Friday, 15 October 2010

Just finished reading: What I do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness

When I wrote a post about Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness by Jon Ronson, I'd just reserved  its sequel  What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness from the library. Was this worth the 50p reservation fee? Absolutely!

Like its predecessor this is a book of two halves. The majority of part one is made up of a collecton of vignettes focusing on Ronson's everyday life and  longer pieces of writing too.  Presumably these  first appeared in the Guardian newspaper. Many of these conjure up the mixture of humour and shock that I find very pleasurable.Sometimes, it seems that Ronson's inhibitory areas in his brain's frontal lobes are temporarily shot. Linda McCartney bit back after she encountered him at one such time so when he wrote disparingly about certain pieces of her husband's work (Read the book!).  Then, there is an incident where Ronson is caught out by miming soup eating to a young girl in a restaurant. This is a scene so reminiscent of the cringingly embarrassing US series,  'Curb your Enthusiasm' , that I'm sure that Ronson is a relative of it's star Larry David. His wonderfully astute wife, Elaine, would fit nicely into the show too!

The remainder of the first half of the book and part two  is comprised of a collection of longer thought provoking articles which seem to show that our craziness isn't all self induced. Other people are involved too. I particularly enjoyed the articles on neuro linguistic programming and how marketing loan finance is targeted.

What I like about Ronson is his own (and indeed his wife's) ability to dissect his paranoid, anxious and sometimes egotistical thinking. His skill at doing this would make him an ideal candidate for cognitive behavioural therapy but I wouldn't want him to go through this. A more balanced viewpoint would almost certainly lead to writer's block and, for the sake of my own selfish desire to enjoy things that he writes in the future, I wouldn't want to inflict  that on him.  It would worry him too much!

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