Is it Just Me or Has the Shit Hit the Fan?: Your Hilarious New Guide to Unremitting Global Misery by Steven Lowe and Alan McArthur
|Is it Just Me or Has the Shit Hit the Fan?: Your Hilarious New Guide to Unremitting Global Misery by Steven Lowe and Alan McArthur|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A scathing look at our modern, credit crunch days, which is so accurate and astute in its ranting it cannot succeed to be as funny as it wants.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 256||Date: November 2009|
The banks fell over like fat Labradors running over a wet kitchen floor. Surely that is the wackiest, most inappropriate simile for the credit crunch and all it has done for the world. You won't get any such namby-pamby animal likenesses from these authors, instead with quite a potty mouth on them they will lambast the modern world, the entire banking system, all those who failed to see it coming, and those millions just seemingly waiting for us all to revert to high-interest, high-risk, high-lending capitalism, so they can get back on the expenses train, and back up the rich lists.
This historic meeting, the G20, was so-called because there were twenty-four countries represented, suggesting that the inaccurate and, some would say, corrupt maths that had created the problems was not exactly being tackled root and branch. That is a quote from our authors, showing several factors of this book in one handy package. It proves it's not just a heat-of-the-moment cash-in on the cashless, with the fall-out - whether for the humble man in the street, or rank banker, or execrable celebrity bankrupt - all considered. It does however also suggest this will have a short shelf-life, as we must surely soon forget at least the minutiae this book's A-Z format can cover.
That is also one of the funniest lines here. I'm not going to side myself anywhere with regard to their politics, but the indignation is certainly prevalent, and almost wholly agreeable. But it proves at nearly every turn that this is far too serious a matter for comedy, and the scathing, take-all prisoners ranting style does not induce much mirth.
Not everything the authors have a cob on against is particularly financial. Subjects range from BNP matters, through the church to Bob Dylan. Some of this - the sexing up of snooker - does provide for some welcome comic material. It's at its most successful however when rightfully skirting around the monetary - the moneyed classes falling in love with Aldi and other equally salubrious supermarkets; journalists (not themselves, of course) gleefully writing up their experiences of going without for a while - and for an article; budget airlines's ever-increasing discretionary charges.
Another encapsulated review can be found under the letter O. Oh dear, Obama probably not as good as his press? That's not very revolutionary, funny, insightful or helpful. The chance link between so many of Michael Owen's endorsements is at least educational and entertaining, however.
In a world where all the chattering classes fell in love with The Wire on TV, it's nice to see the side of the ranting classes, but to repeat I'd either prefer the book to do a little more than go shouty at things, or, better than that, the reason behind so many of these entries to never have happened in the first place. Too much of the last few years hurt too much for us to laugh.
Finally, why so many of the articles are voiced in the first person singular, when there's two people writing this, I failed to gather. It got on our nerves. Drat.
I must thank the kind Sphere people for giving me a review copy.
For a satire of business books and fiscal concerns, we liked Don't Be Needy Be Succeedy by L Vaughan Spencer.
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