I must confess that I am not a big fan of the article anthology style of book. I’m not sure why. It is, after all, the perfect way to combine reading with a trip to the toilet. A distraction to dabble in whilst you take a seat, a paragraph as you pee. Maybe read a quick couple of articles, maybe more. Perhaps you don’t really want to stop after five, they are humorous and engaging and before you know it you’ve been sat on the loo for half an hour and now you’re just sat there smirking at a book with your trousers round your ankles. Bloody anthologies. This is why a series of articles are bad, too short for a proper read in bed but sometimes too entertaining to leave the toilet. Maybe it’s just the combination of toilets and reading I don’t like. I do like David Mitchell though, I think he is funny on the telly as well as in his writing.
Dishonesty Is The Second Best Policy is a collection of his articles for The Observer in which he scrutinizes and mocks what’s gone wrong with the world, covering the ineptitude of our leaders, the internet and Liam Neeson. In true British fashion, he angrily rants about the bothersome bits of life, combining cutting wit with a sharp analysis of the past five years to produce an enjoyable examination of our country, albeit rather depressing if you read too much in one go. The trouble is finding the place to read it. The diverse range of short articles don’t lend themselves to a long sit down without overstimulating my small brain but they are tough to put down after just a few due to Mitchell’s intelligent lampooning. The toilet solution doesn’t work, you know my feelings on that. It wouldn’t take long to start looking for excuses to use the loo or adopting a ridiculously high fibre diet in order to get more loo top reading done. It’s a very good book, but it’s not quite a satirical laxative. Toilets aren’t the point of this review, the book really should be, and it is very good. It is amusing and alarming, witty and whimsical and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys David Mitchell’s other work or well-crafted satire. I guess this is me recommending it.
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I will have to pick this up and see if I like it. I have never read David Mitchell before but I want to try now.
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I had never read his books either but I have always liked him on TV! I think he is just as funny in writing, and there is a lot to be satirical about in the world right now.