Class is a particularly British preoccupation - whether agonising over one’s own status or scrutinising the ranking of others, no other nation devotes quite as much of its time to analysing society’s social hierarchy.
The Middle Class Handbook skewers the middle classes, and then dissects them with ruthless comical accuracy. Social groupings are divided and then subdivided, sketching out the all-too-real character traits of couples you may well know, or even (cringe) be a part of yourself.
“Jonathon and Claire avoid your kind of olive oil, for instance, because while it says Italian, unless you buy single estate the olives are probably imported from Spain and merely pressed in Italy.” Sound like anyone you’ve met? “Mark and Sophie are often compelled to do things because they know other people who have (they first went to V because Sophie’s sister and her friends had gone, and one of them ended up going for a snog in the VIP section with Scouting for Girls).” Could you, in your heart of hearts, be Mark?
Though you may find yourself wincing as you discover that your parents are ‘Saga louts’ or that your best friend’s girlfriend has ‘chaveau riche’ written all over her (personalised number-plates are a dead give-away), The Middle Class Handbook is an amusing read for amateur sociologists or anyone who’s simply after a light read, a good snigger and the chance to judge one’s neighbours possibly a little unfairly.
The Middle Class Handbook is published by Not Actual Size this month.