Who is Terry Ravenscroft? Is he a 68-year-old lorry-driver with small children or is he just a prank letter-writer who assumes a new identity for each new missive? That's a question I found myself coming back to again and again throughout this collection of letters.
Yes, there were connections between the letters, references and similar themes, but the feeling I got after reading this book is that Ravenscroft (Mr) is the latter. In that sense it's less satisfying that Robin Cooper's Timewaster Letters, where we see a character emerge and develop with each new letter. You could imagine a personality behind each letter and how they fitted into the writer's world. I didn't get that with Terry Ravenscroft.
Also, unlike Cooper, Ravenscroft is often quite aggressive in his letters. He often chides his correspondent for not replying soon enough or demands free vouchers or samples from them. He is also quite often rude, talking about his sex life and intimate health problems such as his "anal pain".
Another thing about this book I didn't like is that it gets a bit boring after a while because he writes mostly to food manufacturers and supermarkets. There are only so many interesting angles you can come at them from and he explored most of them in the first dozen or so letters, which meant that the rest seemed a bit recycled.
I don't know why, but I only laughed at the last few letters in the book. I smiled at a few others earlier on. I only paid half price which seems about right. This is a good book to pick up to read only a few letters at a time.