Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Book Notes: Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Maconie

Having extolled the virtues of a good bog-book, here's one that has amused me of late! Contrary to the expected stereotype, Maconie is a DJ who is literate, and these are his musings as he revisits his homeland "The North of England". Maconie is a proud Northerner, who despises the South and all it stands for, but one who parodies himself and admits that he lives in London and enjoys much of the southern-ness he so deprecates! The North though, is his home, and his anecdotes, observations (both present and historical) are often funny, sometimes alarming, occasionally a little crude - but all told in his trademark laconic style, and often with compelling use of language.

His travels take him through Lancashire towns (Mills and Bhuna!); to seedy Blackpool, "that great lurid behemoth of tat"; to Bury where they can't screen for colon cancer because the locals eat so much blood-laden black pudding that they show up thousands of false positives; to Liverpool whose "Beatles heritage industry.. is as sentimental and savvy as only Liverpool can be". What's lovely is that Maconie writes not like a Boris Johnson who comes from outside to mock, but writes as a local who both adores his home and finds it funny. And his book takes him on through the North-East, through cities, across mountains and moors. Hugely enjoyable light reading - this is a bog book!

Then on Sunday, I was approached by a grinning Everton fan, and so was immediately suspicious. His opening words were, "I've been reading your blog". Many an inauspicious conversation has commenced thus! So my heart sank, and I begun to mentally recall everything posted over the last few months - trying to work out who I might have offended this time! However - as I wound down the car window to speak to him, he handed me this:

Apparently short-snippets of light reading designed for those few quiet moments a day, come ready packaged. Cheers!

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