Picture if you will, last week…
*wiggly line fade*
My other half is sniggering to himself at an alarming rate.
It’s up to one a minute.
That book he’s reading must be pretty alright.
He is on course to read it in about an afternoon, possibly a record.
As far as I can remember it arrived this morning, addressed to me, but as the book I’m currently reading has reached the level “OK” and could go on to “Alright”, I pass him the new book to look at.
He has now been looking at it for ages, each page in fact.
His requests to read me bits “even though you haven’t read it yet, but it won’t give anything, well much, away” are at an all time high. I would start to get annoyed if it wasn’t for the fact witnessing someone squeeze such epic levels of joy from a book make’s life a little more worth living.
“SHUT UP!!” I want to yell, “I get it! Your book is an orgy of comedic genius that has you turning to me with unhinged delight on a 30 second basis. My book is ONLY OK (it is not becoming ALRIGHT) and your reaction to yours is making mine seem A WASTE OF LIFE in comparison, which is an ENTIRELY NEW LEVEL of BAD!” I find myself desperately trying to find things in the book I’m reading to counter his chuckle bombardment. “CATS!!!! LOTS OF CATS IN CANADA!!!” is all I manage to attack with.
*wiggly line fade up*
Back to today…
It is lucky then, that my other half finished When The Professor Got Stuck In The Snow in a ludicrously quick time, which saved either of us having to sustain an injury.
The quiet, jealous pain I endured that day was worth it: this book is a monumental pleasure from page one. And seeing as you have stuck with this post so far, I shall reward you with The Blurb:
“Everybody at the Women’s Institute in the village of Upper Bottom is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a very special guest speaker – the world famous evolutionary biologist and television personality Professor Richard Dawkins. But with a blizzard setting in, their visitor finds himself trapped in the nearby town of Market Horten, with no choice but to take lodgings amid the local Anglican community.”
I think I can pretty much honestly say I haven’t read anything like this before. Ok, so I have recently read another comedy novel based on an actual person (Look Who’s Back), but the humour couldn’t be more different. Primarily, for me, this is very much a laugh out loud book, there is plenty of satire here and lots to think about, but its drenched in such crowd pleasing nonsense that it doesn’t tax the “Am I Stupid?” muscles that the previous book almost broke.
This book is a timely, fun poke at The Master of The Universe, Richard Dawkins. I must admit, as a pretty dyed-in atheist I used to be one of those people who hung upon his every word and whineily bought his name up to win arguments as regularly as my own father’s when I was in the playground: “well Richard Dawkins says….”
If you come from the same camp as me, you may in recent years have grown to be a little embarrassed by Dawkins’ borderline fundamentalist rantings.
God (who doesn’t exist), how I have cringed.
Also in this camp is the wonderfully drawn character Smee. Desperately depressed after a break-up, he has been hired by Dawkins to be his “male secretary”, someone to speak for him, pay for things and organise stuff so Dawkins doesn’t have to worry his massive clever head about them. Stuck in the snow and with nothing but Deal or No Deal to distract him from The Professor’s spleen, he begins to tire of the onslaught and opens his mind and heart to the warmth of Market Horten, and the host of golden characters therein. Through them he begins to wonder, with renewed hope, about a different life and a different way to think.
Running throughout all the innuendo (I don’t think I have read so many perfect bottom jokes in one sitting), the hilarious ranting, and the debate, is a swathe of kindness encapsulated by the residents of this small English town.
My boyfriend’s reactions to this book were perfect, and I am only sorry there isn’t a third person in our relationship that I could quote it endlessly to (perhaps we need to hire a Smee…).
It is such an enriching read, it will make you feel like bringing your neighbours bin in for them, de-icing their car, and nipping out to pay for their takeaway before they’ve even answered the door. It is a glorious celebration of the human capacity for the good and the bonkers and you will be happy to just soak in your own grinning face (whether it got that way through evolution or creation is up to you to wonder about).
You will also want to embrace Rhodes for being just so bloody cheeky.
There is a whole other story behind this book regarding its publication and I would heartily recommend you go over to Rhodes’ own website to read about this. And if my review and his publication story aren’t enough to make you buy this book, then I really don’t know what’s wrong with you.
Buy this book.
- ISBN: 9780992827601
- Self-published by the author
- Sent a copy by the author (I loved it, thank you!)