Christine’s Review: The Awesome Guide to Life by Jason Ellis

awesome guideIf you’re a fan of books by motivational speakers, you know that sometimes the cover is of questionable taste.  For example, Larry Winget’s recent title Grow a Pair features the author holding a pair of personal watermelons, representing…a pair.  When I saw Jason Ellis’ book, The Awesome Guide to Life: Get Fit, Get Laid, Get Your Sh*t Together, I expected a similar type of book.  Why wouldn’t you – it featured a woman sporting a mohawk on the cover.  However, appearances can be deceiving.  This book is meant to be motivational, but I am hoping that its reach is limited to Ellis’ viewers on SiriusXM.

The demographics for this book are inexperienced young men who are presumably fans of Ellis’ show.  Ellis’ goal is to teach you how to be a shallow, sex-starved twenty year old drinker and drugger.  He takes the approach of shaming the reader into wanting to eat healthy, dress well, and get in shape. If this approach is motivating to you, then it might work…with additional information.  Ellis’ plans are so basic that it is not really worth spending money on even those chapters. There are so many other products on the market.  I’ve also noticed no disclaimers.  As a result, following the actions in this book would leave you open to sue him from anything from a torn ligament to getting an STD.

You might want to feel sorry for the insecure young man who feels he needs Ellis’ tips on women.  The author tries to make himself out to be an in-demand stud, but he comes off as pathetic. It reminds you of Thicke’s uncut version of his “Blurred lines” video (where he has to spell out that he has a big penis at 3:14 and 3:52). If you have to brag about it that much, you’re probably lacking something.

Ellis makes a big show of making sure you have a woman’s permission before getting in bed with them, but that’s where any concept of respect ceases.  Chapters of this book are geared towards how to take advantage of women, how to pick up strippers, and how to find a hooker. The entire book dehumanizes women and forces them into the role of Cool Girl (discussed in Flynn’s Gone Girl): women are present to coo over men, to subjugate themselves to men, and to participate in whatever trend is going on in porn for men today, such as threesomes and anal sex.

The fact that this type of book is being published by Harper Collins in 2013 just reinforces that misogyny is alive and well, even in America.  Also note that I read this offal from cover to cover to provide you with a comprehensive review. My copy of The Awesome Guide to Life: Get Fit, Get Laid, Get Your Sh*t Together was a loaned advanced reader copy, provided free of charge, for a limited time period.

~Christine Linial (from Austinista.net)

  13 comments for “Christine’s Review: The Awesome Guide to Life by Jason Ellis

  1. dan
    January 27, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    christine-

    [edited because we don’t tolerate childish name-calling around here – The Mgmt]

  2. Cm
    February 17, 2014 at 11:20 am

    You clearly did not actually read the book and made your own assumptions on the book. You have no credibility as a reviewer.

  3. Lisa
    February 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Okay, boys, time to behave.

    We are not going to tolerate name-calling and other foolishness. Just because you disagree with Christine does not mean that you get to call her names or insist that she didn’t read the book. I have no doubt that Christine read the book and formed her own opinions, just as you are welcome to do. You are even welcome to get your own website and talk about your opinions.

    If you have specific points that you want to discuss, I am sure that Christine would be happy to address them.

  4. mike in canada
    February 19, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I would like to personally thank Jason for his book. Because of it….

    Come on! Did you really think I was going to allow that sort of nasty talk? – The Mgmt

  5. Amanda
    February 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    To give a fully informed review you really should read the entire book. If you would you wouldn’t have these opinions. They are yours to have but how can you call yourself a book reviewer if you aren’t reading the book. Would that make you a fraud?

    Not being a fan of Ellis and getting this book I didn’t really ‘want’ to read it but after getting into it you can realize that he isn’t ‘shaming readers’ as you put it he is being real to his readers. Which is more to say than most so-called motivational writers and speakers today. This is the real world and does require REAL talk. Not being fake, as a woman and being overweight I do need to get in shape it’s on me to do so.

    I hope in future reviews you will take the time to read the book you are trying to review rather than putting out something so negative.

  6. Lisa
    February 19, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    >If you would you wouldn’t have these opinions.

    This is just ridiculous. What proof do you have that she didn’t read the book? Or are you just assuming that because she doesn’t share your opinion, she must not have read it?

    You can certainly disagree with the review and that doesn’t mean that either of you are wrong. It is possible for readers to disagree with the review without resorting to name-calling and baseless accusations.

  7. February 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I have read the _entire_ book, from cover to cover. I did note that I was not the target audience for the book, as I’m not a fan of Ellis’ Sirius show. If you are interested in a ‘down to earth’ type of motivational speaker, I recommend Larry Winget’s books. If you’re interested in personal growth on a deep level, check out Tony Robbins’ books.

    I really don’t agree with Ellis’ ethics and views towards life, especially as he seems to have a misogynistic bent towards women. In this era of “Leaning In,” women deserve to be viewed as more than mere eye candy or playthings for men in general society. What adults do behind closed doors, of course, is open to whatever roles consenting adults would like to create. While I’m a fan of Howard Stern, he tends to be more thoughtful and adult in his comments, though he does also use locker room style humor. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with encouraging both men and women to get into shape as Ellis states, but that’s not the bulk of the book’s message.

  8. February 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    To be a little more clear: I don’t think that Ellis dislikes women. On the contrary, he addresses an entire chapter to women in his book. However, it’s pretty on track to say that women are primarily discussed as sex objects to be used for men throughout his “Guide.”

  9. Houston
    February 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Another example of a shortsided reviewer not fully taking in all the book and AUTHOR had to offer. As a college educated, business owner, and more importantly fan of Ellis I find this review upsetting. Sadly this review has been done by someone who doesn’t get the joke. As well as someone who doesn’t listen to his highly rated show fanitically followed by thousands of people across the US and Canada. These fans range in age, education and income level sexual orientation and life experience, all who manage to “get it”. But again it’s not her fault. I lay blame on those in charge of putting such books in the hands of those who on their most open minded of days after a couple glasses of Pinot Grigio STILL wouldn’t understand. They are just trying to get some sort of worthy acknowledgment of the site or magazine or show. And they have. Here we are commenting on someone’s review that would surely go unnoticed like the rest of the reviews done here. He and the book are an unapologetic take on entertainment for ALL his fans, the fans that put his last book at the top of the NY Times best seller list and will surely do so again. It’s a great book that entertains great fans and chases away those who don’t get it. He doesn’t need your approval we will buy several copies each anyway. Bottom line is this is for his fans, his EllisFam and here we are buying the book which is driving these people crazy. That’s what we do. Red Dragons.

  10. Lisa
    February 20, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Do you really think that you are “driving people crazy” by buying the book? Come on! It’s a book by a guy with a radio show – stop talking about it like there is some sort of conspiracy to keep his book away from you. Ellis cares, his publishers care, but I am pretty confident that no one is sitting at home, wringing their hands in despair because you’re buying the book.

    It’s nice that he wrote a book that appeals to his fans; I would think that better writing might engage people outside his fan base.

    For the record, I haven’t read the book and I have no intention to, but I am always glad when readers find books they love – though not so much when those readers come to my site and behave badly.

  11. jack
    February 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    As with most books I buy, I read a bunch of reviews prior, and although there were very mixed opinions on it, I bought it anyway as it seemed like a silly kind of book to take a breather in between actual reads. I never do this as everyone is entitled to their opinion and there’s no point in arguing with someone I don’t know on behalf of a different person I don’t know and could really care less about. However the second I opened the book, I laughed because I remembered this particular review and the brutal comments that followed.

    The two quotes from this review relevant to my reply:
    “Also note that I read this offal from cover to cover to provide you with a comprehensive review.”
    “I’ve also noticed no disclaimers. As a result, following the actions in this book would leave you open to sue him from anything from a torn ligament to getting an STD.”

    The very First page I opened up to:
    “Anyone who is about to read this book should proceed at their own risk. I am not a doctor, a psychiatrist, a nutritionist, a marriage counselor, or anything like that. I have had no professional training of any kind. In fact, many people who have heard my radio show would consider me a dangerous moron”

    Which I agree to by the way. The author then proceeds to warn the readers, through the advice and direct quotes from his lawyers, that the book is information based on his own experiences and should not be attempted without seeking advice from professionals pertaining to the situation.

    I have no doubt you started to read this book, but when you moved from hating it to despising it, I’m assuming it became a quick skim to get it over with. There is nothing wrong with this, but say so in your review instead of fabricating.

    Note: I have read only 1 page of this book so far and have no opinion on it at all yet. I may end up agreeing with you but for now; Thanks for the laugh.

  12. amanda
    February 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Clearly another review by a feminist. If you actually read his first book (and this one for that matter) you would understand the point of view and credibility of the author. Don’t read books about one of the best early skateboarders if you are going to make narrow-minded, negative assumptions. Fuck. Red dragons.

  13. February 25, 2014 at 3:34 am

    Here we go! Feel free to skim just the item/s that interest you, lol.

    1) I’m not attacking EllisFam, skateboarding, or doubting anyone’s educational achievements. You can keep it real without belonging to Jason’s club. IMHO, the book/Sirius show isn’t worth the trouble to despise. It’s for a different demographic. Yet, I’m glad the review is encouraging commenters to post on Alive on the Shelves.

    However, I did make a comment about an imaginary ideal reader based on the _usefulness_ of the advice given. See #4.

    2) I was asked to provide my opinion of “The Awesome Guide to Life” for Alive on the Shelves as an educated reader who reads the entire book. I followed Jason on Twitter for a month to get a sense of his personality. I also read sections of the book aloud to my husband. I usually keep to a word count when writing book reviews. No one wants an epic review with tons of spoilers in it!

    Why is it that multiple commenters assume I didn’t read the book? Were you hoping I’d miraculously become a Jason devotee if I would just read the book? Um, no thanks. However, I am glad you think I am capable of skimming. Thank you for the compliment!

    3) Jack, thank you for supporting your comments with quotes from Jason! What I should have said in the review above is that I noticed no SERIOUS disclaimers. Usually the legal department also has some sort of statement elsewhere in the book. You may find it in the front matter. I read an ebook preview, which was on loan from the publisher. I’ve since returned it.

    You’ll get some good laughs from it. The beginning biography section is the most interesting part of the book, IMHO. It’s sad that he’s jaded and thinks it’s his way or the highway when it comes to coolness. He’s not a Jedi knight or Ned Stark, unfortunately!

    For other commenters – an excellent explanation of what makes a good or bad argument is found in Paul Graham’s post: http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html.

    4) The self improvement content is not new/groundbreaking. This is what I was saying, in shorthand, when I said that the person who’d need this program was a socially awkward young person. Most people would see Jason’s advice as just common sense, so it wouldn’t be particularly helpful.

    The reason this book can be sold by a major publishing house is because the information and anecdotes are from Jason. Jason’s the value. How to get a stripper, etc, has been done before and will be done again by another celebrity in the future.

    5a) sYes, Amanda, I am a feminist with a fantastic sense of humor! I prefer Howard Stern over Jason Ellis when listening to Sirius. Howard asks thoughtful questions in his interviews and pesters everyone to dish about their personal/sex lives. I was hoping to be a fan of Jason after reading the book, but I’m not. I chose the book because it seemed interesting — and it was. The publisher didn’t assign it to me.

    5b) Successful people who earn a lot of money can be plagued by hangers on. They may want a piece of the person, their fame, and easy money. Ellis has probably dealt with these types of women in spades between his successful skateboarding career and his work on Sirius. What you get in the book is also just his opinion from being in that situation. I’d probably get a kick from the memoir because it’d just be all Jason, instead of having Jason trying to change other people as in this book.

    However, these anti-female attitudes are dated and need to be thrown out. Imagine if Jason had told all these stories instead about a Native American, African American, Latino, gay person, or a differently abled person throughout the book. Would it be funny then? Check out @Suey Park for tweets on current race and gender issues.

    And enjoy! Life is short, so read what speaks to you.

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