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3.6 out of 5 stars
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3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 10 March 2005
The previous reviewer's claim that O'Farrell regurgitates the same joke over and over is false. I have no idea what book he was reading. I Blame The Scapegoats is a compilation of O'Farrells Guardian columns. Mainly tackling current news and political issues, the book is clever, funny and stimulating. It isn't sublime, so it won't get 5 stars, but it has made me laugh on many occassions. I'll concede that the style is similar throughout, so you can learn to see what's coming. However, I think if you read this book every now-and-again, as you can given that the articles are each self-contained 3 or 4 pages of satire, you'll enjoy this. Note that you need a broad idea of what's been happening in current events in the UK for the last 2 or 3 years to maximise your enjoyment.
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on 21 April 2004
This is a wonderful collection of John O'Farrell's columns from TheGuardian newspaper. His alternative look on life, and various radicalsolutions for life's everyday problems are most entertaining. I wouldthoroughly reccommend this book to anyone, and the short chapters makethis book an ideal companion for the traveller.
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on 29 October 2009
I blame The Scapegoats is a collection of past articles written for a newspaper a few years ago so they are not commentaries on current topics but the subject matter is still relevant. The writing is witty and incisive. This is a rare mind at work exposing the silliness of modern life with it's silly celebrities and sillier politicians. Have a good laugh reading most of it and cry as the John O'Farrell shows us what a mess we are in sometimes.
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on 26 April 2013
What a clever man he is! This is a collection of his old newspaper articles and once or twice I needed to be reminded what he was talking about, but anyone over thirty is old enough to remember most of the era in which he was writing - the Blair years. Sometimes his wit is obvious but there are also times when he is splendidly subversive and (like all the best writers) he defies expectations! You don't need to be a member of the party faithful (or faithful to any party) to appreciate and enjoy this.
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on 26 July 2013
Despite the fact the articles were written a decade ago about events happening at that time, if you were around at the time and have vague recollection then this book will bring them flooding back. As the book is a collection of newspaper columns by the author you can put it down and pick it up without losing your place making it an ideal read for holiday.
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on 7 December 2007
For pure gags per page there is no one to beat John O'Farrell. This is a great book to dip in and out of - each column is about three pages long, some on news stories we remember, but others on those we have forgotten but where the observations still hold true. The routines are classy and come with a witty sceptical attitude which is a breath of fresh air in the stuffy world of politics and current affairs.

I found myself laughing out loud on the train to the annoyance of everyone else who had chosen the quiet carriage!
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on 2 November 2011
A collection of O'Farrell's columns from the Guardian ranging from the mildly amusing to the very funny. O'Farrell casts his satirical eye over the current issues of the week so reading this a few years later can be at times puzzling and at times a useful reminder of the time. Reading a collection to topical satirical pieces a few years later shows two things: some things never change and some things turn out not to be that important in the long run. O'Farrell's humour is formulaic and the jokes can be seen coming but this doesn't detract from their funniness. And even when you can see them coming that doesn't stop you from laughing out loud.
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on 4 July 2014
Gift to someone but they really liked this book
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on 23 February 2005
Having read John O'Farrell's novels and loved them (especially the best a man can get - read it if you haven't already, it's very very funny)I was excited when a friend gave me I Blame the Scapegoats but I have to say it is one of the worst books I have EVER read. There are about three jokes in his columns which he just regurgitates time after time after time and they don't get any funnier!
I have never read his stuff in the paper and now I know why. The thing I have problems with is why they ever paid him for this twoddle in the first place and why did someone pay him more to put it in a book form?
The message is clear - don't waste your money, don't bother with the walk to the library and I wouldn't even borrow it from a friend.... your time will be much better spent watching grass grow. In my ase I will be recycling the paper - I will not even inflict it on the charity shop....
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on 28 June 2005
These pieces of writing may have worked as newspaper columns - although I doubt it - but they certainly die a death collected together in this book. They are not in the slightest bit funny and remind me of some of the worst of the witless stand-up comedians I've heard who rely on half drunk young men in the audience laughing at the references to genitalia and excrement to carry the whole thing. A terrible waste of money.
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