Karlology by Karl Pilkington

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Karlology by Karl Pilkington

Buy Karlology by Karl Pilkington at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Humour
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Chris Bradshaw
Reviewed by Chris Bradshaw
Summary: A highly amusing trip into the strange world of Karl Pilkington.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: May 2009
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
ISBN: 978-1405337465

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The Radio Five film critic Mark Kermode has a rule when reviewing comedies. If he laughs more than five times then the film deserves its billing as a comedy. If that rule was applied to Karl Pilkington's new book Karlology then it would easily fit into the category for there are laughs aplenty in this strange, amusing and charming little book.

For those who don't know him, Karl Pilkington was the producer on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's very funny XFM radio show and their subsequent podcasts. Rather than just twiddling buttons in the studio, Pilkington became an ever more important feature on the show giving his deadpan opinions on anything and everything, causing much exasperation and amusement in the process. He continues in that vein in this his second book.

The premise is a simple one. Having left school at 16 with a single grade E at GCSE he goes on a quest for knowledge, visiting a selection of museums, galleries, exhibitions and various seats of learning and then reporting back what he's learnt.

Needless to say what he learns isn't necessarily what the people running some of these great institutions would expect. What they do though is act as a prompt for the random ramblings that go through the mind of our guide. How coughing always reminds him of libraries … and snooker, how if reincarnation exists he would like to come back as a stick insect, how if you've seen one Egyptian jug you've seen them all, how testicles would be much more appropriately placed on the earlobes and how if he lived in the kingdom of the blind his ideal job would be a window cleaner.

Punctuating each chapter are a few random facts on the preceding chapter plus some related thoughts from a selection of well known comedians (Gervais, Noel Fielding, Russell Brand), boffins (Johnny Ball) and bizarrely David Icke. They're a bit hit and miss and strangely it is Richard Bacon who delivers the best stuff. There are nice illustrations throughout the book too. The best description of modern art I've seen appears in a cartoon by artist David Shrigley that accompanies the Tate Modern chapter. Brilliant.

So Karl, what have I learnt so far? That some of the things that float around your brain are very strange but also very funny. I've learnt about tapeworms, baldness, ancient Egypt and fish, nothing that would ever be the slightest use but enough to make me laugh out loud. Dr Kermode would I hope approve.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy QI: The Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson.

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Buy Karlology by Karl Pilkington at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Karlology by Karl Pilkington at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Karlology by Karl Pilkington at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Karlology by Karl Pilkington at Amazon.com.


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