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Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
 
 

Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren [Kindle Edition]

Alan Coren , Giles Coren , Victoria Coren
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Review

* A comic genius. The Times * The field is led by Alan Coren. Observer * Coren is our heavyweight champion humorist, over-powering as well as graceful, able to do everything, sometimes in the same short article. Guardian * The funniest writer in Britain today. Sunday Times * Coruscating! A master humorist! Daily Telegraph * He has a comic imagination which can actually render your jaded scribe flabbergasted. -- Clive James Observer * His power of observation knows no bounds. Daily Mail * Coren's extraordinary gift for seeing the funny side of everyday life is in abundant evidence throughout this book, which will have you chuckling out loud. Good Book Guide 20090401 * This book brings together a well-chosen and quiveringly funny sample of [Coren's] comic writing ... The humour in these columns isn't about one-liners and the best pieces take a fertile idea and run a mile with it, sparking a shower of bon mots in the process. -- James Purdon Observer 20090517 * Accomplished. -- Colin Waters Sunday Herald 20090607 * A fitting testament to a man who gave millions joy. -- Richard Morrison Times 20090606 * Anthologies of humorous writing are usually deadly, but this one collates Alan Coren's work into decades, each with an introduction by someone you've heard of, and tries to give it a purpose above that of the pursuit of cheap laughs. The upshot is that Coren's anarchic silliness has something to play against. -- Toby Clements Daily Telegraph 20090621 * An engaging collection ... The warmth and wit of these pieces stand the test of time. -- Anita Sethi Independent on Sunday 20090621 * If you ever wanted to find the Corens' funny bone, this is the best place to start. -- Matt Hussey The Shortlist 20090716 * This ultimate collection of the writings of the much loved and sadly missed humorist, broadcaster and self styled 'sage of Cricklewood' has been selected by his children Giles and Victoria and contain pieces spanning a career of more than 40 years. London Review of Books 20090806

Book Description

The ultimate anthology of the humorous writing of the 'Sage of Cricklewood'.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1757 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (10 Feb 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9UEU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,347 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great writing, great fun... 24 Aug 2009
By Emanon
Format:Paperback
It's difficult to express how much of a joy this collection of works from the long career of Alan Coren's is because any kind of superlative prose can only seem inadequate when compared to writing of this artfulness and quality. Suffice it to say that some of these pieces are laugh-out-loud funny, many of them you just feel the need to read out loud to whoever is within earshot just so you can share their brilliance and sheer exuberant eloquence, and pretty much all of them will leave you in a pleasantly thoughtful frame of mind.

I did find that I preferred the later shorter pieces, probably as they overlapped more with events in my own lifetime, and it seemed that age did not wither that amazing wit. When Mr Coren got older he got sharper, pithier and funnier. It's all just so amazingly well written that sometimes you can't believe quite how good it is. The targets - both big and small - are dealt with an inimitable stylishness that seems effortless but comes from someone who was truly an expert at what he did. Some of my personal favourites are about the absurdities of suburban living - like over-ambitious dinner party menus, over-competitive bridge partners, or the sheer over-optimistic hopefulness involved in just trying to make it to the theatre on time - but there's so much more to this collection than that and so many more topics that are touched upon that you're bound to find something to enjoy here.

85 pieces from across over four decades of writing cannot but scratch the surface of the imaginings of this master wordsmith, but this selection does make for a very enjoyable read. Introductions to the various decades from Melvyn Bragg, Victoria Wood, Clive James, A. A. Gill and Stephen Fry show the quality of his fans and influence. His (rather fabulous) offspring, Giles and Victoria, also pitch in with a fondly observed introduction perhaps proving, at the very least, that genius might just have something of the genetic about it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry, royalty and estate agents 2 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A wonderful collection of writing. Funny but also good for the mind. Coren's ability to immitate and translate makes such a good read: royalty on days off, what estate agents would make of the Doomsday book, why poetry meant that Postman Pat could not have a black and white dog. This is a sideways, upside down glance at the world. The impossible and implausible is considered as actuality with a great commentary on what is happening currently appearing magically (or so it seems).

I would recommend this book. It is a great read and takes the reader through decades of work. Sometimes it sounds a little dated, but that is what it is...of its time. It is good to see how language and behaviours have changed (or not).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I never really took to Coren on the radio. I could tell he had a very amusing side to his approach to life, but somehow he didn't gel with me. It was with some reluctance I accepted the loan of Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks as something to read in bed when staying overnight with friends in London. Well!!! I hardly know what to say now!!! I don't think I have ever laughed so much and so often in my seventy plus years! I enjoyed the small parts I read in London so much I had to order the book as soon as I got home - the following day.

The book arrived a few days later (thanks Welly bob books) and I began it from the beginning - as one should. I laughed myself to sleep night after night, to the annoyance of my wife. Tears streaming from my eyes, I had to limit my reading to one article a night or I might have had a heart attack.

This book is sooo funny! I take back everything less than polite I may have said about Coren before I found this book. I now rate him somewhat ahead of my heretofore champion Bill Bryson.

Get this book of Alan Coren's before it is snapped up! If you have the slightest sense of humour you will laugh yourself silly - as my wife is now doing!!! Five stars are just not enough. Sadly Coren has recently passed away, but if you hear celestial laughter you can bet the Angels are going through my experience.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny prose, a great read 10 Oct 2008
By CJ
Format:Hardcover
Very funny and surprisingly informative. Coren is a wonderful writer and a lot of what he has to say is intelligent and genuinely interesting as well as funny. Well recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am helpless with laughter :-) 13 Jan 2011
By Mrs. H. V. Minor VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
No, I'm not just helpless with laughter - I am apoplectic with it! I have to take time out from reading Alen Coren just to get my breath back. If laughter is the best medicine, this book is worth several hundredweight of happy pills. I can remember reading "The Unnatural History of Selborne" once in the dentist's waiting room and I can issue this health warning: "Reading Alan Coren in public can seriously damage your gravitas!" Five stars are definitely too little to award to this genius of humour. I've been reading the book on my brand new Kindle and I have one gripe: where's the title index, eh, Kindle book producers? I wanted to find "The Unnatural History of Selborne" in the index but there isn't one and I've since discovered that my adored article isn't included in this compendium so I've had to buy another compendium of Alan CorenAlan Coren Omnibus: The Master Humorist's Choice from Five Classic Collections just for that piece. It's a hard life but someone's got to live it! :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan the King Coren 8 May 2009
By Mrs E
Format:Hardcover
Excellent collection, gives a real feeling for the man and his humour. Highly recommended, both husband and I really enjoyed it, lots of laughs. His mastery of the written word is enviable - should be a recommended text for every English student!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good dip in book
Published 1 month ago by Ian C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
AMUSING
Published 1 month ago by djwmps
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate & Cuckoo Clocks
I've read Alan Coren books before and this book is great fun to read, as I expected. I shall order some more !
M.Tyrrell
Published 7 months ago by Malcolm Tyrrell
5.0 out of 5 stars humour at an intelligent level
lyrically written, sans expletives.
A very witty introduction from son and daughter.
Most importantly, every anecdote teases you into its intricate web - put it down at... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Philip Goddard
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is not long enough!
Brilliant selection of some of Alan Coren's best stories, many previously published in Punch. Coren was of course arguably the best comedy writer of the late 20th Century and there... Read more
Published 8 months ago by A. R. V. Riding
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks
This is absolutely brilliant, I cannot fathom how his mind worked to produce this stuff, sometimes a bit cruel, week in and week out. Better than anyone since.
Published 9 months ago by J. E. Hudson
4.0 out of 5 stars Funniest Man Ever?
A good collection of Alan Coren work, compiled by his children. As it is a compilation, and obviously to their taste, it misses some of the pieces that I thought hilarious, such as... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Malcolm Parkin
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comic Treat of Treats
Titters, chuckles and belly laughs by the bucketload in this little gem of Alan Coren's wit. It makes life richer.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs Marion Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
What can I say? Simply the greatest humorist ever, no question. This collection doesn't contain some of my favourite articles but has introduced me to others that I never knew... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Philip Whiteland
5.0 out of 5 stars Comic Genius
Coren was one of the finest writers of comic nonsense in the English language. The literary ones are well over my head, but the stories that begin with a line from the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by David Shephard
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