Friday, 22 May 2009

The More You Ignore Me by Jo Brand

Headline Review
She’s that angry stand-up comedienne?
The very one. Contrarian, self-deprecating, foul-mouthed, loveable in a hurt kind of way.
So a growly Doc-Marten-wearing novel?
It’s Morrissey in book form. Depressing, unstructured, dark, with weirdly funny moments.
And the story, the story?
It’s about Alice, a child growing up in the country. Well, no, really it’s about Gina, Alice’s psychotic mother. Or maybe Alice’s father Keith and his secret lukewarm passion for the local GP. Or Alice’s friend Mark, whose father wants him to be a macho man. It wobbles a bit - you’re not sure who’s at the centre.
Well, go on
We’re in the middle of hillbilly Herefordshire, where the only hurricanes that happen come from Gina’s family, especially her scary brothers Wobbly and Bighead - poachers, wild men, the terror of the village. At the other end of the social scale, the thuggish leader of the huntin’, shootin’ set is disgusted that his sensitive son Mark is hanging out with young Alice.
High points?
Alice and her hippyish, very English dad trying to get a naked Gina clutching a guinea pig down from the roof. A social worker driving through the countryside and seeing the grinning Gina bouncing along the road on a Space Hopper (on her way to find Morrissey - she’s become obsessed with him after Alice plays her some Smiths music.
An everyday story of country folk, then?
With forays into Manchester’s gay scene as the star-struck psychotic and her worried relatives seek Morrissey and find love.
Sounds like fun
If you’re a fan, you’ll probably love it.
And it’s based on…?
Jo Brand’s life? No. But her mother was a social worker, and Jo herself worked as a psychiatric nurse, so the psychotic behaviour is brutally realistic. And the Wildgooses (Wildgeese?) and their posh counterparts are familiar to anyone who’s lived in a village.
Spend my dosh or save it?
It’s your money, my dear, your decision.
Author's page

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