15 October 2008

My Godawful Life

The estimable Michael Kelly has scored a bullseye with his new book, My Godawful Life, a parody of Misery Lit.

A satisfied reader writes:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Possibly the funniest book I've ever read, by Mr. Niall Cooney (Dublin) (REAL NAME)

It's dangerous to read this book in public. The people around you will see you reading what looks like another abusive childhood story. However, the loud snorts of disbelief, peals of laughter and table banging will confuse and appal them immediately. From prostitution to Tourette's via necrophilia, anorexia and autism, this is easily the funniest book of the decade. Amazingly it gets funnier as it goes on, and the last few chapters are amongst the funniest in history.

So far I have read this tome four times in a week and still find something I've missed. It's safe to say that I'll be recommending this book to everyone with a sense of humour.

I liked another review better:

0 out of 5 stars
Please don't buy this book, by J. Crow (UK) (REAL NAME)

I have read several "bad start, makes good" books over the years and enjoyed experiencing the tales of how people have overcome great tragedy in their lives and gone on to become rounded people who achieve highly. Possibly stupidly, I assumed this book to be one of those books. There is no clue on the cover or back page to suggest that this is anything other than an honest tale of a harrowing life. Upon purchasing it and reading the first page I realised that it was indeed a parody of such books. I feel that the author has acted appallingly in writing this book. He clearly feels that those who make money from selling their stories are worthy of mocking (perhaps he has a point), but forgets that they are indeed human beings who have suffered greatly. I am no prude, but was disgusted by this book. From the first page to the "adverts" at the back (a cookbook written by a boy locked in a cellar for instance) it is truly horrible. Please do not buy this book and put money into the hands of these people.

In the comments made about Mr Crow's review, Mark Philpott says:

I work in a bookshop and the staff all thought this was hilarious, particularly as almost a third of our biography section now consists of "misery memoirs", all with similar -- forlorn child -- covers and titles. We're quite sick of them and it's impossible not to laugh when the latest tale of woe turns up trying to be more miserable and awful than any before it.

If ever a genre needing lampooning it's these books and "Sunny McCready" does a fantastically funny, imaginative and, yes, just plain wrong take on them.

We were wondering if it was possible that anyone would buy it thinking it was genuine. We thought not. Plainly we were wrong.

Not wishing to upset the reviewer but the clues are writ fairly large on the front AND back. All those mentioned in the previous comments and the mention in the blurb that, at one point in his horrendous life, Sunny has "a baboon's arse grafted onto his face".

I think the clues are there...

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