My Little ‘Ickle Review
Correspondent Shae Courtney reviews Russell Brands "My Booky Wook"
I don’t just like books, I adore them.
Every Christmas, I routinely ask for another piece of literature to add to my collection – this year I received: a commemorative “Nineteen Eighty Four” with an afterword by my favourite American anchor, Walter Cronkite, “Meine Kampf”, something to lighten the mood at Christmas lunch and “My Booky Wook”, which is the focus of this review and its somewhat childish headline.
The common maxim, “Curiosity killed the cat”, certainly means that Russell Brand, curator of “My Booky Wook”, is no feline. Throughout the book, Brand tells of debauchery, decadence, drug addiction and tragedy in words that are, I must say, the most eloquent I have ever encountered from a habitual drug taker cum sex guru.
Brand tells of debauchery, decadence, drug addiction and tragedy
Brand’s bohemian education, or lack of, is clearly a central part of the autobiography. In and out of comprehensives, a state boarding school and numerous private drama schools, Brand’s education is varied, cultured and definitively out of the ordinary. Not that I’m endorsing this kind of learning, as Brand has been expelled from every institution of education that has ever been graced with his presence. Unless, of course, you consider a sex rehabilitation centre and various alcohol and narcotic help establishments as institutions of education.
Aside from the quite special education, Brand has had a turbulent childhood – not having his father as a role model in the family home and relying on his Nan’s state pension for his drug addiction.
It’s the kind of book that, if your parents are quite conservative, you’d hide it away in the deepest, darkest crevice of your room. If your parents are quite liberal, like mine, then you still run a mile when your beloved mum asks, “Sweetheart, what are you reading? Oh! Let’s have a look!” At which point you either get a shocked, wide-eyed expression looming at you over the heavy, cream-laid pages. Alternatively, you’ll get a chuckle followed by questions about your sanity.
The book is a masterpiece and a menagerie of eloquent language mixed with cockney lingo
Politically, Brand is a funny animal. When referring to politics, I always see people as animals rather than humans. I like to think Brand is somewhere between a roaring lion, signifying raging capitalism, and a panda, representing soft, cosy socialism. Russell Brand, to me, is like a polar bear. After all, he reads the right-wing, populist newspaper, The Sun, and the cultural, avant-garde Guardian – the newspaper that I peruse during my morning breaks.
As the blurb is correctly Brand-ed, the life of Russell Brand aged 32, former resident of Grays End Close, Essex is, “a series of embarrassing events strung together.” The book, however, is a masterpiece and a menagerie of eloquent language mixed with cockney lingo. Aside from the humour, which is quintessentially British, the story is awash with really quite tragic events that at the end of the book seem less funny after some serious contemplation. Nevertheless, a superb read – highly recommended!
Visit Russell's website at www.russellbrand.tv