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Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren Paperback – 4 Jun 2009
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"A comic genius." (The Times)
"The field is led by Alan Coren." (Observer)
"Coren is our heavyweight champion humorist, over-powering as well as graceful, able to do everything, sometimes in the same short article." (Guardian)
"The funniest writer in Britain today." (Sunday Times)
"Coruscating! A master humorist!" (Daily Telegraph)
"He has a comic imagination which can actually render your jaded scribe flabbergasted." (Clive James Observer)
"His power of observation knows no bounds." (Daily Mail)
"Coren's extraordinary gift for seeing the funny side of everyday life is in abundant evidence throughout this book, which will have you chuckling out loud." (Good Book Guide)
"This book brings together a well-chosen and quiveringly funny sample of [Coren's] comic writing . . . The humour in these columns isn't about one-liners and the best pieces take a fertile idea and run a mile with it, sparking a shower of bon mots in the process." (James Purdon Observer)
"Accomplished." (Colin Waters Sunday Herald)
The ultimate anthology of the humorous writing of the 'Sage of Cricklewood'.See all Product description
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Indeed, there are a number of contributions from some of those others I have in mind, including an excellent Foreword by his children Giles and Victoria. I enjoyed their reminiscences about their father immensely. Others who added their opinion and memories of the book's subject included notable luminaries such as Melvyn Bragg, Victoria Wood, the excellent Clive James and Stephen Fry. The contributions from all of them matched most, if not all of the collected essays from Alan himself, who came across as a really nice chap, with flashes of brilliance but, nevertheless, the overall impression I was left with was of a gentle trawl through the author's working history which was relaxing and mildly amusing, but only very occasionally incontrovertibly hilarious.
In short, it came up short for me.
There are some of the Idi Amin pieces, which are interesting in that in these politically correct times they probably would not have been allowed in print.
Indeed the whole book carries a superb patina of the humour of his time, when it was inventively funny, as opposed to much of today's so-called humour, which is just rude or abusive commentary.
A gentle book from a funny gentleman.
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