Thursday, 26 August 2010

Just finished reading: Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness

As a person who regards themselves as savvy and well read I'd like to say that I had heard of Jon Ronson before I started this book. If that were true I would have pounced on this book with glee during my latest library visit. But I have to confess that I'd never heard of the bloke. I chose Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness at impulse during one of my 'suck it and see moments'.

This collection of stories and columns, written for the Guardian's Weekend magazine was a superb find. The chapters that were started life as newspaper columns describing what Ronson terms 'domestic craziness' are hilarious. What I most admire is the fact that even though this chap seems to have an ego the size of the Empire State Building he doesn't mind portraying himself as a bit of a plonker when this is well and truly justified. His account of calling his cat in from the garden provides a fine example of this.  Part Two of the book brings together four longer articles about the 'Coughing Major', the trial of Jonathan King and an account of how a religious group, the Jesus Christians gave their kidneys away. These were all fascinating and thought provoking pieces of writing. However, I found the final article, about the contents of Stanley Kubrick's home, less interesting but this view is more down to personal taste rather than bad journalistic style.

I've already reserved What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness from Devon Library Service and added his other titles to my Amazon wishlist which serves as a reminder to myself about what I want to read. For my readers who are put off by the 'Guardian writer' tag I'd urge you to put your loathing of lefties to one side. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

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