Thursday, November 16, 2006

REVIEW : “Handbook for the confused”

A new publication aims at helping those confused by today’s fast paced media driven lifestyle. The "Handbook for the Confused : Voices to be heard other than those in your head" is priced at £14.99 from all good bookshops.

The book is aimed at all of us who struggle to tell the difference between the talented and the trained monkeys that we see on television and in the newspapers each day "to separate out Chimpan-A to Chimpanzee". It contains sections on politicians, sportsmen and women as well as media celebrities. An indicator of our times, it devotes a whole chapter to Reality TV Stars and the porn actors and actress that they would aspire to be.

In the political chapter it explains that, despite the easy confusion over the fleet-of-footedness to avoid all trapdoors across either wing of the political stage, it is Tony, not Lionel, Blair who is the Prime Minister. The book provides a good explanation that whilst he always appears on TV as an authoritative and patriarchal figure, It is John, not Mike, Reid that is the Home Secretary.

It isn’t always successful - the profile of David Cameron does its best to distinguish the Conservative Party leader from a shape-shifting chameleon not of this world, but fails at the final hurdle.

It is a well paced tome, using straight forward language without pandering to the hyperbole of the tabloids nor the snootiness of satirical websites. Indeed within its 500 pages you will find answers and explanations to most of your questions regarding the "Who?" and probably more importantly the "Why?" of British society. Although needless to say it contains no explanation for "Ant & Dec".

Indeed a triumph of the husband and wife authors, Howard and Hilda Bigglesworth is their explanation that the reason that the heavyweight, overbearing, opinionated and bumbling Deputy Prime Minister manages to get himself into such bizarre and embarrassing scrapes is that he is in fact Oliver Hardy.

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