bully, and hundreds of phone calls from having to put his number publically around London. But on the whole, what you realise is that nothing truly terrible or dangerous happens when you say yes.
No one asks him to kill anyone, he only breaks a couple of minor laws and whilst he racks up some debt using his new credit cards nothing costs him too much.
Yet the positive outcomes are incredible.
His career skyrockets for one. Simply from saying yes when others were saying no. He ends up switching from freelance radio producer to tv producer even ending up presenting his own tv show.
He wins £25000 (he also loses it but he still won)
He goes on crazy nights out
End up in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Prague, Singapore.
and falls in love
Why listen to Yes Man Audiobook?
It’s entertaining and fascinating
You will laugh
It really does make you reflect on your own life and question if you are making the most of it
Unlike a self-help book with chapter after chapter of different techniques, it has just one – say yes
There is some nice nostalgia from the early 00’s; VHS tapes, a cheaper London, non-smart phones, people emailing to stay in contact, a simpler time.
It is uplifting, positive and inspiring