Following the untimely demise of Humphrey Lyttleton this compendium is a must-have for any ISIHAC fan. An outstanding example of the English language as an art form, composed by a true wordsmith but truly brought to life when read by 'Chairman Humph' with his impeccable comic timing.
this book is a compendium of all the "venue histories" delivered by Humph at the start of ISIHAC. Devotees will hear Humph's voice and try to emulate his fabulous delivery. fun to read, you can dip in and out, read it from cover to cover or pick out places you know. The one thing that I would change is to add the broadcast date, as the jokes include topical references. but it's fun, I was given it for my birthday and am going to get it for "Clue" fans for Xmas.
One of the funniest books I've read is Bil Bryson's Notes from a small island. This, for me, even tops that brilliant book. This book has 3 things going for it. One is that the pieces are all very funny, but also short, a perfect book if you have a few minutes. Secondly it stands alone even if you have not come across 'Clue' (and could be a great introduction. Thirdly those of us who remember Humph with affection we can 'hear' his voice ringing through each passage.
One of the most amusing parts of later series of Radio 4's comedy series I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE (as presented by the incomparable Humphrey Lyttelton) was his introduction to the location of that weeks edition. Every edition would start with "Humph" reading out a spoof guide (as written by Iain Pattinson) where local historical or geographical facts would be given an absurdist or topical twist, which, in a rather brilliant combination of writing and performance would usually bring the house down.
Many towns across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom were blessed to be venues for the recording of this most enjoyable of radio shows and this book is a very funny collection of those great introductions covering many places. Granted, there are only 2 each from Wales and Scotland, and only one from Northern Ireland, but there's much fun to be had from the gentle and good-natured mockery of the stereotypical received perception of many of the places that do get a mention.
These short pieces cry out to be read out loud and you might find yourself doing so to your loved ones as you find yet another gem that you'll feel you just have to share with them. However, they work just as well on the page, and whilst you can't help but hear the late great Mr Lyttelton's voice in your head as you read them, it is lovely to have these little literary masterpieces in this form and available to be savoured over and over again.
I wondered if this would be a let down, reading the lines instead of them having the benefit of Hump's superb delivery, but I was not disapointed. They are so well written they work as well on the written page. I could even hear Humph's voice delivering them in my head. Read in a room on your own as you are guaranteed to annoy anyone near you by laughing aloud too much.
Comedy at it's finest. Yes, the combination of Mr Pattinson's writing and Mr Lyttelton's delivery was a rare and precious gem that some of us were lucky enough to experience, and will treasure. Yes we all mourn the loss of the wonderful Humphrey Lyttelton, and this book is the best of any tribute you will find. However, that aside, the genius of craftsmanship involved in constructing Humph's intros will have you laughing until tears adorn your face. And if it doesn't then 'Little Britain' is probably what you were looking for. A different league. Don't try to read it as an official guide to the British Isles, you will be surprised to find that some things arn't actually true. It's comedy. Try to remember Humph's attitude of polite disdain, and occasional downright rude disdain.
I started reading it on the bus going home from work. My frequent snorts of laughter led to my fellow passengers removing themselves from my immediate vicinity.
This book is a treasure about a treasure. I was lucky enough to see Humph on his last appearance at the Lowry in Manchester before his hospitalisation. The man was a star. Brilliantly funny and gifted; if you didn't know Humph before he died this is the perfect chance to get to know him. This book resounds with his voice on every page, you can pratically hear him raising his eyebrows. He was like a naughty Granddad who made you laugh at things you weren't supposed to laugh at. Then when you were helpless with giggles he'd look over the top of his specs at you in the most amused and disapproving manner.
Loved Humph and now love this book. I don't know what Samantha is going to do without him.