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97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bet you'll laugh
As an ardent letter writer, I wanted this book as soon as I saw it was released. I wasn't disappointed. I'd not got past the second letter and my other half asked me to leave the room with my book because my laughter stopped him hearing the TV.
I'm not sure how Robin Cooper gets his ideas for potential products but his proposals were brilliant - a book for children...
Published on 24 Oct. 2004 by Talie

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He's invented a new colour - Greem
Some of these letters are very funny, some are just so-so, but the majority raise a smile if not a belly-laugh. The best ones, I thought, involved Robin's attempts to find replacement components for his wife's `hair station', including a Dutch valve and special copper wiring with `Lisp Henry' written on it. His suggestions for children's books were entertained by Dorling...
Published on 11 Mar. 2011 by Eileen Shaw


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97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bet you'll laugh, 24 Oct. 2004
This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
As an ardent letter writer, I wanted this book as soon as I saw it was released. I wasn't disappointed. I'd not got past the second letter and my other half asked me to leave the room with my book because my laughter stopped him hearing the TV.
I'm not sure how Robin Cooper gets his ideas for potential products but his proposals were brilliant - a book for children on the bedtime activities of William Stanley Jr, a venus fly trap for birds - how these companies didn't send someone around to have this guy locked up is beyond me. Their replies are all very measured and calm, but you just know the recipient was slightly concerned about Robin. Robin pulls every stunt off with style.
I challenge you to buy this book and not laugh, especially if you've written a letter to a big company, been fobbed off and wanted to get your own back.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Timewaster Letters - How I laughed..., 21 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
I loved this book - I bought it in a second hand shop in Stoke Newington, as I normally only buy novels new, but I regretted not having bought this new. I may have to go out and buy another copy - and more copies for friends and family.
I laughed so hard I almost cried. I got odd looks on the bus, but I didn't care. Some of this book is just hilarious - e.g. in particular the scarecrows made of beef - and then the fact that these were actually meant to be made of "beel". But nearly every page was brilliant. As a publisher myself, the letters to and from publishers and the madcap children's book ideas particularly appealed.
There are other similar books, from the US - these aren't as funny, and the one I read seemed to be a lot more repetitive and far less interesting. This is the one you should buy - now.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Hilarious, 25 Sept. 2005
This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
This is by far one the funniest books I've ever read! It is a brilliant compilation of outrageous spoof letters and the amazing responses they get. I couldn't believe that people actually took the time to write back to some of his crazy off-the-wall requests. The fact that these people took him seriously just made me laugh even more. Some of the scenarios and mad requests he comes up with are sheer genius.
It rarely happens that you read a book that makes you laugh out loud again and again but each time I read these letters they get funnier and funnier. It is the small quirky details he puts into them that are the best parts. I have already purchased several books for family members and friends. If you like laugh-out-loud humour I would definitely recommend this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He's invented a new colour - Greem, 11 Mar. 2011
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
Some of these letters are very funny, some are just so-so, but the majority raise a smile if not a belly-laugh. The best ones, I thought, involved Robin's attempts to find replacement components for his wife's `hair station', including a Dutch valve and special copper wiring with `Lisp Henry' written on it. His suggestions for children's books were entertained by Dorling Kindersley and even encouraged, until they saw a sample chapter (included in the book) in which his protagonist wakes up next to a dead wife. I am most disappointed that I'll never have the chance to have a children's Icarus party, complete with feather-bedecked flying man.

The level of humour is a bit juvenile, and some of the letters don't really hit the target in any but a rather peurile way. The replies often verge on the tight-lipped, though some people get the joke straight off. I understand this sort of thing has been done before by William Donaldson, in some reviewers' opinion, far better. I must get a copy.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll need a box of tissues when you read this book, 2 Jan. 2005
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This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
I am not normally one to laugh out loud when reading a book. The Timewaster Letters, however, had me in fits of uncontrolable laughter when I started it late one night in bed over the Christmas hols. My wife, already soundly asleep next to me, soon woke as I started to roar and cry with laughter. If you want 2 hours of childish fun, I cannot recommend this wonderful piece of nonsense enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Letters to nowhere, 17 Feb. 2013
By 
Nicola Hardy (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
Robin Cooper, better known to some readers as BAFTA-nominated writer and TV producer Robert Popper, clearly had some time on his hands from 1999-2004. The Timewaster Letters is a collection of his correspondence with some fifty organisations written during that period. From designing a range of outdoor products with a Roman theme for a 'quality garden magazine' to trying to book the Royal Festival Hall for a private function, Cooper is out to really wind up his new-found pen pals.

This book completely failed to hit the spot for me. After each opening paragraph, it was usually all too clear where most of the letters were heading. Some of the more successful attempts are where lengthier correspondence entered into; unfortunately, he's mostly unsuccessful in this. Out of fifty-five opening salvos penned by Cooper, over half receive just one reply (often a variation on the theme of 'no thanks, now go away.') Six receive no reply at all. You can often sense the growing frustration of the poor administrator on the other end who is desperate to bring the conversation to a close. In the end, I prefer attacks that serve more of a purpose, such as those launched by comedian Mark Thomas. Having said all of this, if the idea of someone trying to get funding from English Heritage to erect a monument to table tennis outside Buckingham Palace has you chortling, then this book may well be your thing. It just wasn't mine ...

This review refers to the paperback edition of 'The Timewaster Letters' published by Michael O'Mara Books Ltd in 2005.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal and unfunny, 30 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
A complete rip-off of the "Henry Root" letters of 1980, but nowhere near as funny. In fact, it's not even remotely amusing.

Take your cue from the book's title, and don't waste your time reading this rubbish.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End Of Correspondence, 11 Oct. 2005
By 
deadteddy (Bridgend) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
Basically, Robin Cooper writes to everyone from department stores to associations for everything under the sun. He sends them what can only be described as bizarre and off the wall letters and waits to see what comes back.
I've literally just finished reading this and I have to say that it is one of the funniest books I've ever read. There are so many amazing pages of pure comedy hidden in this book, just the fact that all these people replied to what can only be classed as some of the most ridiculous leeters in history is beyond me. If you're looking for something to lighten your day that you can delve into now and again for a quick laugh, then this is the book for you.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I almost died laughing!, 29 Mar. 2007
This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
Humour is all pretty relative, some people will totally get this book. If you like the humour of the obscure you will definately love this book. If ridiculous things make you laugh and you sometimes imagine yourself laughing at imaginary funny situations then ACE! Its for you! I like stuff like this and when i spotted it on a mates shelf, i picked it up and read it cover to cover, totally forgetting that i was being incredibly rude! So there you have it...if you can appreciate clever, witty but daft humour and like to see serious responses to ridiculous things..its for you!But i like Fawlty Towers too, and Eddie Izzard..and Ross Noble...and the Mr Men....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch, 25 Sept. 2008
This review is from: The Timewaster Letters (Paperback)
Cooper wasn't the first to embark on this genre but he's up there with the best. Funny, whimsical and wonderfully pointless. Henry Root is my all time favourite wind up merchant followed by The Raymond Delauney Emails, which is absolutely hilarious. Cooper's books are perfect for cheering you up on a day when you are feeling a little down.
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The Timewaster Letters
The Timewaster Letters by Robin Cooper (Paperback - 22 Sept. 2005)
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