Non-inspiration for the masses ‘You Can Be Anything!’

This is not a children’s book.

Again, for emphasis: This is NOT a children’s book. Despite its child-like writing and stick-people artwork, this, as stated in the introduction, “is a book about grown-ups, for grown-ups who have grown. This is not for your children, but may be suitable for delinquent young teens.”

You can be anything! From A to Z: An anti-inspirational guide to adulthood, by Sarah Montague is the truth no one wants to face, told with a cruel yet hilarious twist. It is written very much like a kids’ “you can be anything book”-but names everything that no one truly wants to become.

From Amy, who is adopted, to Zeke, who “works forty hours plus overtime at the zoo,” You can be anything! looks at reality with black-tinted lenses and more than a smattering of sarcasm.

Covering everything from drunks, to Born Again Christians to schizophrenics to “trekkies” to young republicans, Anything! is merciless. It covers all the stereotypical negative qualities of each, exposing their flaws to the world with the greatest flair possible for a not-for-children children’s book.

Precisely because of her painfully simple language, Montague’s humor is that more biting. A classic example:

“Micah is a Dungeons & Dragons Master. When you roll the dice he says things like ‘You are entering a dark corridor. You have a magic dagger and the charisma of 9.’ He’s never had a girlfriend.

Do you like playing games?”

By following this model, letter after letter, one can’t help but keep flipping through its short 53 pages, anxious for the next inevitable put-down. A masterful work in its simplicity and cruelty, Anything! is excellent reading anytime a pick-me-up is desperately needed.

April 12, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web

Claire Paris-Limouzy started freediving for research and ended up becoming a record-breaking athlete who is also spearheading a Scientific Freediving program at the University. ...

Sociology scholars from around the world convened for a virtual conference hosted by the University of Miami on Thursday to explore shifting tendencies in international relocation and the implications for global social change. ...

Lauryn Williams, track and field and bobsled medalist, addressed the University community during Wednesday night’s “What Matters to U” virtual event. ...

During his appearance Tuesday on a webinar hosted by the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School, tech mogul Eric Yuan highlighted the importance of a workplace culture of happiness and urged that businesses pay greater attention to the digital divide. ...

Early voting in Florida began this week and will last through Nov. 1. Here’s a rundown of everything students need to know about upcoming campus events, from the final debate watch party to transportation to the polls. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.