BOOK REVIEW: Iced Beer & Other Tantalising Tips for Life by Lee Lin Chin & Chris Leben
Reviewed by Natalie Salvo
Non-Fiction/Comedy & Humour
Iced Beer & Other Tantalising Tips for Life is a short book that is billed as a sort of advice manual by the self-proclaimed “Prime Chinster of Australia”, or Gold Logie nominee, newsreader, and inimitable fashionista known as Lee Lin Chin. This book is a confident look at the important things in Chin’s life and one in which she squarely puts the majority of people down (although to be fair, most of them were morons anyway). Chin is assisted here by The Feed’s Chris Leben, a man that Chin jokes cannot string a sentence together but who manages her social media accounts (because Chin hates technology).
This book is like the comedic equivalent of being slapped across the face. Some people will find it hilarious while others will find it rather heavy-handed and brutal. Before the book properly begins, we are presented with an unofficial foreword in which Lee Lin Chin addresses readers as “Dearest peasants” and scoffs at the prospect of writing a self-help or advice book because, “What advice could a god give an ant?” This sets the tone for the chapters that follow.
This book is very much a reflection of Chin’s unique charm, her irreverence and her own style of cheeky humour that may not be for everyone. Throughout the book, Chin keeps her tongue firmly in cheek. She frequently describes her love of a drink with quotes like: “Beer: beer is where it’s at. Not some strawberry-infused craft rubbish – or worse, non-alcoholic beer. What’s the point? I’m talking real beer made by a bearded, bluey-wearing man with three teeth and athlete’s foot.”
One also gets the sense that Chin is a feminist at heart; you can imagine her kicking and screaming as she tackles the topic of children with simple quotes like “NOPE” and “SERIOUSLY, NO”, and there is also her contempt for bosses: “Statistically a white straight male promoted beyond their station and skill level. A truly useless person”.
These feelings of disdain are also used when she addresses her fans in their re-printed questions from Twitter. There are also quotes like: “If you ever meet me it will be a moment you will cherish for the rest of your life. I shall forget it in the moment you exit my gaze”.
Lee Lin Chin’s book is a light-hearted and silly look at life and the reader needs to consume it with a large pinch of salt. This is particularly the case in the sections from cooking (represented by instructions for ordering pizza and making iced-pops out of beer) to acceptable careers (mostly just those of the bartending and brewing variety).
Iced Beer & Other Tantalising Tips for Life is not the book to read if you want a hard-hitting or illuminating look at Chin’s 30-plus years as a journalist, but instead is a strange and funny look at her thoughts about life, love and other bits and pieces. At the very least Lee Lin Chin should be applauded here for following her own advice of being “uniquely yourself” because there isn’t much else out there like it, and nor is there room in this world for another bold megalomaniac penning an advice book.
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