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Book Review: <i>Archetypes: Social Animals in Our Midst</i>

Archetype [noun]: a very typical example of a certain person or thing. Example: The book is a perfect archetype of the genre.

In their book Archetypes: Social Animals in Our Midst, Mireille Silcoff and Kagan McLeod have taken on the admirable task of re-classifying people. That whole Jungian schtick was getting old - the wise old man, the hero with the tragic flaw, the virgin/mother/whore thing - so last century.

Their book is one of those fun little books you can pick up, read a page, have a giggle, and go about your day. Good as a generic, humorous gift - unless the recipient is described to a tee inside, they might take it as an un-subtle hint to be less predictable. Or an insult to their undying affection for their dog.

Silcoff writes wry, page-long descriptions of those recognizable types of people - (a few I recognized : the water conoisseur, the sycophantic waiter, ms. moving) and McLeod's quirky illustrations make them lively and memorable.

It's all in good fun, and it's almost a relief to realize you're not the only person who works with a perpetually perky mumsy type who will not have that smile wiped from their face. At least a couple entries are bound to hit close to home.


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