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Pistache [Paperback]

Sebastian Faulks
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 Jun 2010

pistache (pis-tash): a friendly spoof or parody of another's work. [Deriv uncertain. Possibly a cross between pastiche and p**stake.]

From Thomas Hardy's football report to Dan Brown's visit to the cash dispenser, the work of the great and the not-so-great is here sent up with little hope of coming down.

Most of these pieces began their life on Radio Four's The Write Stuff, but have been retooled for the printed page. Others, such as Martin Amis's first day at Hogwarts, have been written specially for this collection.

Philip Larkin's Lines in Celebration of the Queen Mother's 115th Birthday, first banned, then cut by the BBC, appears in its entirety for the first time.

This is not a book for the faint-hearted or the downstairs lavatory. It is a book for the bedside table of someone you cannot live without.


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Pistache + The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives + A Possible Life
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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (3 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099549492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099549499
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sebastian Faulks was born in April 1953. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1991, he worked as a journalist. His French trilogy - The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) - established him in the front rank of British novelists. UK sales of Birdsong exceed 2,500,000 copies, and for this novel he was named "Author of the Year" by the British Book Awards in 1995. It is regularly voted one of the nation's favourite books. Charlotte Gray has also sold over a million copies and was filmed with Cate Blanchett in the main part.

Product Description

Review

"Unforgivably witty" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Faulks picks up the big names of the Western canon and plonks them down mercilessly in the most unexpected places" (The Times)

Book Description

A collection of fanciful, satirical and surprising parodies, squibs and pastiches inspired by The Write Stuff on Radio 4

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever, clever, sometimes too clever! 21 Jan 2007
By Vinny
Format:Hardcover
There is no doubt that Faulks is brilliant. This little collection of pastiche/piss-takes (hence the title) proves that more than ever. he takes average occurences and uses famous narrative styles/voices to match these. Ian Fleming doing James Bond in a supermarket is priceless... but the prize goes to his version of Dan Brown going to cahspoint. Hilarious and says in a more concise, witty and accurate way what thousands of newspaper critics have been trying to say about Brown for years.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many smiles of recognition 1 July 2008
By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I found this in a remaindered bookshop a few weeks ago and picked it up immediately, thinking of the amazing parodies that Faulks used to produce (seemingly with little or no preparation) on Radio 4's "The Write Stuff". This is a handy collection of the best of them, along with a few that have been specially written for this compilation. As others have pointed out, there's some degree of unevenness here, though it'd be churlish to ask for everything to be up at the standard of Dan Brown at the cashpoint, Noel Coward's lyric about Big Brother, or James Bond's visit to the supermarket. I relished the former so greatly that I've practically learnt it off by heart; having been so moved by Brown's uncanny ability to use the wrong word almost all the time that I tried my own hand at a parody (in my review of "Angels And Demons" on this site), I felt I wanted to reach through the pages to shake hands with Faulks as he struck exactly the right note in this hilarious piece. This little book doesn't take long to read at all, but you'll be smiling for some time after putting it down.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as funny as you think it's going to be 12 Jun 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's strange to think of the author of Birdsong turning his hand to this sort of thing. It's a very short book of literary parodies and indeed it's difficult not to smile at Dan Brown at the cashpoint, Martin Amis's first day at Hogwarts or Kipling's 'If...' rewritten for today's journalists. The trouble is that smiling is all you do - it's not really 'laugh out loud' funny.

There has been a certain amount of precedent for this kind of spoof, from Craig Brown's regular 'Diary' column in Private Eye to John Crace's 'Digested Read' in The Guardian. Both have led to books of collections and both are as funny, or frequently funnier, than this.

Clever, certainly, but somehow not quite funny enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Piss Take 15 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a book for someone with a good knowledge of English Literature and a good sense of humour. It is clever,witty and sometimes extremely funny. A good choice to accompany you to the hospital or doctor's waiting room
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pistach-Pi*takes 6 July 2010
Format:Hardcover
Came to me as a 'recommened read' by a friend.
I had to read it from cover to cover in one go. Absolutely a hoot.

I didn't realise where the source of some quotations came from, now I know. It has improved my well-being by lightening my outlook on life.

Go on, buy it, have a good laugh!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterclass in wit 10 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover
OK, so this is top level showing off by Sebastian Faulks, but he can be forgiven since this little book contains some of the most perceptive and funny parodies of literature that you will find. Particular favourites are 'Martin Amis sends his lad to Hogwarts' - almost better than Amis himself; Alan Bennett's Mam joining him up for the SAS, mistakenly thinking it means Salvation Army Singers, and Evelyn Waugh on The Inner Gentleman. Each of these short pieces is a little gem. It is a perfect book to send to literary friends as a thank you, and although it will almost certainly end up in the downstairs loo, it will be constantly read and admired. Even if you heard it first on Radio 4's 'The write Stuff', buy it. You won't be disappointed. Just waiting for the next one...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still giggling! 23 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
Saw Sebastian Faulks at Latituide Festival where he did an 'audience with...' show. Really good, so I bought Pistache (in case you haven't realised, it is pronounced 'piss take') when I got home. It is really clever and funny: parodies of writing by different authers (either dead or alive, for example, Agatha Christie and Alan Bennett) in their style. They are very well done, all short and easy to read. I think that even if you don't know the author's style you quickly suss it out and understand the joke. I really recommend it for anyone who likes literature and humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately Disappointing 20 Oct 2013
By DPJ
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this on the back of enjoying Sebastian Faulks's work on The Write Stuff but unfortunately, I think something is lost in the written format. Many of the pastiches are sort of mildly amusing in a way that just makes you say 'heh' to yourself at the end but they simply aren't developed enough. I've not read every author parodied by Faulks but enough to know that I didn't find them that convincing. If you like this sort of genre then I'd highly recommend Alan Coren's work which is, in my mind, a lot funnier.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliantly funny
My family had to calm me down wickedlyfunny one of my books of013 only British too short faulks delivers again he makes me laugh and cry
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect pocket antidote to doctor's, in fact all, waiting room ennuie
Very light reading with a built-in mental self quiz on all one remembers about our lit. heritage.

Recommended for holidays, train rides etc.
Published 6 months ago by pip
5.0 out of 5 stars This work is a wickedly humorous pot-pourri of the styles of...
Homage or satire? Perhaps a bit of both(T. S. Eliot writes limericks,Virginia Woolf goes to a hen-party). Very highly recommended.
Published 6 months ago by peter clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars A hit, with 'Him in Doors'
Bought as part of a bundle of books for Him in Doors' birthday. A hit with the old boy (tickled his fancy whereas Martin Amis did not); couldn't stop reading bits out to me. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Owlet Cottage
1.0 out of 5 stars Total rubbish
I persevered but this is a complete waste of time. Written by someone so far up themselves as to be embarrassing
Published 8 months ago by Peter the reader
3.0 out of 5 stars From radio to page
I've enjoyed most of Sebastian Faulks' novels (4-5*), and I love the radio quiz programme 'The Write Stuff', and always relish his parody pieces. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jane @The Owl Pen
4.0 out of 5 stars Pistache by Sebastian Faulks
I am a big fan of Sebastian Faulks and have read most of his books. Birdsong and Charlotte Grey are masterpieces, and the later novels are also very good. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Roger N. Percival
5.0 out of 5 stars Sebastian Faulks in witty style
Sebastian Faulks is a genius. He writes compellingly in every genre he approaches. This is witty, clever, and startlingly intelligent. I can never fault the man. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Bronte
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for a busy holiday
I'd read and enjoyed a number of Sebastian Faulks' novels and bought Pistache as something to read on a city break in Portugal. Read more
Published 23 months ago by johnindinan
5.0 out of 5 stars sebastian faulks
as I have read all the bookks listed and enjoyed every one it seems pointless to still have them on file. Read more
Published on 19 Sep 2011 by greatgardenia
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