Join Me by Danny Wallace is summarised in the tagline as “the true story of a man who started a cult by accident.”
What the blurb says:
“Bored, Danny Wallace placed a whimsical small ad in a local paper, saying simply, ‘Join Me’. Within a month he was receiving letters and e-mails from strangers all over the country, eager to sign up.Teachers, mechanics, sales reps, vicars, schoolchildren, pensioners – all pledged allegiance to his cause. No one knew what that cause was. Least of all Danny…Soon he was proclaimed Leader. Increasingly obsessed, and possibly power crazed, he risked losing his sanity and his loyal girlfriend. But who could deny the attraction of a global following of thousands of devoted joinees?If only he could come up with something for everyone to do…”
(As I copied the blurb from the book, I realised it sounds a bit like Twitter!)
What drew me to read this book was that I’d previously read Are You Dave Gorman? co-written between Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace, and I found it hilarious. So of course when I happened upon Join Me, I was totally up for reading another tale of someone doing something a little off-the-wall and having an adventure as a result.
This book is comical and a little peek into someone’s spontaneity-driven life. Danny’s project comes from boredom and good intentions, and grows thanks to a few pints with a mate and an increasing number of people joining something without even knowing why! (Pack mentality, madness or insatiable curiosity?)
Join Me, which Danny’s girlfriend Hanne would categorise as a ‘stupid boy-project’ (therefore he hasn’t told her about it yet) ends up taking Danny to different countries, talking on TV and campaigning on the streets to gain more ‘joinees’. Join Me even gets its own theme tune.
This book might seem predictable when you get into the story, but the occasional surprises keep you on your toes, and it also shows the power of networking.
Spoiler (because I forgot to note down quotes): He comes up with something for everyone to do. It’s a good thing.
Read it because: it will encourage you to do good things too. (And if you buy it new, Danny gets money. Money buys beer. So essentially you’re buying the guy a beer. That’s a good thing.)
The TLDR: It’s funny, it’s mad, it’s brilliant. And true.