(From the introduction I offered to write for them, which they inexplicably turned down. Honestly, what's wrong with these people?)
The idea that everything is crap was familiar even to the Pre-Socratics. Anaximander's ομνικοπρος outlined the initial form of a theory eagerly embraced by so many of his contemporaries that Sophocles saw fit to satirize it in The Turds
: our choice is between being a "worm", burrowing through the world's shit, or a "fly", perching precariously on top of it. But, at the end of the renowned Dialogue with Scato from the Phaedrus
, the greatest philosopher of antiquity shows us a possible escape route. The metaphor of the lily growing from the dung-heap famously encapsulates Plato's counterargument.
In just the same way, the Cullen family also succeed in transcending "this crappy world". The rest of this review is in my book What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations