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on 27 April 2014
This is classic Hawkes at his finest! Whether it be the Halls of Power, or the World of Finance, the author rolls up his sleeves, sticks his tongue firmly in cheek, and weighs in on 'the system,' smiting it hip and thigh, armed with a frightful array of wit, logic and (un)common sense! Do I agree with everything he says? No, of course not (I don't think even he does,) but that's not the point. The author has an unerring nose for sniffing out the real dragons that threaten (or have already consumed) our way of life, to point out, in fact, that which has gradually turned arse about face, and has the courage to slap it upside the head, rather like St. George on one of his more rib-tickling days.

Like its predecessors, "Common Sense Would Be Good," and "If Brains Were Dynamite," this book takes a playful swipe at the greed, corruption, and blind stupidity of those (both elected and unelected) who control our lives, only this time he doesn't confine himself to the UK but takes on the decadent West as a whole. Why, he even has the gumption to take on the politically correct, to point out the more obvious imbecilities in a high, clear voice when the rest of us, cowed by the weight of their twisted agenda, mutter the same in the privacy of our own homes, hoping against hope that 'the system' hasn't yet got around to bugging the room! For, of course, underlying it all, Alec's 'playful swipe' isn't really playful at all. It's a wake-up call, a rallying cry for us to open up our eyes, and to take back that which is rightfully ours: a fair and just society.

Every day we see it all around us: diminished rights, diminished income, diminished everything, until we've become only a shadow of our forefathers. Most of us bury our heads in the sand, telling ourselves that there's nothing we can do, but there is. It's nothing that a million dollars (although some loose pocket change would do in a pinch) and a few bottles of gin can't handle...oh, and a good stout lock, too! All that's required is the will to use them.

I heartily recommend this book to everyone with a sense of humour, and to anyone who thinks that they've lost hope - you haven't - you've just been waiting around for someone to stand up and cry 'cobblers!'

Well, he's here.
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Cervantes said in his book Don Quixote “Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be” And I think Alec Hawkes has written a wonderfully darkly cynical book. Yes life should be different, a better and kinder place. But it isn’t so we may as well poke fun at it as we travel life’s far too short and rocky road.
Alec’s previous books have been good but tried too hard to be Spitting Image and just missed the mark. However Arse About Face is what William Hogarth, if he were alive today, would be writing (instead of drawing). Society is a dystopia which is captured magnificently in this book. Not politically correct, which is always a good start as far as I am concerned. Snarlingly angry in places but brutally honest. But it is also funny. In fact in quite a few places it had me laughing out very loudly. Most embarrassing as I was on a crowded train at the time.
Yes it is about politics, but it won’t date as change the names mentioned and the lies told will always be the same. The poor electorate suffering for voting for whatever party leads them. So we might as well laugh at our so called betters.
There are a few drawbacks, it does tend to flit about a little bit, making it slightly disjointed, and a bit of proofreading and a quick spell check would have taken out a few jarring faults. But they are minor and churlish. This is a very entertaining book and well worth reading. So if you are in an anarchic mood and feel like being cheered up by the absurdity of our leaders in Westminster and around the world then this is definitely well worth reading.
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on 22 July 2014
Alec Hawkes does it again! An absolutely brilliant read that had me nodding with approval all the way through. Arse about Face has five chapters that pour scorn on different aspects of 'the system' that keeps us normal folk shackled to it. HIs humour is powerful and provocative and will hopefully raise the eyebrows of those whose corrupt snouts are firmly in the trough full of our hard earned cash and freedoms . Read as he mocks 'Call Me Dave' and the likes of The Holy Shit Bad Credit (HSBC). As an atheist who finds the indoctrination of children by whichever religious group they get born into extremely distasteful and scary, and the war and devastation caused by fighting between religious groups and cultures, I roared with laughter at the thought of a non-violent way of getting said religions to play a game instead ! Cue a masterpiece idea in the 'World Netball Religion Cup! I couldn't stop laughing as the 'draw' is read out, such as the Mormons being picked to play the Rastafarians, or the Protestants to play the Druids! Quality!
But the best is last and Chapter 5 is blinding, and all I can say is well done Auntie Marge and her ladies from the WI....and on that note, I shall leave you to get this gem of a book for yourselves and have enjoy Mr Hawkes having the gumption to put in print what lots of us think.
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on 20 April 2014
Lots of chuckles to myself whilst reading this book. A very talented author. He successfully expresses his hilarious take on politics and politicians, banks and (b)ankers, The criminal justice system also comes under close scrutiny. Nothing escapes this author's sharp wit! If you have some time on your hands but don't want a particularly long read then this book is for you.Sit down with a cuppa and get yourself a few chuckles. I can highly recommend!
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on 2 July 2014
In the best sense of the word, this book is an ‘irreverent’ look into the world of politics and oh boy, is it done well! Mr Hawkes is a truly excellent writer who manages to brandish his sword of challenge in the faces of all those ‘politicians’ who think they are somehow doing a fine job of running our world (I say this, because in this book Mr Hawkes finally takes his musings about politics worldwide). I’ve read other work by this author and I firmly believe that we need to have an interest in politics because ‘their’ decisions have an impact on all of us. Mr Hawkes’ take on this, some may say, murky world is ideal reading for the younger generation because it will give them a bit of umpf in their guts, and the will to take on the politicians, bankers, etc, that make decisions on our behalf (so kind of them!). But, if we don't develop the political voice of the younger generation, and show them passion, like there is in this book, then they will stand back apathetically and allow decisions to be rolled out of their hands and down the hill of steaming cow pats!
Yes, this book is very much a satirical read, however its messages are very real and serious.
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on 29 June 2014
I read this book in one day. When I read the last chapter I had a realisation that Alec is absolutely right. Will not give the plot away but I agree with him 100%. I'm not really into politics but this book made me want to stand up & be counted. The NHS is in crisis, the EU is in crisis. Banks are corrupt so I say read this book politicians and TAKE NOTE !! PS I thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 12 January 2015
A brilliant sardonic take on life, politics, religion and all the other powers that like to think they control 'the peasants'. This author shows he/ we are all really in the know about the 'fat cats' and those 'up their own arses'. Funny, yet also intuitive - a laugh out loud read but one that, when turning the last page, made me sit back and think.
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on 21 May 2014
Arse About Face (a visit to the planet Cobblers) by Alec Hawkes

This book comes at just the right time. Along with its two predecessors, 'Common Sense Would Be Good' and 'If Brains Were Dynamite', it lightens the mood a little from the gloom we all feel when we look at the mess being made of our world by the politicians and corporations who seem to have taken over.

A glance at the clever cover by artist Derek Roberts gives a clue to what you may expect - irony and irreverence in equal measure, with a liberal dose of humour thrown in. This time it's international. Hawkes, 'an ordinary bloke', attacks the madness around him with the sharp tongue of an astute political satirist - from America to the middle east, via China and Russia, to bankers and presidents, and ending in a hilarious visit to the British houses of Parliament.

This is 'laugh out loud' stuff of the best quality.
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on 18 May 2014
Great read, tells it from the hip. Had a good chuckle while reading this. Alec Hawkes tells it exactly as it is with a wry sense of humour, I particularly like his idea of the Women's Institute taking over the world. They sure as hell couldn't do a worse job than those runnign it now.
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on 18 May 2014
Brilliant 3rd book by Alec Hawkes. Gave me a chuckle or two or three on my holiday. Love the ending & can see it happening in the future. If you have not read any of his books yet, you are seriously missing out. Do yourself a favour & try them. Await further from Alec in the future.
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