The Yeuch factor

My latest read, Nichola McAuliffe's A fanny full of soap, would undoubtedly win an award for Most Repulsive Book Title ever. It reads even worse in UK English than it does in American English, but it is a seriously dreadful title. The book is better than its title suggests, but it's still not going to win any awards for great literature.

Having said which the book seems to have been met with universal enjoyment by its reviewers on Amazon. And you've got to admit that sometimes you need a bad book. They can be hugely enjoyable, and they make you appreciate all the good books that are out there all the more.

Fanny full of soap follows the life of a faded soap star Eleanor Woodwarde as she copes with the disintegration of her marriage and her come-back role in a turkey of a musical (a salsa musical entitled The merchant of Venezuela). It's very bitchy, and often hilariously funny,'s the real kicker, it's based firmly upon real life. As this blog post was going to press, I came across a review by Philip Fisher in The British Theatre Guide, and his comments are eye-opening. Please, please read it. He says it all so much better than I ever could. For an insight into the seamier side of the stage and for the occasional laugh-out-loud moment, this takes a bit of beating. And as far as encouraging me back onto the path of good literature is concerned it's done the trick, am now brushing off The brothers Karamazov, and will be spending some time with some gloomy Russians.


betsy said…
I save the Russians for winter reading. I am trying to reread "From Here to Eternity" this summer, but our awful summers are tough on concentration.

I do not read American fiction anymore. Give me John Mortimer or Barry Unsworth or Patrick O'Brien. Englishmen.

I do not read recent American poets either. I go back decades and stick to Auden and Larkin.

The American canvas is very small. As Tocqueville said, most Americans spend their time contemplating a very puny object- themselves. Our novelists are bitty.
Book-hound said…
Am liking the idea of seasonal reading. Thinking about it I think I do tend to read more Scandinavian detectives in the winter. Prefer Russians in the summer, as Slavic gloom combined with a dreary British winter's a bit much.

I love Auden and Larkin too, and John Mortimer - a great one to read when you want a bit of cheering up. Thanks for your comments!

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