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Robin Ince's Bad Book Club: One Man's Quest to Uncover the Books That Taste Forgot [Paperback]

Robin Ince
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2010
Is hideous prose and ghastly poetry more fabulous than great literature? Determined to find out, award-winning comedian Robin Ince has spent most of the 21st century rummaging through charity shops, jumble sales, and even the odd skip to compile the defining collection of the world's worst - inadvertently hilarious - books. Among the many genres it explores, the book will guide you through the hinterland of celebrity autobiography, unearthing underappreciated classics such as those by It Ain't Half Hot Mum's Don Estelle and the brother of a former PM (MAJOR MAJOR). It offers a detailed study of romance sub-genres, from the equine (DIAMOND STUD) to the gynaecological (SIGN OF THE SPECULUM). And it will prove invaluable to anyone who wants to know THE SECRETS OF PICKING UP SEXY GIRLS. Above all, the Book Club is a manual - almost a life guide - training you up for membership of the Grand Order of Curators of Books That Should Never Have Been. Join the club.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847442692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847442697
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 434,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

Hugely popular subject, written by an award-winning comedian.

Based on author's successful stage show.

Author very well-known and well-connected within the comedy industry.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robin Ince is an award winning comedian and writer. He won the Time Out Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy for his show The Book Club which was also nominated for a British Comedy Award and hailed by The Observer as 'the outstanding literary event of the Edinburgh Festival'.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A laugh on every page 9 July 2010
By H J Mac
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book offers a laugh every time you pick it up. What I've enjoyed the most is it has that lovely quality of being able to "dip in" and read a few pages and have a laugh, but not need to read it in any particular order. It is incredibly light and entertaining, but with some very smart insights into the media and popular culture.

The tone ranges from the lighthearted, why do publishers write "The End" when the book has actually run out of pages, to the angry, and very funny, rants about newspaper columnists, which features a brilliant take on Gary Bushell and gay public orgies. (It's OK, don't sue, check it out). I especially like how Robin incorporates little bits of his everyday experience, thus the fact that he comes from a long line of vicars makes the section on religion even more pertinent. Not to mention the essential subject of "What would Jesus Eat."

The graphs and photographs are rather random and have some very helpful captions, including an equation with the caption "I forget what x is". So you may not learn the meaning of life in the pages of this book, but at least you know that Cliff Richard can offer you sexy breaks from the bible.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come for the books, stay for the author. 25 July 2010
Robin Ince is much vaunted as a comic for intellectuals through his work on Nerdfest and Radio Four broadcasts alongside the likes of Professor Brain Cox - the beauty of this book is that it emerges as a down-to-earth self-deprecating biography of an engaging Everyman who knows his naff and compulsive bad reading habits are wrong, painstakingly smuggling cheap and nasty books past his long-suffering wife's antennae - but simply can't stop himself. The bevy of references to terrible and pointless books across a range of genres fizzes along with terrific one-liners, but it is the emerging portrait of Robin Ince himself which gives this immensely enjoyable book its heart and soul. Diving in and out of charity shops and even dusting discarded books off as he rescues them from skips prior to pulping, Ince wittily catalogues and crafts lovely stories about the woman who wrote a sequence of poems to the deceased Elvis, right wing reactionaries parading their prejudices as 'facts' and a whole array of religious and scientific fruitcakes, always finding non-judgemental merit, even joy, in these unlikely places. As a result, his own anally enriching life and misspent youth-evolving-into-middle-age jumps off the pages. Robin Ince achieves a skilful balance between laugh out loud book reviews and a unique biography through an analysis of his own obsession. Tremendous stuff!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by a fellow collector of old tat... 13 Aug 2010
I heard about this book on a web forum that I browse and thought it sounded right up my street as I too am a similarly afflicted habitual book hoarder and obsessive reader of any old rubbish. It actually reminded me that as a teenager I was obsessed with reading Silhouette romances (like Mills & Boon but worse) from the library which as an adult I have managed to completely mentally blank-out somehow.

I already liked Ince's sarcastic comedy stylings but it took me a while to get into the rhythm of his prose, perhaps because it's based on his live stand up show, but on the whole it's worth it. There's plenty of snigger-worthy moments from the books themselves, such as an in depth examination of the torrid mind of Don Estelle, but for me the best parts were Ince's asides about the lengths he will go to to acquire awful literature (going through skips, shame-faced at the till in charity shops, haggling at school fetes etc.) and hiding it/lying about it to his spouse.

If you liked Danny Wallace/Dave Gorman's adventures in print, you'll probably like this as well as it's similar in tone and style. An honest and enjoyable foray into the world of shameful literature.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun diversion 20 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after having fond memories of seeing Robin live at the Hammersmith Apollo in December.

It did not disappoint. It's very entertaining, with no single bad book outstaying its welcome.

From donkey fantasies, thru Don Estelle's preocupation with his driveway, on to tabloid columnist outrage at things they'd just made up, it's a fun look at books that very few people would have desire to read themselves.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A work better suited to a serialised radio show 14 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Robin Ince seems to have spent a lot time (but thankfully, very little money) seeking out the most obscure books from various niche, literary genres. This idea is unique enough to hold your interest, but you may find yourself questioning why you're reading his thoughts on them.

While entertaining, it's another case of a book that could do with some aggressive editing, as there's far too much filler here. And it isn't throwaway enough to dip in and out of either, so it all seems harder work than it should be.

It did prompt me to re-read some of the early James Herbert works though, for which I'll be eternally grateful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I too would rescue a book from a skip :) 12 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is for you if you have piles of paperbacks at the side of your bed and you love buying old, weird books at car boot sales and in charity shops. Robin impressed me by rescuing a book from a skip. If the thought of books being abandoned in skips (or anywhere) worries you then you’ll be right at home in this book. There are strange titles, genres that you may not have read from, and clumsily beautiful lines that’ll have you keen to get down to your local shops to see just what eclectic treasures you can unearth. At the start of the book I was afraid I had written a bad book, by the end I hoped I had written a bad book and that it would be featured in a future sequel to Bad Book Club.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading this in public will make people think you're weird.
I couldn't help laughing out loud. Quirky, hilarious and well written, I bought this on a whim and it was one of my better decisions.
Published 8 months ago by Skipper
5.0 out of 5 stars "Lovely stuff"
Sorry Mr Ince but I'm afraid you've started something here that is begging for a sequel. My only regret is you were touring this show at several festivals I was attending and I... Read more
Published 12 months ago by darryl foulds
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and entertaining
I really enjoyed this book, I found myself giggling as he described the bizarre books he has read and come across in charity shops. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Iorek
4.0 out of 5 stars Bad Books and good writing
Humanity has produced many great works of literature, Ulysses, Shakespeare, The Great Gatsby, Being Jordan, but in this book the author looks at some of the worst books ever... Read more
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by Lord Of All He Surveys
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for the review of all the books you should never read
All I will say is that this is the first book that made me laugh out loud. I may not be the most educated when it comes to books, but I am thoroughly enjoying the book and I hope... Read more
Published on 23 July 2011 by Kevin
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Beware. Reading this book on an aircraft will damage either your reputation, or your diaphragm, depending on how willing you are to be seen laughing out loud.
Published on 20 Jun 2011 by S. Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud, inspired light reading
Quite a few of the reviewers here are a bit harsh on Robin Ince. While I'll admit a few sections of the book are a bit patchy (eg, bad science), quite a lot of it had me laughing... Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2010 by MadamJMo
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
I now have the urge not only to read some of these odd books but write some completely insane ones too. Interesting and funny.
Published on 17 Aug 2010 by Robin Hood's sister
2.0 out of 5 stars Ironic, Don't You Think?
A book that charts bad books shouldn't work, and I am afraid that in the case of `Robin Ince's Bad Book Club' it doesn't. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2010 by Sam Tyler
2.0 out of 5 stars A bad book about bad books?
I had high hopes for this book but it turned out to be a massive disappointment. A book about strange, oddball books written by a leading comedian and writer should have been good... Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2010 by Bantam Dave
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