Saturday, 24 April 2010

Book Recommendation: On The Road by Frank Skinner

In lieu of any writing news, I am working on lots of things just don't want to curse them just yet by writing about them in here, I'm going to post up a weekly recommendation. Be it book, film, TV series or some music. It probably won't end up being weekly, instead occuring on an ad hoc basis.

I'm currently reading, and loving, On The road by Frank Skinner. It's his tour diary/journal of his 2007 tour, beginning with his Edinburgh show right through to the end of the tour following how he chooses material and refines his act through all the ups and downs and insecurities of the stand up comic.
As with his previous book, Frank Skinner which was a straight forward autobiography, On The Road is painfully honest, even more so this time as Frank explores his deeper thoughts and worries incessantly about his age and his act.

The real reason for starting this recommendation feature and for choosing to write about this book are two passages from the book that really stood out. I'll quote them here and hope that it is ok to do that.

The first quote is when Frank is discussing his love of art galleries, and also shows his fascination for another topic, an area where comedians can mine so much material, journalism and its constant blurring of reality to its own ends.

"In twenty first century Britain, where, according to the papers, everybody's drunk, illiterate and carrying a knife, people still queue up to look at beautiful things."

The second quote blew my mind, summing up everything I've always wanted to say about Middle England, this is one hell of a rant, I think i actually punched the air when reading.

"Middle England is a vague concept, but to me it refers to that great mass of people who never question or even consider anything outside of the mainstream view; people who worship at the altar of the great god normal. They tut and wince their way through my set, hate The Fall, dismiss modern art as rubbish, wear a tie with Homer Simpson on it, think comic books are just for children, like a 'few jars' at the weekend, say 'anything really' when asked what kind of music they like, don't swear in front of women, wear baseball caps, go on and on about their kids, sneer at Goths, think Shakespeare is boring and never miss Top Gear. I wish they'd fuck off and stop dumbing down the world and STOP getting worked up about things that DON't matter and START getting worked up about things that DO."

Couldn't have put it better Frank.

1 comment:

  1. It reminds me of a bit from Kenneth Williams' diaries when he and a few other queens swish off to somewhere semi-exotic hoping for a bit of illicit adventure only to find they've made a horrible mistake and that the place has already been infiltrated by middle class families on holiday.

    'Lots of Norms norming about,' moans our Ken.

    Norms is a great word.