I feel like Helen and Olly are old friends, their half hour podcasts have been a regular companion to my commuting. They are over-educated, under-employed, over-opinionated and very funny, perfect company.
Basically their podcast is a sort of smutty radio four type thing, with listeners posing questions, which Helen and Olly then proceed to answer or not. This can provoke humorous stories from their past, rants, or even an informative answer.
Before criticising, I would like to say that writing comedy is one of the most difficult forms of writing to do well, iambic penatameters in latin are probably more difficult to get right, but after that written comedy must be a close second. This book is consistently amusing, and had me laughing out loud in numerous places. It is like Stephen Pile's Book of Heroic Failures. Ideal for reading when you are visiting the smallest room in the house. So that is one of the places where I was laughing out loud. Learn from my mistake, don't lend it to anyone else. My copy of Heroic Failures legged it was enormous speed when I let someone borrow it, it must have felt like a drunken inter-railing student with an enviable trust fund.
Having said all that, some of the stories are not quite as funny as they were on the podcast. The book could have been broadened out slightly, I would have loved to see the place where the podcast is recorded, and a little more biographical detail. The dominant voice in the writing is clearly Helen, so the banter aspect did not translate readily to the printed page. If you, or a possible recipient, are not intrigued to learn how to fart unobtrusively while in bed with a spouse, then this book is possibly not entirely appropriate.
Helen and Olly deserve our love and support, buy this book to read, or give away to poor people.