Thursday, 18 August 2011

Not the Booker Prize Shortlist. . .

So while we wait for the Man Booker shortlist to be announced (fingers crossed for Julian Barnes), the Guardian has released the shortlist of the Not The Booker Prize, voted on by readers. You can read about it here. It's all a bit tongue in cheek - one of the authors promised to post a picture of himself in the buff if he won - but I am pleased to see Lars Iyer's Spurious on the list (yes, my love for Melville House continues). But it really is a fun and quirky read. I started laughing from the moment I first saw the clever cover and continued to giggle throughout its chapters. It's about two friends (sort of), who are convinced they could have brilliant lives if they could only get off their butts and do something about it. Procrastinators rejoice. Along the way there are meditations on writing (or the lack of), philosophy, house mold, travel trials, and whether things would really be much better in Canada. In Dogma, the sequel coming out next spring, the two journey to the American South, in the company of Canadians no less, to start a new religion. Again, the cover is just terrific.

I was reminded of Spurious when I saw Michael Winterbottom's latest movie The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. They also play two friends driving around the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, ostensibly to review pretentious food for a newspaper. They instead spend most of their time affectionately bickering about their lifestyles, their careers, ABBA lyrics, and who has the better Michael Caine impersonation. And the scenery is just gorgeous! If you like the sarcastic, self-deprecating, taking-the-piss humour of the Brits (and who doesn't?) then I can highly recommend all of the above.

No comments: