Category Archives: Books

Harry Potter and the Internet Fruitcakes

Harry Potter and the Internet FruitcakesAmazon should ban people from leaving comments and ratings before a product is actually available. This would seem to me to be plain common sense. I mean honestly, just look at some of this crap:

5 stars It’ll be amazingness unrivalled!
It’ll be impossible for it to be bad – this is Harry Potter we’re talking about, guys, haha … it’s going to be GREAT! No question.

5 stars of course its going to be good
I know of many other people who are sure that Harry Potter and the ???????? will deserve five stars, to find them just type “harry potter fan fiction” into google. I got 1,950,000 results and its probably still growing. click on any harry potter fan fiction site, an look at the lists of authors. Probably every single person there is of the opinion that book 7 will deserve 5 stars and will rate it accordingly as and when it comes out.

5 starsthe end…
I’m very tempted to give five stars to it, because it’s bound to be great, but it wouldn’t be ABSOLUTELY honest, would it? So i tried just not to rate it, but that’s not allowed. SO, i have to resort to giving it 5 stars…

And just for balance:

3 starsdont get me wrong
the book will get five stars from me it will be awsome but the title will get zero

Grade-A nuts, the lot of them. They should be taken out and shot, or at least taught how to spell and punctuate.

Update: More Potter lunacy, this time from Royal Mail. Don’t be surprised when you hear your local post office is closing down this spring. The postal services have spending priorities just like everyone else, it’s just that theirs are informed by the logic of a madman.

Books by repeat offenders

YOU PONCEI’ve just finished reading You Ponce by Lenny ‘The Fuckles’ Maguire. I’ve always poo-pooed those books by gangsters in the past but that was clearly snobbery on my part as it’s actually surprisingly well written. The guy has a peerless grasp of metaphor, for example often using the word ‘machete’ where you or I might say bon mot.

He was clearly trying it on so without further ado I cut him down to size with a well-chosen machete.

I thoroughly recommend the book to anyone as it’s a jolly good read. Next up: ‘Ave That You Twat by Jimmy the Hatchet.

How I Would Have Snapped All Those Meccano Pieces In Half, Hypothetically Speaking

That’s the title of my forthcoming book, a sort of “what if?” confession to a crime I was accused of in childhood but always denied. My accusers have never accepted my innocence but this way I’ll have the last laugh. In the book I reveal that, had I been the actual perpetrator of this incident, I would have made sure the evidence got properly melted down, wouldn’t have left those gloves covered in bits of Meccano in my car, and would never have engaged in a high-speed pursuit with my Dad like that on national TV.

I would say more but my publicist has urged me not to before the book is out and I’ve been on a few chat shows.

Imagine a little hairy foot, stamping on a troll’s face, forever

Warning: May contain traces of plot and character developmentLord help us: Tolkein’s putting a new book out. Apparently he was still alive when he wrote the other stuff but I’m pretty certain his death won’t have upset his delicate balance of page-turning pace and witty characterisations.

It goes without saying that the book is very long and about hobbits.

Peter Jackson is en route to New Zealand as we speak to get enough material for another 15-hour epic “in the can” before he dies of old age. His filming schedule is thought to look something like this:

  • Film some hairy children jumping on and off horses
  • Film old bloke holding staff aloft/spreading arms/bellowing
  • Knock up vast monster army on computer
  • Film hairy children hiding under big leaves
  • Film old bloke/hairy children fighting giant creature
  • Do scenes of vast monster army marching, fighting, grunting, etc.
  • Film hairy children going into some sort of tavern
  • Big battle scene with vast monster army: kill off old bloke
  • Film hairy children hiding behind a rock
  • As soon as book is published: Add titles, arrange shots into sequence, dub mumbo-jumbo dialogue

I can barely contain my excitement.

Lettice the Bridesmaid

lettice_tn.jpgOne of the girls has brought a new book home from school today, Lettice The Bridesmaid. The book concerns a young woman called Giselle who writes to local rabbits and teaches them to dance.

Come in, Lettice,” she laughs as Lettice (a rabbit) arrives for her dancing lesson, “I’ve got something special to show you!

The “something special” is a wedding dress with a small boy living under it. Giselle stages an impromptu wedding rehearsal with lead roles for the small boy and the rabbit, then immediately gets married in a field, with both human and rabbit guests in attendance. The rabbits all get to sit at the front, on both the bride’s and groom’s sides. The groom looks old enough to be Giselle’s father. Giselle is beautiful but has the vacant smile of a killer.

All in all, an excellent introduction to mental illness for the younger reader.

Jodie Marsh: at it like the clappers

Asked how long it took her to “write” “her” book, Jodie Marsh (of Celebrity Big Brother/having large breasts fame) replied: “I wrote the first 30,000 words in two months, just whenever I could find a free day. Then I wrote 90,000 words in a week.”

I had no idea the girl was so talented, and would like to take back anything I may have said about her in the past.

Jodie Marsh thinking recently

Book meme

I’ve been served a book meme by Anthony “WMD 404” Cox – a kind of Desert Island Discs only with books instead of discs, and only 5 instead of 8. And no desert island. Anyway, here goes…

Number of books I own: I haven’t counted, and I don’t like to boast, so let’s just say we’re talking double figures.

Last book bought: About Grace by Anthony Doerr

Last book read: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (an absolute masterpiece!)

Five books that mean a lot to me:

  1. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – my all-time favourite book, and as fine a study of British emotional constipation as you’re likely to find.
  2. Scepticism, Inc. by Bo Fowler – the only thing I’ve ever read that describes my own world view perfectly.
  3. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – probably the book I’ve read more than any other. It’s become like a nice pair of old shoes now, and my copy is falling apart. I always make the same mistake of starting to read it at Christmas for the enchanting chapters where the boys are growing up in a snowy Maine wonderland, and forgetting that that’ll leave me in January with the depressing second half where they’re getting blown to pieces in Vietnam. Doh!
  4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel – utterly beautiful, and a very close runner-up to Remains of the Day as my desert island book. In fact, no, this would be my desert island book, if only for chapter 58:

    I pulled out the survival manual. Its pages were still wet. I turned them carefully. The manual was written by a British Royal Navy commander. It contained a wealth of practical information on surviving at sea after a shipwreck. It included survival tips such as:

    And so on.

  5. Katie’s Zoo by Me (No link because I haven’t finished writing it yet. Or had it published.) – 10-year-old Katie comes home one day to find a crocodile called George behind her settee. He talks her into letting him stay, but Katie gradually begins to question whether George is really as harmless and mild-mannered as he seems. In fact, she wonders if he might have something to do with the mysterious disappearance of a local cat. As Katie starts to investigate, matters only get more complicated – and that’s before further strange and uninvited guests start to arrive…

Who am I going to tag? Er, nobody. Sorry, I just don’t know any other bloggers who haven’t taken part already. The trail stops here. Please return to what you were doing.

A quick little stick kid

I’m on a one-man mission to spread the word of a wonderful pair of children’s books: Stick Kid and The Big Blue Spot by Peter Holwitz. Peter’s one of that rare breed: a children illustrator who can also tell a great story. Both books have a brilliantly surreal edge to them, and are now favourites of the whole faimly (from 4 to 33). Stick Kid in particular will have a lump in your throat, I guarantee. Please try them out and ask me for a refund if you don’t love both of them.