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Driving Jarvis Ham [Hardcover]

Jim Bob
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 May 2012

A brilliantly witty story of unconventional, unwavering, and regularly exasperating friendship.


Meet Jarvis Ham: tea-room assistant, diarist, lift-cadger, Princess Di fan, secret alcoholic, and relentless seeker of fame. Jarvis may be an all-round irritant, but he’s harmless, and deep down, you know, he’s got a heart of gold. Hasn’t he?

As his oldest (and only) friend reflects on his life with Jarvis Ham – infatuations, questionable hairstyles, home-made charity singles, reality TV auditions, paedophile alerts at the local swimming baths – he wonders what it would have been like if they had never met. But what are you going to do? He’s a mate. DRIVING JARVIS HAM is a novel for anyone who has ever found themself looking across at a childhood friend, and wondering why they still know them.

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Driving Jarvis Ham + Storage Stories + Goodnight Jim Bob: On the Road with "Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine"
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007468318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007468317
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

London musician and author Jim Bob is best known as singer with Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, with whom he released 14 top 40 singles & 7 albums, 4 of which appeared in the top ten of the UK album charts and one that reached number one. He has released eight solo albums and written songs for Ian Dury and for the 2006 Barbican production of Mark Ravenhill's Dick Whittington & His Cat.

Jim Bob' Carter autobiography 'Goodnight Jim Bob - On The Road With Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine' was published by Cherry Red Books in 2004. His first full novel 'Storage Stories' was published by Ten Forty Books in May 2010 to critical acclaim. In August 2010 he made his Edinburgh Fringe debut in the Ward and White musical 'Gutted, A Revenger's Musical'.

Jim Bob's second novel 'Driving Jarvis Ham' was published by The Friday Project (Harper Collins) on May 10th 2012.

His latest novel 'The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81' is published by Pan on June 5 2014 under the author name of J.B. Morrison.

Product Description


'Very creepy. Luckily, very funny as well.' NIKESH SHUKLA, author of COCONUT UNLIMITED

‘Driving Jarvis Ham is a darkly comic novel, hilarious in parts’ INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

‘Rude, crude but hysterically funny’ NEW BOOKS MAGAZINE

‘An idiosyncratic modern comedy for our times’ ANDREW COLLINS

‘Very bloody funny indeed, in a creepy, original way.’ EMLYN REES, author of Come Together

‘Some real laugh out loud moments.’ ESSIE FOX, author of The Somnambulist

About the Author

Jim Bob is an author, musician, father and occasional (onetime) musical theatre star. He lives in South London, and holidays in Devon.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Genuinely Funny Book 13 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Driving Jarvis Ham by Jim Bob opens with "Would you drink a pint of your own piss?", a brilliant line but one that might deter the more sensitive reader. But, sensitive reader - any reader, I urge you to proceed beyond this and the increasingly gross challenges that Jarvis and our narrator are discussing in one of their "in car" games and enjoy an extremely funny tale of a childhood friendship that came about one day at school and continued for the next thirty years. Jarvis is a Princess Diana obsessive, wannabe actor, wannabe pop star, wannabe anything famous. He's got none of the attributes that might give him even a smidgeon of a chance to realise those dreams - his classmates called him "balloon head", he can't sing and he can't act but somehow, our narrator, his only friend, sticks with him and indulges him with lifts to his no hope auditions and am-dram flops.

Something more sinister lurks beneath Jarvis' loser existence as the novel develops through a clever combination of diaries and other mementos some discovered by his friend, some written by him. I love the friendly narrative conversational style. There are also some brilliant illustrations that alone would justify a "laugh out loud" quote on the back (although there are more than enough laughs even without them). Our narrator earns a living writing funny one-liners for Christmas crackers, fortune cookies and church posters (ruining my long held belief that the vicar at our local Methodist church must be Southport's funniest man) and he relates the story with wonderful humour and style.

Do read it - if you buy the electronic edition you even get four free songs by Jim Bob to download and enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Driving Jarvis Ham by Jim Bob 11 May 2012
By Dascha
I am often exasperated with old friends, new friends, people in general, confusing creatures. Rarely is this captured and so eloquently put in a novel format. Although maybe rarely never so darkly and yet gently wittingly hewn down. What would life be like if we just walked away years ago makes you wonder. (Different and probably less frustrating.) Hilariously witty yet dark like a very bitter yet delicious chocolate. (And who doesn't enjoy a nibble of that!)
Driving Jarvis Ham
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steering Wheel Cocker Pig 15 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So, I bought this book by this author who happens to be one of my favourite song-writers of all time. I enjoyed his last novel and his short story that was in his album a good few years back. I was expecting good things, and boy did I get them. Laugh along as Jarvis creates fantasy albums and a charity single with all the pop stars of yesteryear. Cry as Diana dies. But most of all, buy this book. Even if you don't like Carter USM, you WILL like this. It has some funny pictures in it too, but the words are better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as his music 10 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
A surprisingly good story. A road trip, biography and crime thriller rolled into one. It certainly had me guessing until the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jarvis will drive you up the wall! 23 Jun 2013
At last, a novel (for adults) with pictures!

If you grew up in the 90s then Driving Jarvis Ham will serve as a fond, if embarrassing reminder of the gregarious luminosity of the era. Crushingly accurate in narrative, I was immediately transported back to my awkward teendom.

A memoir with a difference - Adrian Mole style but told through the eyes of Jarvis's long-suffering best friend and accidental chauffeur, who remains nameless throughout. It's hard not to adopt a fondness for the hapless Jarvis, although we're constantly reminded that we should, under no circumstances, do so. As for why, well, all will be revealed...

Jim Bob's often sardonic prose is injected with enough jocular remarks to make one chortle out loud, and while one's never entirely settled on who the protagonist is (both characters suffer in their own ways) this is an entertaining read.

This novel won't change your life, but it will tickle and repulse you in almost equal measure. I look forward to more musings from Jim Bob.

Thanks to Scott Pack for the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent hilarious quick read. 2 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh, but its very sad as well. Brings back lots of memories of growing up at the same time. Not wanting to sound like Jarvis, but this needs making into a film - Nick Frost and Simon Pegg?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth a read 28 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
interesting and quite satisfying read. a good dark comedy. am keen to read his other book, nice one jim bob
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloomin great! 14 May 2013
By Roo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Love this book, totally hilarious! Actually had to stop reading it in public as I laughed so hard! Product arrived promptly, well packaged. Gave this copy to a friend who is enjoying it as much as I did, would highly recommend!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very entertaining
Great book from a great author
Published 20 hours ago by Col1234
3.0 out of 5 stars ... some sharp reflection on the celebrity culture that spread like a...
A slightly amusing tale about a selfish misfit with some sharp reflection on the celebrity culture that spread like a virus through Britain in the latter decades of the 20th... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Gregory Irving
3.0 out of 5 stars Driving Jarvis Ham
This book started off really quite well but nearier the end fell flat on its feed. Not something that I would read a second time.
Published 5 days ago by Poetic Justice
4.0 out of 5 stars Driving Jarvis Ham
I kind of enjoyed this....it's a well told wierd and compelling story of an unlikely friendship. Would definately recommend but you would have to be in the right mood.
Published 14 days ago by Eden
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
a bit odd and not in a good way
Published 19 days ago by foxy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book
Published 1 month ago by Garry Middleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Road trip with a difference
A dark and darkly funny look at fame and all it's trappings as seen from the point of view of someone who has neither, and his "Chauffeur". Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stephen Mahoney
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely funny, dramatic
Genuinely funny, dramatic, disturbing, surreal.
That may sound an odd combination but it works brilliantly as Jim Bob weaves his way through the mad world of roadside diners,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. M. Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really enjoyed this, great light holiday read
Published 1 month ago by judith hull
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Stuff
I've always been a fan of Jim Bob and I was really excited when I heard he was writing a novel. I wasn't disappointed, it is full of wit and the writing flows well throughout. Read more
Published 4 months ago by damo 563
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