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John O'farrell - Author

About the Author

John O'Farrell is the author of four novels: The Man Who Forgot His Wife, May Contain Nuts, This Is Your Life and The Best a Man Can Get. His novels have been translated into over twenty languages and have been adapted for radio and television. He has also written two best-selling history books: An Utterly Impartial History of Britain and An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain, as well as a political memoir, Things Can Only Get Better and three collections of his column in The Guardian. A former comedy scriptwriter for such productions as Spitting Image, Room 101, Murder Most Horrid and Chicken Run, he is founder of the satirical website NewsBiscuit and can occasionally be spotted on such TV programmes as Grumpy Old Men, Question Time and Have I Got News for You.

 

Author photo © Robert Wilson

Featured books by John O'farrell

There's Only Two David Beckhams

There's Only Two David Beckhams

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

Ever wasted hours debating your 'All Time England XI'? Well now it's 2022 and the discussion is finally over, England have eleven players as good as any of them. The unbeatable national team have reached the final of the Qatar World Cup. But one journalist is convinced there is a scandalous secret behind England's incredible form. His lifetime's dream is to see the Three Lions win the World Cup. But if he pursues and exposes the shocking truth, his beloved England could be sent home in disgrace. Suddenly this is much more than England vs Germany; it's Love vs Duty, it's Truth vs Happiness. The pressure of the penalty shoot-out is nothing compared to this.

I Have a Bream

I Have a Bream

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/10/2007

Isn't it always the way? You wait ages for one purple flour-filled condom and then three come along at once. Of course the correct procedure for a chemical attack in the House of Commons would have been for MPs to remain in the chamber and remove all items of clothing. I'm not sure which is the more horrific vision; anthrax all over London or Nicholas Soames slipping out of his Y-fronts while chatting to a naked Ann Widdecombe. Contained within these covers are a hundred funny, satirical essays on subjects as diverse as Man's ascent from the apes and the re-election of George W. Bush. Plus there is a full account of O'Farrell's heroic but slightly less successful attempt to capture his Tory home town for socialism. He claims that identity fraud has got so bad that an audacious impostor using the name A.L. Blair even managed to get himself a Labour Party card by posing a left-wing champion of wealth distribution and civil rights. He asks why a Blackberry isn't compatible with an Apple. And find out why the Queen didn't go to her own son's wedding; 'What happened to that other girl you were seeing?' 'Mother, we got divorced and then she died in a car crash, remember?' 'Well sometimes you have to work at these things dear...'

May Contain Nuts

May Contain Nuts

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2006

Alice never imagined that she would end up like this. Is she the only mother who feels so permanently panic-stricken at the terrors of the modern world - or is it normal to sit up in bed all night popping bubble wrap? She worries that too much gluten and dairy may be hindering her children's mental arithmetic. She frets that there are too many cars on the road to let them out of the 4x4. Finally she resolves to take control and tackle her biggest worry of all: her daughter is definitely not going to fail that crucial secondary school entrance exam. Because Alice has decided to take the test in her place...

This is Your Life

This is Your Life

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2003

Global Village Idiot

Global Village Idiot

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2002

This week the first pet passports came into effect. Around the country dogs have been hopping into photo booths and trying to look as relaxed as possible, which is not easy when you know you're not allowed on the chair. In this collection of his newspaper columns he claims, among many other things, that the only conviction in the Tory Party was when Jeffrey Archer got sent to prison; that scientists have created a genetically superior monkey which will advertise lapsang souchong instead of PG Tips; and that with the election of George W. Bush, the global village has finally got its own global village idiot.

The Best a Man Can Get

The Best a Man Can Get

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2001

Michael Adams shares a flat with three other men in their late twenties. Days are spent lying in bed, playing computer games and occasionally doing a bit of work. And then, when he feels like it, he crosses the river and goes back to his unsuspecting wife and children. For Michael is living a double life - he escapes from the exhausting misery of babies by telling his wife he has to work through the night or travel up north. And while she is valiantly coping on her own, he is just a few miles away in a secret flat, doing all the things that most men with small children can only dream about. He thinks he can have it all, until is deception is inevitably exposed...

Other books by John O'farrell

Things Can Only Get Worse? Twenty confusing years in the life of a Labour supporter

Things Can Only Get Worse? Twenty confusing years in the life of a Labour supporter

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

'...as the Labour candidate I prepared for every possible question on the local radio Election Phone-In. What I had not prepared for was my mum ringing up to say that she agreed with John O'Farrell. On EVERYTHING.' Where Did We Go Right? is the personal story of one political activist helping Labour progress from its 1997 landslide to the unassailable position it enjoys today. Along the way, he stood for Parliament against Theresa May but failed to step into her shoes; he was dropped from Tony and Cherie's Christmas card list after he revealed he always sent their card on to a friend from the SWP; and he campaigned for a new non-selective inner-city state school, then realised this meant he had to send his kids to a non-selective inner-city state school. The long-awaited sequel to the best-selling Things Can Only Get Better is for everyone who could use a good laugh after Brexit, Boris and Trump. A roller-coaster ride through the last two decades via the very best political jokes (excluding the ones that keep getting elected).

Things Can Only Get Worse?

Things Can Only Get Worse?

Author: John O'farrell Format: eBook Release Date: 14/09/2017

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Things Can Only Get Worse?: Twenty confusing years in the life of a Labour supporter written and read by John O'Farrell. '...as the Labour candidate I prepared for every possible question on the local radio Election Phone-In. What I had not prepared for was my mum ringing up to say that she agreed with John O'Farrell. On EVERYTHING.'Things Can Only Get Worse is the personal story of one political activist helping Labour progress from its 1997 landslide to the unassailable position it enjoys today. Along the way, he stood for Parliament against Theresa May but failed to step into her shoes; he was dropped from Tony and Cherie's Christmas card list after he revealed he always sent their card on to a friend from the SWP; and he campaigned for a new non-selective inner-city state school, then realised this meant he had to send his kids to a non-selective inner-city state school. The long-awaited sequel to the best-selling Things Can Only Get Better is for everyone who could use a good laugh after Brexit, Boris and Trump. A roller-coaster ride through the last two decades via the very best political jokes (excluding the ones that keep getting elected).

Things Can Only Get Worse? Twenty confusing years in the life of a Labour supporter

Things Can Only Get Worse? Twenty confusing years in the life of a Labour supporter

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/06/2017

'Hilarious, insightful and has that rare quality of making politics fun. A brilliant book everyone should read, whoever you vote for.' Owen Jones, author of The Establishment From the giddy heights of New Labour's landslide victory in 1997 to the shock result of the 2017 snap election, these are the frank and funny memoirs of one bewildered Labour activist who tried to carry on as usual long after politics had stopped making sense. With a literary flair that has been compared to Donald Trump's tweets, John O'Farrell attempts to explain the alarming rise of populist politics, Labour's twenty-year identity crisis, and why you should never tell your mother you are doing a radio phone-in, unless you want her ringing up to tell everyone she agrees with you. On everything. Along the way, John stood for parliament against Theresa May but failed to step into her shoes; he took his campaigning skills to America (but still Obama got in); and he was dubbed 'the sickest man in politics' by the Daily Mail when in truth he's only the second or third. The long-awaited sequel to the best-selling Things Can Only Get Better is for everyone who could use a good laugh after Brexit, Trump and learning you were governed by the DUP. A twenty-year journey from hope to despair and back again, packed with political confessions even more outrageous that running through fields of wheat.

Things Can Only Get Better

Things Can Only Get Better

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/05/2017

Like bubonic plague and stone cladding, no-one took Margaret Thatcher seriously until it was too late. Her first act as leader was to appear before the cameras and do a V for Victory sign the wrong way round. She was smiling and telling the British people to f*** off at the same time. It was something we would have to get used to.' Things Can Only Get Better is the personal account of a Labour supporter who survived eighteen miserable years of Conservative government. It is the heartbreaking and hilarious confessions of someone who has been actively involved in helping the Labour party lose elections at every level: school candidate: door-to-door canvasser: working for a Labour MP in the House of Commons; standing as a council candidate; and eventually writing jokes for a shadow cabinet minister. Along the way he slowly came to realise that Michael Foot would never be Prime Minister, that vegetable quiche was not as tasty as chicken tikki masala and that the nuclear arms race was never going to be stopped by face painting alone.

There's Only Two David Beckhams

There's Only Two David Beckhams

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

Ever wasted hours debating your 'All Time England XI'? Well now it's 2022 and the discussion is finally over, England have eleven players as good as any of them. The unbeatable national team have reached the final of the Qatar World Cup. But one journalist is convinced there is a scandalous secret behind England's incredible form. His lifetime's dream is to see the Three Lions win the World Cup. But if he pursues and exposes the shocking truth, his beloved England could be sent home in disgrace. Suddenly this is much more than England vs Germany; it's Love vs Duty, it's Truth vs Happiness. The pressure of the penalty shoot-out is nothing compared to this.

The Man Who Forgot His Wife

The Man Who Forgot His Wife

Author: John O'farrell Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/08/2012

Wandering around a busy railway station, a confused man realises he has suffered a total memory loss. When he is eventually rescued, he is told that his breakdown has probably been triggered by his marital problems. But then he comes face to face with the stranger he is supposed to be divorcing - and promptly falls head over heels in love with her. So it is that forty-something Vaughan becomes desperate to win the heart of this beautiful and vivacious woman. His only obstacle; she's already been married to him for 15 years and now can't stand the sight of him. Does his amnesia provide the chance for him to be a better husband and make his marriage finally work? Or is there perhaps one last memory he has yet to recover that will blow everything wide open? This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.

I Have a Bream

I Have a Bream

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/10/2007

Isn't it always the way? You wait ages for one purple flour-filled condom and then three come along at once. Of course the correct procedure for a chemical attack in the House of Commons would have been for MPs to remain in the chamber and remove all items of clothing. I'm not sure which is the more horrific vision; anthrax all over London or Nicholas Soames slipping out of his Y-fronts while chatting to a naked Ann Widdecombe. Contained within these covers are a hundred funny, satirical essays on subjects as diverse as Man's ascent from the apes and the re-election of George W. Bush. Plus there is a full account of O'Farrell's heroic but slightly less successful attempt to capture his Tory home town for socialism. He claims that identity fraud has got so bad that an audacious impostor using the name A.L. Blair even managed to get himself a Labour Party card by posing a left-wing champion of wealth distribution and civil rights. He asks why a Blackberry isn't compatible with an Apple. And find out why the Queen didn't go to her own son's wedding; 'What happened to that other girl you were seeing?' 'Mother, we got divorced and then she died in a car crash, remember?' 'Well sometimes you have to work at these things dear...'

May Contain Nuts

May Contain Nuts

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2006

Alice never imagined that she would end up like this. Is she the only mother who feels so permanently panic-stricken at the terrors of the modern world - or is it normal to sit up in bed all night popping bubble wrap? She worries that too much gluten and dairy may be hindering her children's mental arithmetic. She frets that there are too many cars on the road to let them out of the 4x4. Finally she resolves to take control and tackle her biggest worry of all: her daughter is definitely not going to fail that crucial secondary school entrance exam. Because Alice has decided to take the test in her place...

This is Your Life

This is Your Life

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2003

Global Village Idiot

Global Village Idiot

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2002

This week the first pet passports came into effect. Around the country dogs have been hopping into photo booths and trying to look as relaxed as possible, which is not easy when you know you're not allowed on the chair. In this collection of his newspaper columns he claims, among many other things, that the only conviction in the Tory Party was when Jeffrey Archer got sent to prison; that scientists have created a genetically superior monkey which will advertise lapsang souchong instead of PG Tips; and that with the election of George W. Bush, the global village has finally got its own global village idiot.

The Best a Man Can Get

The Best a Man Can Get

Author: John O'farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2001

Michael Adams shares a flat with three other men in their late twenties. Days are spent lying in bed, playing computer games and occasionally doing a bit of work. And then, when he feels like it, he crosses the river and goes back to his unsuspecting wife and children. For Michael is living a double life - he escapes from the exhausting misery of babies by telling his wife he has to work through the night or travel up north. And while she is valiantly coping on her own, he is just a few miles away in a secret flat, doing all the things that most men with small children can only dream about. He thinks he can have it all, until is deception is inevitably exposed...