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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

on 24 June 2017
Laugh out loud funny all the way through. (Check out the Cliff Richard book.) Robin Ince is a genius!
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on 9 July 2010
This book offers a laugh every time you pick it up. What I've enjoyed the most is it has that lovely quality of being able to "dip in" and read a few pages and have a laugh, but not need to read it in any particular order. It is incredibly light and entertaining, but with some very smart insights into the media and popular culture.

The tone ranges from the lighthearted, why do publishers write "The End" when the book has actually run out of pages, to the angry, and very funny, rants about newspaper columnists, which features a brilliant take on Gary Bushell and gay public orgies. (It's OK, don't sue, check it out). I especially like how Robin incorporates little bits of his everyday experience, thus the fact that he comes from a long line of vicars makes the section on religion even more pertinent. Not to mention the essential subject of "What would Jesus Eat."

The graphs and photographs are rather random and have some very helpful captions, including an equation with the caption "I forget what x is". So you may not learn the meaning of life in the pages of this book, but at least you know that Cliff Richard can offer you sexy breaks from the bible.
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on 25 July 2010
Robin Ince is much vaunted as a comic for intellectuals through his work on Nerdfest and Radio Four broadcasts alongside the likes of Professor Brain Cox - the beauty of this book is that it emerges as a down-to-earth self-deprecating biography of an engaging Everyman who knows his naff and compulsive bad reading habits are wrong, painstakingly smuggling cheap and nasty books past his long-suffering wife's antennae - but simply can't stop himself. The bevy of references to terrible and pointless books across a range of genres fizzes along with terrific one-liners, but it is the emerging portrait of Robin Ince himself which gives this immensely enjoyable book its heart and soul. Diving in and out of charity shops and even dusting discarded books off as he rescues them from skips prior to pulping, Ince wittily catalogues and crafts lovely stories about the woman who wrote a sequence of poems to the deceased Elvis, right wing reactionaries parading their prejudices as 'facts' and a whole array of religious and scientific fruitcakes, always finding non-judgemental merit, even joy, in these unlikely places. As a result, his own anally enriching life and misspent youth-evolving-into-middle-age jumps off the pages. Robin Ince achieves a skilful balance between laugh out loud book reviews and a unique biography through an analysis of his own obsession. Tremendous stuff!
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on 13 August 2010
I heard about this book on a web forum that I browse and thought it sounded right up my street as I too am a similarly afflicted habitual book hoarder and obsessive reader of any old rubbish. It actually reminded me that as a teenager I was obsessed with reading Silhouette romances (like Mills & Boon but worse) from the library which as an adult I have managed to completely mentally blank-out somehow.

I already liked Ince's sarcastic comedy stylings but it took me a while to get into the rhythm of his prose, perhaps because it's based on his live stand up show, but on the whole it's worth it. There's plenty of snigger-worthy moments from the books themselves, such as an in depth examination of the torrid mind of Don Estelle, but for me the best parts were Ince's asides about the lengths he will go to to acquire awful literature (going through skips, shame-faced at the till in charity shops, haggling at school fetes etc.) and hiding it/lying about it to his spouse.

If you liked Danny Wallace/Dave Gorman's adventures in print, you'll probably like this as well as it's similar in tone and style. An honest and enjoyable foray into the world of shameful literature.
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on 18 October 2011
Humanity has produced many great works of literature, Ulysses, Shakespeare, The Great Gatsby, Being Jordan, but in this book the author looks at some of the worst books ever published.

Whilst opinion on any bad book can be subjective Robin Ince looks not at the most popular but generally the obscure books that he has found in charity shops on his tours of the UK.

A humourous book as expected but the issue with only being able to read Robin's description of the book or his edited highlights means you dont get the full feeling, but likewise saves you having to read the books.

I felt it would propabably work better as a performance piece for the better indication of how the works sound, as written down it feels like it filters a review of the written word as a spoken word piece converted back to a written word.
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on 14 April 2014
Robin Ince seems to have spent a lot time (but thankfully, very little money) seeking out the most obscure books from various niche, literary genres. This idea is unique enough to hold your interest, but you may find yourself questioning why you're reading his thoughts on them.

While entertaining, it's another case of a book that could do with some aggressive editing, as there's far too much filler here. And it isn't throwaway enough to dip in and out of either, so it all seems harder work than it should be.

It did prompt me to re-read some of the early James Herbert works though, for which I'll be eternally grateful.
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on 11 August 2010
A book that charts bad books shouldn't work, and I am afraid that in the case of `Robin Ince's Bad Book Club' it doesn't. Ince is clearly a bibliophile, but rather than liking good books he instead is drawn to the poorly written, bizarre, or just plain wrong. The book is divided into a series of chapters that cover different genres of bad book. Whilst the likes of `Sex' and `Columnists' are a decent read, the rest of the book falls flat. The section on `Sex' works because some of the things covered a genuinely bizarre, whilst `Columnists' works because Ince's writing is best when he is venting his frustration.

The unfortunate thing is that these two sections make up around 20% of the book, for the rest of the time it can be a chore to trawl through book after book on poor romance or misguided religion. There is a horrible imbalance as you can tell that this is a collection of notes about books that Ince owns, therefore, the scope is a little too narrow at times. The romance section appears to be almost entirely Mills and Boons based, when there must be far worse romance out there to uncover. Ultimately the book becomes boring to read as Ince never allows himself to get up a head of steam, jumping from one book to the next. As a stand up act I think the piece meal style of the book may work, but in terms of the written word it all feels a little underdone.
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on 12 April 2014
This book is for you if you have piles of paperbacks at the side of your bed and you love buying old, weird books at car boot sales and in charity shops. Robin impressed me by rescuing a book from a skip. If the thought of books being abandoned in skips (or anywhere) worries you then you’ll be right at home in this book. There are strange titles, genres that you may not have read from, and clumsily beautiful lines that’ll have you keen to get down to your local shops to see just what eclectic treasures you can unearth. At the start of the book I was afraid I had written a bad book, by the end I hoped I had written a bad book and that it would be featured in a future sequel to Bad Book Club.
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on 6 December 2010
Quite a few of the reviewers here are a bit harsh on Robin Ince. While I'll admit a few sections of the book are a bit patchy (eg, bad science), quite a lot of it had me laughing out loud - which is a rare feat from a book.

I bought it on a whim after hearing Robin do a stand-up routine about it, which had me in stitches, and sped through it in a few days afterwards. Some bits were skim-able, but on the whole it was enjoyably light, fluffy reading, in a Danny Wallace vein.

Would love to read not only Terry Major-Ball's book now, but also the obligatory "Secrets of Picking up Sexy Girls". Surely it must come back into print after all this publicity? Surely...
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on 22 January 2015
This was a great read, portraying a unique hobby.

Robin Ince is a collector - a collector of bad books. We have all read them at one point or another, but only he has made a hobby out of deliberately buying them, the cheesier the book, the better.
In this book, he summarises the funniest extracts from his favourite bad books, saving you the trouble of ever reading them.
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