Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2008: Year Of Boredom

I'm bored. 2008 was going to be the year I read and wrote poetry. I'm bored with poetry, with writing it and reading it. To be honest with myself, I'm not very good at either.

2008 was going to be a fiction-free year. I'm bored with reading fiction, can't take it seriously. But what's left?

I went to the bookshop. What about an autobiography?

I bought a bestseller, Bill Bryson's childhood memoirs, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

What a boring book! What a smug bastard! And the advertising inside for his other books! I've never seen the like!

There are thirteen pages of arse-licking reviews. And the inside back cover has pictures of all his other books just in case you hadn't been brainwashed already.

I've got three more books lined up. Simon Napier-Bell's Black Vinyl White Powder. A Drink with Shane MacGowan. And Owning Up: The Trilogy by George Melly, as recommended by Arabella.

Can anybody recommend any other entertaining non-fiction/autobiographies? You'll be performing a public service.


In other news, tonight in the chemist's I asked the woman behind the counter who calls me "Geoff" if she knows me from somewhere.

"Only here," she said.

"Oh, you pick names up pretty quickly, don't you?" said I, slinking off into the evening air.


  1. A Drink With Shane McGowan is v. odd. Each chapter has an intro written by Mrs Shane (who wrote the book) setting the scene going "Victoria was looking beautiful in a long dress in front of the log fire as Shane started to speak".

    i don't really like biogs, sorry.

  2. The Shane McGowan book is excellent. I liked the Joe Orton biography, Prick Up Your Ears or there's a good William Blake one.

  3. Barry Miles' William Burroughs biography El Hombre Invisible is a sympathetic and revealing look at Old Bill.
    Non-fiction? Francis Wheen's How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered The World, a big laugh on every page as Wheen skewers wooly thinking the world over: Will Self's Psychogeography, a collection of his ruminations for the Independent ... mordantly funny, and with Ralph Steadman's illustrations, too.

  4. I'm reading "Dawn of the Dumb" by Charlie Brooker...it's basically an anthology of his column from The Guide for the last few years. It's brilliant to dip into..

  5. I enjoyed 'Toast' by Nigel Slater and the autobiographies of Adam Ant (really) and Betty off Corrie.
    In a comment yesterday Arabella recommended Martin Amis's memoirs -'Experience' -so I'll buy that today.

    Pity there's no romantic story behind her in the chemist's.

  6. I wish Bill Bryson HAD been eaten by a bear on one of his walks into the wilderness.

    Experience is good - as is (surprisingly) Janet Street Porter's - mainly for the 50's London nostalgia and my Dad gave me Ronnie Wood's autobiog for my birthday which looks quite fun.

    I agree - 2008 is dull as ditchwater so far.

  7. A few chapters of "My Booky Wook" will have you rushing back to Bryson in no time.

  8. You could always try this WHUFC related read, non-fiction guaranteed. Not technically a biography although it has got a biographical tendencies.
    I'm going to get that Adam Ant bio that Kaz has recomended after I finish the Lance Armstrong book.

  9. Spin - "Victoria was looking really beautiful as she cleaned up the spew and Shane's five day unwashed pants from the bathroom floor." Sounds good to me.

    Billy - I read Prick Up Your Ears and the Orton Diaries many moons ago. Worth a re-read sometime. Is the William Blake one called Experience, too?

    Anthony - I remember when the Wheen book came out I made a mental note to get it. Then I forgot all about it. Maybe I'd get on better with Self's non-fiction than I have with his fiction. Burroughs had a slightly more interesting life than Bill Bryson - I'll probably give that a whirl, too.

    Cal - I like Brooker and I've read most of what he's written in The Guide.

    Kaz - Does Nigel mention Betty's hotpot? Wasn't Adam's in the form of a comic: The Dandy Highwayman? Good choices, and thanks to Arabella, too! I'm so glad the chemist woman doesn't know me. I've just embarrassed her in front of her workmates, though.

    Romo - Janet is awful, but I like her. Ronnie's a real renaissance man, isn't he?

    Murph - Talking of renaissance men, Russell's a cross between Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. How dare you insult him so!

  10. Istvanski - Thanks, that would really cheer me up. I wonder if Sheryl Crow appears in the Ant book?

    Thank you for your suggestions, everyone. There'll be a big hole in my wallet soon.

  11. I'll be surprised if you haven't already enjoyed the double happiness of William Roache's "Ken and Me" and "Soul on the Street."

  12. I haven't. The Druid in me lies very low.

    I'm going to look out for Betty's book, though.

  13. How about reading some travel books? I've just bought a William Dalrymple book about travels around the Himalayan region. His books "White Mughals" and "The Last Mughal" are about the history of India and look fascianting (I have them lined up to read). Slater's new book (Eating for England) is very good.

  14. Thanks, I'll have a look at those too. I love James Cameron's An Indian Summer.

  15. Llewtrah mentioned the Eating for England book which I've just picked up.

    In yet another attempt, aside from watching Corrie and reading you and Betty's blogs, to understand the British psyche.

  16. British psychotic in my case.

  17. I just look at pictures.
    Hooked on Phonics not working very goodest for me..
    but I speak tree langwidge, H'inglash da best!

  18. I've just read Ronnie biog. It's the story of all the intoxicated times he has had with all sorts of famous people. Just a list really, but I enjoyed it.

  19. HE - That was the trouble I was having with poetry.

    Tom - As long as there are none of his paintings in the book, I might get it.