Sunday, 26 September 2010

Book learning 61. An utterly exasperated history of modern Britain by John O'Farrell.

John O'Farrell is one of those people who wrote an outstanding, original and very, very funny book about 15 years ago and has yet to come close again. I suspect he never will. I suspect he knows this.
Having just bitch-slapped him in the first sentence it should be pointed out that I enjoyed great big chunks of this book, his analysis of the 1980's reminded me of all the reasons why Thatcher was and continues to be odious and completely mental. The take on the 1950s and 60s was great, reminding those of us born in the 1970s that it wasn't all hippies and cheeky scousers and that economically things were pretty bloody dire. He also reminded us how much decent, level headed progress we have made in the name of 'political correctness gone mad' (You mean we're not allowed to be racist? Homophobic? Sexist? How the hell are we supposed to have any fun any more?)

I particularly enjoyed the act of reading.

The twins were born in March and this was the first book I had even attempted to read. I spent part of the summer picking it up on the loo and shoving it in the back of the pushchair in case both boys fell asleep and the weather was nice and there was a bench handy. I had some good times with this book, it was what was needed.