on 3 April 2011
Although I enjoyed this book, I didn't think it was quite as good as the spam emails book which was, to be fair, very funny indeed. It will particularly appeal to people from Dundee as they will obviously identify with the locations and cultural references. I'm from Tayside though not Dundee (perish the thought) and still could appreciate the Dundee patter but if you're not from this area at all it might not appeal so much. Get the emails book first for the laughs and then get this one if you want to know the full story of Bob Servant.
on 4 November 2010
The brilliant "Delete This at Your Peril" (if you haven't got a copy, buy it now!) gave us a brief insight into the world of Bob Servant while he duelled with (and defeated) that curse of email inboxes everywhere - the spammer. The latest book, "Bob Servant - Hero of Dundee", is essentially Bob's autobiography charting his rise to self acclaimed hero status in his home town of Broughty Ferry.
Hilarious from start to finish.
Servant is a comedy legend and Forsyth's a genius.
on 24 November 2010
Bob Sevant is the salt of the earth, well the salt of Broughty Ferry by which I don't mean he is a sailor (although he nearly was), I mean he is a bit salty and that flavour comes out in the book big style. This is an entirely credible account of one man's refusal to accept the futility of existence in Dundee and its environs.
It certainly made me laugh but I'm from Lochee and really that's not part of Dundee even though Dundee City Council would say it is and we often take a wry look at Dundonians with their outside toilets and their funny continental ways and have a secret smile to ourselves.
In the interests of providing a balanced review I would say he pulled his punches on the Fifers a bit.
on 13 September 2011
Read 'Delete at your Peril' and loved it, a real laugh-out-loud book, so thought i'd give this one a go too but wasn't expecting much...2nd album, and all that! BUT IT'S GREAT....it really is!
Bob for Prime Minister!!!
Bob Servant showed up on the block first as the Scourge of the Spammers in `Delete This At Your Peril'. He was a hit, and he deserved to be as he would tell you himself. He even got his own show on the BBC, and now here he is telling us his life story by popular demand from The Boy Forsyth who has kindly edited Bob's outpourings, which are thankfully in standard English and nothing if not articulate whatever their occasional lapses.
Scottish writers tend to show a fascination, maybe even a fixation, with their native cities. Just look at the number of Glasgow-based thrillers there are these days, or, say, Iain Banks's The Crow Road, let alone the Rebus books. When I read Delete This At Your Peril it seemed to me that Dundee was almost as much of a focus of attention as our hero Bob was, and I feel it even more strongly this time in Bob's apologia pro vita sua. Myself, I have never actually been there, but by the end of this (quite short) book I was beginning to think I knew Broughty Ferry, Monifieth and other spots like the back of my hand. Scottish cities generate their own `culture' (for want of a better term) and the local idea of humour can actually be very funny if someone is smart enough at it, and if you are not too fussy about what is commonly thought to be good taste, say in connexion with someone's mother's death. Another characteristic is tribal rivalries, sometimes religious or centred round football teams (the two come to much the same thing), but sometimes simply a matter of localities. One of the most hilarious episodes of Bob's career was a trip across the Tay Bridge to the Kingdom of Fife, which I knew very well as a boy. Given what happens here, I guess I was probably lucky not to have made the reverse trip in my tender years.
Fife comes and goes in a page or two, the rest is all in and around Dundee. That phrase, ordinary though it is, comes from the only other literary reference to Dundee that I can recall, McGonagall's poem beginning
`Alas Lord and Lady Dalhousie are dead and buried at last,
Which causes many people to feel a little downcast.'
Between them Bob Servant and Neil Forsyth may at last be giving Dundee its place in the sun, if not quite in The Sun. Neil is a journalist himself, so it is not surprising that he has such a good ear for the style of local newspaper headlines (as well as for earnest academic writing, I ought to say), so make sure you read the footnotes, as these are by and large the funniest and cleverest things in a very funny and very clever book.
I could go on picking out plums, but the book is short, it is very readable indeed, so read it for yourself. If I have a favourite episode, it is maybe the fate of Father O'Neill, whose deeply ingrained faith fails to survive a few days' acquaintance with Bob's rapier-like insights. Bob is in his 60's when his narrative closes, and his final leavetaking from the boy Forsyth suggests that Neil will not see him again if he sees Neil first. If so, I'd say that's where to leave the saga, otherwise the danger is of diluting it. It was great fun while it lasted.
on 4 March 2013
Your Dad had a mate like this bloke. In fact, bits of this bloke were your Dad. And you know that one day, you'll be Bob - or certainly have Bob moments.
More lovely gentle Dundee humour featuring the middle aged male absurdity that is Bob, Francis and all in Broughty Ferry
If you saw the Brian Cox telly project: this is funnier, though hats off to them for having a go.
But the real gold are the Servant email scammer books - genius!
on 20 January 2013
This Bob Servant character is some bloke. Writing from a quarter badly under-represented in Scottish litearture, he paints a highly-entertaining account of an ordinary bloke on the make and introduces us to some typical characters who people his collection of stories and anecdotes from his working life in the east end of the City of Discovery. A lot of typical Scots humour and guaranteed to be enjoyed, in particular, by men.
on 2 January 2013
On reading the other reviews, I expected a book which would make me laugh out loud. Although this one has raised a smile on occasion, it has not made me laugh. I think the style of this book does not lend itself very well to kindle relying on photographs and footnotes to enhance the humour. At present I am about 70% of the way through and although I will finish it ( I always do) I have had enough.