5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, eclectic, honest and funny,
This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
This could have been a rather pompous, fairly dull, chronological record of the life and times of Private Eye. It isn't. It is a warts and all A-Z of all the major happenings in the life of the Mag over its fifty years. I've read the magazine for the best part of 30 years now - admittedly intermittently during the 1990's - but as a subscriber for a number of years. This trawl through its archives is a brilliant snapshot of Britain over the last fifty years. Private Eye has played a part in unearthing some of the biggest scandals this country has known. Some (like Phil Hammond's work on the hospital in Bristol) don't necessarily bring down the Government but they do make a difference. Holding people to account, pricking pomposity and doing so with wit and irreverence are all part of the Private Eye mixture and this book just captures it perfectly.
And it is honest about the fall outs and the arguments between the contributors. That's refreshing. No-one would believe it if Adam MacQueen had tried to pretend that there had been no major rows in 50 years so making it clear that there have and about what is great.
As with the magazine itself you can find yourself reading about a serious issue one moment and falling about laughing at some outrageous cartoon the next.
Another thing the book conveys, without setting out to do so, is just how well the magazine has done to keep up with the times. The message boards contributions which feature today are just hilarious.
When I ordered this I wasn't sure whether the A-Z approach would work but it makes it perfect to dip into, with brilliant cross references to take you to related items, or just to read straight through.