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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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on 12 June 2007
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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on 21 January 2007
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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on 15 November 2010
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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on 6 July 2010
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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on 10 March 2010
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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on 20 October 2013
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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on 23 August 2010
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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on 16 August 2010
The book is a collection of stories on incongruous subjects "in the style of..." various authors, which show Sebastian Faulks' lighter side, as displayed on radio. Some more successful than others, maybe because I don't know all the original styles, but easy and undemanding reading
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 March 2016
A series of short pieces of satire - little stories and poems written in the style of famous works of literature and authors, but with incongruity of subject matter. There are reworks of 'If', 'This be the verse', and much else - pretty much all of which made me smile a little. There is Dickens, Woolfe, Hardy, James, and rather wonderfully Dan Brown

Maybe not as funny as I expected, though I laughed out loud at James Bond in the supermarket. You need a good working knowledge of english literature to get the joke in most of this, and maybe some of it went over my head a little

It took me about an hour to read, so good for filling in waiting moments
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