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Thursday, 8 July 2010
Sex & Bowls & Rock & Roll
by Alex Marsh
Let me say, upfront, that I’ve been reading and enjoying Jonny B’s Private Secret Diary since 2004, so I’m not exactly a neutral reviewer of Sex & Bowls & Rock & Roll by Alex Marsh (who blogs as JonnyB). I’ve read many ‘books of the blog’ over the years, and this departs from the norm. It’s not just a set of posts slapped together between paper covers, it’s a well-written and very entertaining comic memoir.
Some of the characters and situations will be recognisable to fans of the Private Secret Diary. However, the characters are more rounded and interesting than they appear on the blog. Also, the situations are set within an innovative non-chronological structure that Alex Marsh uses to increase pace and comedic impact. Talking of comedy, the book is very witty indeed and made me laugh out loud several times.
Alex Marsh has made self-deprecation into an art form. His book is steeped in Englishness: real ale, bowling greens, hideous social embarrassment. You will enjoy this book if you like amusing books about Englishness (e.g. Kate Fox’s ‘Watching The English’ or Dara O Briain’s ‘Tickling The English’), or funny fiction about men of a certain age e.g. by Nick Hornby or Dave Hill, or television programmes like ‘Three Men In A Boat’, or virtually any kind of memoir or comedy.
I hope there will be a second volume. Bowls, Banjo and Baby? Bring it on!
Reviewed by Queenie