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Global Village Idiot by John O'farrell

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Gathered here are the best of John O'Farrell's newspaper columns for The Guardian and The Independent , which saw him win the coveted Best Columnist of the Year Award at the prestigious British Liars Awards.

If you like John O'farrell you might also like to read books by Marina Lewycka, Matt Beaumont and Sue Townsend.


Global Village Idiot by John O'farrell

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.

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We're all used to hearing how the world has become one big global village, and, now, with the election of George Bush as President of the USA, we have the global village idiot we deserve. So says John O'Farrell, who sets his stall out early and eagerly chooses politicians - especially those with no sense of humour - as the targets most deserving of his verbal assaults. Granted, the humourless politician is not what you would call a difficult target, but O'Farrell's observations are spot on nearly every time, so it's easy to forgive him. That he is happy to have a laugh at his own shortcomings, and particularly his Labour Party membership, also goes a long way to endearing him to the reader. All manner of political beasts and shenanigans stalk these pages, from the naive hope of the early days of New Labour to exceptionally enjoyable and funny attacks on the Archers and Hamiltons of the world. The general indifference to the euro, the dire state of television, and the Mayor of London controversy all jostle to remind us just how intrusive and ultimately unimportant politics can be to the everyday life of many people. Fox hunting, the new religion of shopping and the inevitable arrival of Thanksgiving as a UK holiday all provide fodder for O'Farrell's well-written and amusing columns, originally published in the Guardian or Independent. Proudly spanning two centuries (or 24 months depending on how you look at it), this collection embraces the news that mattered at the turn of the millennium, all in portions that are perfect for reading in short bursts. It's a handy, witty synopsis of what held the nation in thrall between the summers of 1999 and 2001. (Kirkus UK)

About the Author

John O'farrell

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

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Book Info

Publication date

1st October 2002


John O'farrell

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Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd


352 pages


Biography / Autobiography
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