Cyber Sign Offs by Hugh Murr and Sid Nigtures
|Cyber Sign Offs by Hugh Murr and Sid Nigtures|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A most peculiar style of comedy dialogue, based on an old comedy formula, and adding nothing to it. It's a throwaway concept with a disposable result.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 104||Date: November 2008|
|Publisher: MX Publishing|
I admit I had the wrong end of the stick when it came to this book, before I opened it at least. I had assumed it was a collection of real-life on-line signatures - we've all seen them, those straplines people have on all their forum posts. The obvious response would have been along the lines of 'fair enough, but why is this a book in this day and age, and not a website?'. But no. This is a collection of dialogues between two people - shall we call them Sue deNim and Allie Bye, who have a line or two to say to each other, and a made-up name (sorry, make that May Dupp-Name) with which to sign it off. Much jolly nonsense ensues.
Or it would if this book was half as funny as it thinks it is. The original format, with email headings and dates, has been kept, and we can see some sense of the two creators sparking against each other, vying in real time to out-do the other, in fashioning a sentence in response to the first, and a new fake name each time with which to respond. It's a case of you had to have been there, however. The obvious response is 'why is this a book in this day and age?'
There are a couple of times it really works, and it's a little awkward to get the reason why across, but occasionally the name both completes, makes sense of, and answers the part of the conversation. I'm in a charitable mood, however, and won't quote the two or three flashes of this success, in case it reduces sales even further. Elsewhere we get several non sequiturs, and a lot that just does not work. I certainly groaned at a couple of flashes of wit, but on the whole was making scoffing and scorning noises.
The twenty dialogues, such as they are, seldom keep strictly within their defined subject, and the scattershot effect is just unsatisfactory. It's all over in twenty minutes, but is the literary equivalent of being pestered for hours by a youngster with a joke book featuring lots of those old fake book titles - The Field Guide to Stalking, by I C U Naked and so on. So if you want Alf Resco talking about eating outdoors, or Seb Atical wishing for a long break away, this is the place to turn. I'll be joining Seb.
I don't wish the creators ill, but I do fear that when the last, archly self-aware chapter talks of them becoming Millie Onayres, it hits the greatest heights of fantasy.
I must thank MX Publishing for sending me a review copy.
For parlour witticisms turned into hilarity more successfully, we suggest The Scandalous Life of the Lawless Sisters by Philip Ardagh.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Cyber Sign Offs by Hugh Murr and Sid Nigtures at Amazon.com.
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