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Titles to make you laugh out loud. Or just smile. Or both.
Completed before he died, thirty years ago, this is the autobiography of the celebrated comedian, Marty Feldman. Marty played the fool, often very happily and with tremendous talent and volcanic, anarchic energy, for his entire life. His face is what many people most immediately remember. It was a face that David Frost, one of his bosses, characterised as 'too grotesque' for television -- see what Feldman has to say about Frost, and Francis Bacon, and John Lennon...Marty himself described his face as 'the right packaging for my job...the right packaging for a clown.' Less known is the fact that Marty was a professional writer, and considered himself a writer first, and an actor second. Feldman created a number of immensely successful and influential shows, and was one of the most essential creative forces in British comedy embodied also by his close friends and creative partners from Beyond the Fringe (especially Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) and Monty Python (especially John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle). Feldman finished, and set aside Eye Marty soon before travelling to Mexico to shoot his final film. He did not know that he would die there, although he certainly felt he might die soon, and was haunted by the notion. The book is exactly as Feldman wrote it, his great friend Mark Flanagan, had it transcribed, with even the photos inserted where Feldman had noted where they should go. Hilarious, deeply charming, aphoristic, ironic, charged throughout with lust for life and filled with scenes of great vanished eras and and portraits of other performers and friends, Eye Marty is the amazing discovery of the story of a man who was at the heart of the British comedy revolution.
Since 1992, the financial and business life of the UK and many other parts of the world has changed beyond all recognition. The culture of that change has been expertly and insightfully charted in the writings of Martin Vander Weyer. Observing from the inside and the outside, having spent 15 years as an investment banker at the heart of the British financial establishment and in Brussels and the Far East before forging a creative path as a journalist, Martin Vander Weyer offers a unique critical perspective on the events and developments that have brought us to where we are today. From 'Big Bang' of 1986 that irrevocably changed the culture of banking - and of the UK - through to the global financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent banking scandals, the people, ideas and very existence of the City have been under scrutiny as never before. In this eclectic and entertaining collection, Martin Vander Weyer brings a sharp eye and a very personal style to bear on often controversial topics, alongside recollections of life in the City and dissections of the current state of play; deliciously evocative accounts of travel, culture, food and daily life; and, very occasionally, reflections on the travails of middle age. Beautifully written, this collection offers an entirely unique, sometimes surprising, but always beguiling perspective on our changing times.
Based on the beloved Radio 4 series, Bleak Expectations recounts the remarkable adventures of young Pip Bin as he tries to make his way in a world made all horrible by the machinations of his cruel guardian, Mr Gently Benevolent. Grim circumstances, mistaken identities, nightmarish court-cases, ridiculous names, convenient coincidences to resolve plot problems, over-sentimental death scenes and lots and lots of adjectives: Bleak Expectations is a novel like Charles Dickens might have written after far too much gin.
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. Sir Humphrey du Val of the Table of Less Valued Knights - Camelot's least prestigious table, boringly rectangular in shape and with one leg shorter than the other so that it always has to be propped up with a folded napkin to stop it from rocking - has been banned by King Arthur from going on quests, and hasn't left the castle in fifteen years. He's tempted out of his imposed retirement by Elaine, who is looking for her kidnapped fiance. But is she really the damsel in distress that she appears to be? Across the border in Puddock, the new young queen, Martha, is appalled to be married off against her will to the odious Prince Edwin of Tuft. She disguises herself as a boy and runs away, but doesn't get very far before the Locum of the Lake - standing in for the full-time Lady - intercepts her with some startling news: Martha's brother, the true heir to the throne of Puddock, is not dead as she believed, and Martha must go on her own quest to find him. The two quests collide, entangling Humphrey, Elaine and Martha's lives, and introducing a host of Arthurian misfits, including a freakishly short giant, a twelve-year-old crone, an amorous unicorn, and a magic sword with a mind of her own.
Marianne Power was stuck in a rut. Then one day she wondered: could self-help books help her find the elusive perfect life? She decided to test one book a month for a year, following their advice to the letter. What would happen if she followed the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Really felt The Power of Now? Could she unearth The Secret to making her dreams come true? What begins as a clever experiment becomes an achingly poignant story. Because self-help can change your life - but not necessarily for the better . . . Help Me! is an irresistibly funny and incredibly moving book about a wild and ultimately redemptive journey that will resonate with anyone who's ever dreamed of finding happiness.
Jargon, cliches, euphemisms ...lies. Ever wished there was a phrasebook to help you translate all this endless bullsh*t? When your boss asks 'Can I have a quick word?' (real meaning: I don't have anything to discuss, I just like putting the fear of God into you) or an estate agent describes something as having 'incredible potential' (real meaning: absolute shithole), you'd better have Luke Lewis's essential new book to hand. And if you need a way to spin your latest work disaster, here are numerous tried-and-tested porkies to help you out. Based on the incredibly popular BuzzFeed series 'What People Say vs What They Mean', this in an indispensible - and hilarious - guide to interpreting secret codes, little white lies and complete and utter bollocks. Examples from What People Say at Work vs What They Mean 'Anyone fancy a cup of tea?' - Offer strictly limited to the three people in my immediate vicinity. 'This is beyond my remit' - I can't be arsed to deal with this 'Team player' - Has basic social skills, is not an outright sociopath 'Let's park this for now' - Let's never mention this again 'We wish her all the best in her new job' - Burn in hell, traitor
Insightful, tender and very, very funny, the images from the author's blog, The Daily Think, have become hugely popular, and the very best of them are collected together in this exquisite and hilarious gift book. The illustrations chronicle all manner of parenting fails and mishaps, plus a fair few sweet and poignant moments, and it will raise a giggle of recognition from beleaguered mums and dads everywhere. It's the perfect gift for a world-weary parent who's seen it all before, or a new one to let them know what they're in for!
488 Rules for Life is Kitty Flanagan's way of making the world a more pleasant place to live. Providing you with the antidote to every annoying little thing, these rules are not made to be broken. 488 Rules for Life is not a self-help book, because it's not you who needs help, it's other people. Whether they're walking and texting, asphyxiating you on public transport with their noxious perfume cloud, or leaving one useless square of toilet paper on the roll, a lot of people just don't know the rules. But thanks to Kitty Flanagan's comprehensive guide to modern behaviour, our world will soon be a much better place. A place where people don't ruin the fruit salad by putting banana in it ... where your co-workers respect your olfactory system and don't reheat their fish curry in the office microwave ... where middle-aged men don't have ponytails ... Other rules to live by include: 1. Men must wear shorts over leggings The gym is no place for people to discover whether or not you are circumcised. That's a private discussion for another place and time. 2. Team bonding activities should be optional Some people love it when management decides that an afternoon of bowling or paintballing or (god forbid) karaoke will help everyone work better as a team. Others would rather be dead. 3. Don't ever mention your 'happy place' To me, this sounds less like a pleasant, fun state of mind and more like some kind of utopian wank palace you've had built in the basement. What started as a personal joke is now a quintessential reference book with the power to change society. (Or, at least, make it a bit less irritating.)
Eliot, Heaney, Auden, Larkin, Plath. Faber & Faber are famous the world over for publishing the works of the giants of poetry. And now with My Prefect Cousin they are proud to introduce to you the poems of cult poet Paul Hamilton. Paul who? A reasonable question. Hamilton, once described by the Poetic Literary Review as 'a diabolical libertarian', has remained firmly under the public radar ever since he first started writing poetry in the early nineties. But now it is time for him to receive the recognition he deserves. Hamilton's cousin, Kevin Eldon, stand up comedian and stalwart of numerous television and radio comedies over the last twenty years, presents a fascinating insight into the life, work and times of a poet who stands in a class all of his own. My Prefect Cousin charts the roller coaster ride of a life dedicated to verse; the emotional highs, the murky depths, with personal contributions from Hamilton that are often characterised by a brutal honesty that is not for the faint hearted. Or indeed the weak stomached. My Prefect Cousin also contains for the very first time on the printed page 'Shadows of Reflections', the anthology of poetry Hamilton has failed for so long to find a publisher for. Until now.
As you can tell, I'm a good-looking guy and quite a hit with the ladies...some proper bang tidy lasses too. I've been honing my game for a few years and now, at last, I reveal all. In my book, I reveal the 69 rules of being a succ-sex. Clever, right? So why not slip into something a little more comfortable, take my hand and I'll guide you through the rules of attraction, chat-up lines, first dates and relationships Lemon-style. With rules for men and women, no one should be without it. Especially not the flarey-nostrelled bird from CELEBRITY JUICE. She needs all the help she can get. Lemonise your life. It's as simple as that...shaaaa-ting!
Since being crowned the Northern Businessman of the Year 1993, Keith Lemon has been going from strength to strength and now is regularly seen sandwiched between two bang tidy lasses on the funniest show on telly, ITV2's CELEBRITY JUICE. In BEING KEITH, Keith Lemon - international ladies man and national treasure - opens up and shares the juiciest parts of his life from the last five years; from selling Securipoles in America and travelling the world to his first encounter with Holly and Fearne and dirty dancing with Paddy - and all the juicy details in between. Packed with photos and illustrations, this is Keith's story of success told in his own unique style. You'll never dream of him in the same way again...Ooooosh!
“We’re going on a bar hunt. We’re going to find a cool one. The babysitter’s booked – We’re not old!” So chant the optimistic parents at the beginning of the book. But the bar hunt doesn’t quite go to plan and the book ends with heavy heads, lost keys and children bouncing around on the sofa at 6am. No more bar-hunts again for these two! A fun parody of the children’s classic title accompanied by Gillian Johnson’s witty illustrations. Like for Like ReadingThe Oxford Book of Parodies, John GrossThe Lost Diaries, Craig Brown
Edward Estlin Cummings knew a thing or two (take a look at our Poetry Section if you don’t believe us!) and we have to agree with him. Humour is at the heart of human life and you’ll find it in fine form in this section. From favourite TV shows to quirky memoirs; hilarious novels to witty verse; books to dip into, books to devour. We know that humour is subjective and so we’ve spread the net pretty wide as we trawled the comedy oceans for the funniest fish. Un’shellfish’ly, we’ve compiled monthly lists of eclectic recommendations so that you can easily find whatever tickles your fins. There are books here to give as gifts, to savour on your own, or to enjoy with others. Books of laugh out-loud jokes and anecdotes to make you smile on the train, plane, bus or any other public place. After all, laughter is infectious. Spread it around.