Selfie by Will Storr
How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us

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So, although Storr’s cultural history is fascinating and often persuasive, his diagnosis of where we are now might well be too pessimistic. Of course, I quite fancy myself for saying so.
-Guardian

Synopsis

By the author of The Unpersuadables, this thrilling and ambitious book explores the mysterious power of the self and reveals the danger of our modern obsession with it.

We live in the age of the individual. Every day, we’re bombarded with depictions of the beautiful, successful, slim, socially conscious, and extroverted individual that our culture has decided is the perfect self, and we berate ourselves when we don’t measure up. This model of the perfect self and the impossibly high standards it sets can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy, and unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Journalist and novelist Will Storr began to wonder about this perfect self that torments so many of us: Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell?

To answer these questions, Storr takes the reader on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the “selfie” generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now. Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately―because it’s us.

 

About Will Storr

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Will Storr is a journalist, novelist, and photographer. His features have appeared in numerous newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times (London), and The Observer (London). He has been named New Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year. The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone is his first novel.
 
Published March 27, 2018 by The Overlook Press. 416 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Selfie
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Steven Poole on Jun 21 2017

So, although Storr’s cultural history is fascinating and often persuasive, his diagnosis of where we are now might well be too pessimistic. Of course, I quite fancy myself for saying so.

Read Full Review of Selfie: How We Became So Self... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Peter Conrad on Jun 12 2017

Selfie is as much autobiography as cultural history. Storr was prompted to write it by a slew of personal problems...On the evidence of Selfie, the world is suffering from a bad case of the DTs and we urgently need detoxing.

Read Full Review of Selfie: How We Became So Self... | See more reviews from Guardian

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95%

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