As Mel Brooks once said, “Merchandising!” You can’t be a successful anything these days unless you have a t-shirt, or a CD, or a book, or a million other knick-knacks for fans of the show to buy. Which is why we can now call FX’s Archer a successful show, due the release of How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written. The book is ostensibly written by series star Sterling Archer and explains how you too can become the world’s greatest covert agent. Or at least how to be the second best, because no one can be a better spy than Archer.
The book is written in the form of a how-to guide, with Archer explaining the finer points of weapons, martial arts, dining, drinking, dressing, and everything else that comes with being way cooler than James Bond ever could hope to be. There is a surprising amount of somewhat useful and factual information for a book written by a fictional character. The chapter on cocktails has a healthy supply of great recipes and there’s a recipe for eggs that I’d like to try if I have a couple extra hundred dollars sitting around.
The thing about How to Archer is that it wasn’t quite as funny as I was hoping it would be. Sure, there are a few laughs to be found throughout, but there was just something missing about it. Maybe I just had my hopes up too high, as I am such a big fan of the show. Archer is one of the funniest shows on TV right now, and I assumed that this book would be non-stop laughs, and then it wasn’t, for whatever reason. Maybe my standards are just too high. It’s still worth a read, especially for fans of the shows. There are enough laughs to make it worth the purchase, but I wouldn’t say it’s a slam dunk. I’m going to give this a 3 out of 5 and hope that there is a follow-up book that truly lives up to the standards I have come to expect.