This Is Craig Brown Paperback – 19 Feb 2004
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"Nobody does prose parody and media satire better" (The Independent)
"Consistently funny and always beautifully written" (The Observer)
"Every page is gold...genius" (Boris Johnson, Mail on Sunday)
"A brilliant, subversive collection" (London Evening Standard)
"If there were a Paradist Laureate, (Brown) would step up unchallenged to the title" (The Observer)
The critically acclaimed 'best of' humorist Craig Brown - 20 years of satirical pieces and essays on British lifeSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Lord knows how they faced the decision over what to leave out of Brown's incomparable writings: just choosing the best of Bel Littlejohn or Wallace Arnold must have been agony.
To paraphrase Brown's own description of the much-missed Bron Waugh: Brown has the prose/parodist's equivalent of perfect pitch.
Speaking of the fragrant Ms Littlejohn, no greater tribute can I pay than to say that my American girlfriends read her absolutely straightfaced and agog and turn exceedingly boot-faced at my
boorish sexist suggestions of any trace of a spoof.
Brown is the consummate mocker by holding a mirror up to his 'victims' I wonder just how many of them actually realise they've been so roundly decapitated: Mohamed Fayed, that whole
Amis-Pinter-Parkinson coterie, the Emin grotesquerie and, of course, Nick Serota who is scalpeled bang to rights.
It's such a relief to read a major talent like this and know that the mantle of folks like Waugh, Bonfiglioli and Miles Kington is safely draped across sturdy and younger shoulders.
Nor is this volume just a bundle of laughs: Brown has the verbal firepower and courage to wax serious more often than the publishers will have you believe. The book is worth the price alone for a noble piece on grief, as well as stirring tributes to Auberon Waugh, Alan Bennett, Mark Boxer, Peter Cook and other well chosen heros of that stature.
Read it, too, for the pieces that fall in between, those not intended to have one chuckling but which tap a grimmer, personal nerve. To mention just two, Brown's slam at blabbermouth book
jacket blurbistas, and a wistful imagined correspondence between JMW Turner and a serotan minion that will give art lovers everywhere food for vengeful thought.
First-rate stuff. Unbeatable. I just wish - like that cola jingle - I could fix *everyone* up with a copy, to bring a little humour into our lives and let aspiring scribblers see how it's actually done. It used to be Marmite I'd urge visiting Brits to bring me from Blighty; now it's fresh supplies of this heart-warming volume. Bravo, Mr Brown.
What a bargain! Over 100 crème-de-la-crème examples of the funniest and wittiest journalism over the years. To paraphrase Brown himself on the sainted Bron Waugh: he has the parodist's equivalent of perfect pitch.
I wouldn't like to provoke Brown's ire, but then again, do Brown's 'subjects' actually 'get it'? Can they spot the skilled razor job performed on them: Mohamed Fayed; Martin Amis; de Bono; Who's Who; Deborah 'the Brummie side of Medea' Warner; that whole wrinklies scene of Simon Dee/Tony Blackburn/Esther; Parkie and Posh. And as for modern 'significant' artists and the entire Emin grotesquerie, he gets them and Nick Serota absolutely bang to rights.
There isn't a dull or graceless sentence, and the section on "Heroes" is thoughtful moving stuff - shrewd assessments setting the record straight on Peter Cook, Mark Boxer, Edward Lear, Alan Bennett, and others. Let me also pay homage to a singularly moving piece on grief and Brown's late father-in-law, himself no slouch with the elegant phrase.
A book hard to over-praise: like that Coke advert, I just wish I could buy everyone their own copy as a reminder to us all of how it's actually done.
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