I suppose I need to mention as a disclaimer to this review that I sort of know the author… or more that I sort of know his wife, which is why I knew the book existed. That has nothing to do with this review though as it is based completely on my experience of reading the book, which I bought and paid for.
Stuart Heritage considers himself to be a model son and citizen. He’s kind and thoughtful and respectful. He’s done all the things you’re supposed to do – go to university, move to the city, get married… have a child so it’s obvious that he’s his parents’ favourite.
And then there’s Pete, his younger brother. Pete is the exact opposite of Stu. He is explosively impatient, fiercely competitive, ruthless in his pursuit of what he wants and – for all intents and purposes – couldn’t give a flying shit what anyone thinks of him in any conventional way.
In this memoir Stu looks back at his and Pete’s lives telling stories of the trials and tribulations of their relationship and for the most part how they’ve almost driven each other insane. With everything from almost childhood stabbings to ill-fated wine tastings, questionable stag-dos and bathroom accidents on the table it’s a laugh a minute and I actually found myself snorting on the tube a couple of times.
While Stu pulls no punches taking the piss out of the extraordinary character that is Pete, he’s just as happy to point the finger at himself. It soon becomes obvious that Stu is not the saint he initially claims to be and that he rather admires his brother. Allowing Pete to respond to some chapters and express how he remembers things makes it even funnier and their text message exchanges are hilarious.
Don’t Be a Dick, Pete is filled with warmth, bathos and nostalgia and proves extremely relatable, especially if you have a sibling (or siblings) that you in equal parts adore and want to strangle. If you get to the end and don’t want to meet Pete, I’ll eat my hat. He’s now on my list of five people I’d have at my perfect dinner party.