Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
on 13 June 2003
I can't believe it takes a mawkish scribbler on an island off Seattle to be the *first* to pay homage to this unbeatable collection of wit, satire, and hilarious razor jobs by this finest of writer-parodistas.
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.