Fat

fat

Look, everyone! Rob Grant’s Fat! Alright, that’s the last time we’ll use that joke, we promise. But you have to admit, he’s almost complicit in it with a title like that. Anyway, after a lengthy wait (although, to be honest, not as lengthy as some have made out – we’re not exactly talking Duke Nukem Forever or Chinese Democracy, here), Rob’s latest novel, Fat, is finally in shops. And after an almost as lengthy wait (fortuitous circumstances meant we were in a position to get a review of this book out for its release date; dire technical circumstances meant we failed to do so), the G&T verdict is here as well. So, what do we reckon?

FAT, by Rob Grant

Well, first of all, we owe Rob something of an apology. You see, if you do a Google search for “rob grant” fat, one of the top results is an article from this very site (albeit one from a former incarnation that hasn’t been imported over to this one), with the emblazoned headline ROB GRANT IS A LAZY FUCKING CUNT. The reason for this story was that a release date for the book of May 1st 2005 had originally appeared on Amazon a long time ago, but had continually slipped back ever since then, and so we were all getting annoyed at how it seemed to be getting delayed so badly.

Only, none of that was really Rob’s fault. In recent interviews, he’s said that as soon as he mentioned to his publisher the idea of a book about food/weight politics, they slapped it straight up on Amazon, with a release date to boot. Ever since then, he’s been working hard to meet unrealistic expectations of when the book would arrive – not helped in the slightest by cunts like us calling him a fat lazy bastard every time the release date “slipped”. In fact, when you consider the timeframe of his first starting work on the book, then perhaps the late December release date is a slight slip, but we could certainly have never realistically expected it before this Autumn. G&T would therefore like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly to Rob (not that he’s likely to ever read this – but hey, his lawyers might) and state categorically, once and for all, that Rob Grant is not a lazy fucking cunt.

I mean, he’s a bit tubby, but that’s sort of the point of the book, isn’t it?

Or, perhaps I should say, the point of the three books. Because, well… that’s what it feels like. Not in terms of length – quite the contrary, in fact, as it’s a disappointingly slender tome – but with regards to the way in which Rob has crafted three very different stories from the perspectives of three very different characters, and told them in three very different (or, at least, two quite similar and one very different) narrative styles.

Grenville Roberts is a corpulent television chef battling against an anger management problem and a world designed by and for men half his size; Hayleigh Griffin is a teenager of unspecified age who avoids mirrors and food in an attempt to stave off the hideous fatso she believes herself to be; and bridging the two extremes, Jeremy Slank is a PR “conceptuologist” managing a new government initiative for the overweight. Rather than weaving in and out of each other, however, the three stories only ever really mingle in a narrative sense, as alternating chapters pick up the threads of each. Certainly, there seems to be little that links the three characters and their worlds save for the obvious thematic connections, and this actually creates something of a disjointed, disorientating effect on the reader during the first half of the book – at times it really does feel like holding three separate books in front of you and switching between them (much in the manner of having a book each on your bedside table, in the toilet and in your bag to read on the train), particularly when it’s difficult to see how the three stories might in any way actually tie together.

That’s not to say they aren’t compelling in their own right – albeit to varying degrees – but it does mean that when the characters do find themselves connecting in the book’s closing act, it feels like it’s in somewhat arbitrary and rushed fashion. And, indeed, “rushed” is a word that could be used to describe how a lot of the book feels, particularly later on (irony, I know, for those of us who originally thought he was taking his sweet time over the damned thing). One would hope this isn’t a result of Rob being pushed to finish the book too quickly, since the overall effect is one of a novel that should be allowed to breathe, but never really gets the chance to. The first two thirds of the book feel like an opening act, meaning that the final third is left to squash in the meat of the story; for example, both Grenville and Jeremy’s stories build towards the grand opening of the Well Farms project, and one would fully expect a significant chunk of the book’s length to be given over to events once this happened. However, we’re that close to the book’s end by the time it does so that the comic potential of the idea – of which there appears to be plenty – is barely explored.

In fact, readers looking for out and out comedy in the manner of Incompetence (and, of course, Red Dwarf) may find themselves disappointed by the amount of it on offer here. That’s not to say it’s not ever funny – as a matter of fact, when it is funny, it’s very funny. But the humour is by no means the driving thrust of the book. It’s largely concentrated in Grenville’s chapters (you may already have read it in the preview chapter, but it’s hard not to laugh out loud at lines like “Fuck Me If That’s Not Butter”), which are also perhaps closest in feel to anything Rob’s written before. His established trope of the comedy of escalation comes into full force, with a succession of scenes in which a combination of Grenville’s bulk and anger lead to more and more ludicrously unfortunate scenarios. Interestingly, though, despite the fact that Grenville is possibly the character that shares the most in common with Rob, he never lets him have the reader’s full sympathy – his own failure to control his anger is as much the cause of his unravelling as the attitudes of those around him towards his weight.

It’s Jeremy’s sections, meanwhile, that could be said to be the least successful. In the early stages of the story, he simply doesn’t come across as a particularly likeable character. His story doesn’t have the resonance or the pathos (or indeed the humour) that Grenville and Hayleigh’s do, and following the introduction of scientist Jemma, further problems arise. Each appearance of the latter character seems to serve little purpose other than a mouthpiece for various facts and challenges to established assumption that Grant has discovered in researching the book. Indeed, I’m not sure if she utters a single meaningful line of dialogue that isn’t a simple infodump of some kind – to the extent, in fact, that a blog post of hers is almost gratuitously inserted into the text in order to provide us with a rant about cholesterol. Furthermore, the character is so unattainably (and unrealistically) perfect in the way she’s presented – she’s another archetypal “perfect Rob Grant female” – that the reader feels they’re being nudged towards agreeing with her, rather than being allowed to draw their own conclusions. And this despite the fact that, in some cases, there’s some highly contentious ground being covered (I have no problem with Grant setting out to challenge many of our preconceptions about food and weight – but when he starts questioning the link between smoking and lung cancer, it feels slightly less than comfortable). In addition, the half-hearted romantic subplot that immediately arises upon Jeremy and Jemma’s first meeting is deeply unsatisfying – you never feel that Jeremy ever deserves to get anywhere with her, nor do you ever get a sense of their relationship developing. And the less said about the fumbled comedy sex-slash-scientific-exposition scene the better, frankly. Yet strangely, it is Jeremy’s story that feels the most like a full novel waiting to be fleshed out (albeit a novel that reads, curiously, like a Ben Elton book more than anything else), but it’s also the story that’s most in dire need of it.

Thankfully, all this is made up for somewhat by the chapters focusing on Hayleigh. Chronicling the paranoid girl’s attempts to avoid meals, mirrors and parental suspicion, they’re in turns hilarious and moving, building towards a potentially tragic conclusion. They’re written in an intriguing style, taking a third person form but with a distinctly first-person viewpoint – reminiscent, in fact, of many of the half-narration, half-internal monologue sections of the Red Dwarf novels (think Rimmer and the stasis booth, or Lister’s “How many people could say that?”). Grenville’s sections make use of this style to some extent as well, but the voice is more pronounced (and more amusing) in Hayleigh’s :

She slipped into the loo and, mercifully, found an empty cubicle right away. Working quickly, she dealt with her lunch first. She squeezed the banana (a hundred and forty-three calories) out of its skin and into the plastic bag, and emptied the carton of semi-skimmed milk (200ml, ninety-six calories) down the loo. She unwrapped the tuna and mayonnaise baguette (a whopping five hundred and thirty-five calories, not to mention twenty-three grams of fat) and crumbled it over its wrapping, which she then smeared with some of the filling. Incredibly, there was another sandwich in the lunchbox. Was mum trying to kill her? This time, it was ham and cheese (five hundred and fifty-seven calories and a heart-stopping twenty-seven grams of fat). Again, she removed the wrapping and, rather cunningly, she thought, crumbled half of the sandwich over the wrapping, and left the other half intact. She didn’t have to pretend to eat everything, did she? Leaving half a sandwich would be even more convincing. Ha ha. Detect that, queen of detectives. She disposed of the cheese and onion crisps (a hundred and eighty four calories), again down the loo. Crisps got soggy and went down when you flushed, unlike bananas which were, quite literally, unsinkable. They should have made the Titanic out of bananas. She gingerly removed the Mars Bar (two hundred and ninety-four calories, I don’t think so) from its wrapping and laid it beside the banana.

And there, at the bottom of the lunchbox, was Hayleigh’s Lunchtime Nightmare. An apple. A big, red, juicy apple. Fifty-three calories of fruity hell.

These chapters are the genuine emotional heart of the story, highlighting an issue that is all too frequently overlooked – our obsession with slimness and “size 0” figures is oft-mentioned, but rarely condemned, by the media that perpetuate it; and ordinary girls like Hayleigh are generally left to suffer in silence. In addition, Hayleigh herself is a great character – and despite one clear glitch in the way her mind works (believing she’s overweight when she’s in fact terrifyingly thin), she actually operates from a position of clearly thought-out logic; her plots are actually quite ingenious at times, and all in all she’s impossible to dislike. It’s also worth pointing out just how convincingly Grant gets her voice – even though he does, at times, slip in the odd instance of what almost sound like Rimmerisms (I don’t think there’s a “miladdo” in there, but it’s not far off). In fact, the only fault it’s really possible to find with these bits – other than that they, like much of the book, don’t last anywhere near long enough – is Rob’s (repeated more than once) error in saying that it was Owen Wilson and not Ben Stiller that said “Do it!” in Starsky & Hutch (did no-one, editor or otherwise, manage to catch that one? Was I really the only person that saw that film?)

Fat certainly provides an entertaining read, with flashes of the Rob Grant we all know so well; but as all three stories race towards a disappointingly predictable conclusion, it’s hard to shake that vaguely unsatisfied feeling – the slightly hollow feeling, if you like, of a stomach that’s been fed something undeniably tasty, but lacking in real substance. It’s a brave step, of course, into the unknown and out of the comfort zone of comedic sci-fi and spec-fic, but despite its highest points it’s difficult to say that it entirely succeeds. Much as you can applaud Rob for wanting to bring many of these issues to our attention, it’s unclear as to whether a book like this – particularly one that struggles so badly to make a significant impression thanks to its brevity – is the place to do so. And, while his portrayal of Hayleigh in particular is one that deserves applause – and a wider audience – you can’t help but wish he’d just held off on the soapboxing a little bit. Next time (and I do hope there’s a next time – for all the flaws of this book, I’d rather see him carry on down this unchartered path than churn out the same old books for the rest of his career), if he lets us make our own minds up just a little bit more, we might be more inclined to listen.

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62 Responses to Fat

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  1. >did no-one, editor or otherwise, manage to catch that one?

    Sounds more like a job for a fact-checker, which he may or may not have employed. An editor might well have caught that, sure, but it wouldn’t really be his/her job to do so.

  2. Splendid, although I didn’t think Jeremy was supposed to be likeable, being as he was, a glorified spin doctor, hell bent on getting to the top by ‘cleansing’ Gov’t agenda. Jemma came across to me as far from perfect and seemed to have an oposite outlook on everything to Jeremy, they say oposites attract. As I read it, Jeremy became nicer towards the end because his attraction to Jemma (love perhaps) made him question his own outlook on things. The so called ‘facts’ presented in the book were extreme at times and I could see the ‘couple’ going on to find some middle ground, which I guess would be nearer the to the actual truth of it all.
    I felt Grenville was the ‘star’ of the book as ‘Mr Angry’ and from the start I found myself agreeing with him, he had some great comedic moments, and his ‘arrest’ was one of the funniest sections.
    Hayleigh certainly had her moments, both touching and humorous and I felt quite uneasy at times reading her story, but thought her plight was well observed and written with care.
    Yes, the end seemed to come about a bit too quickly but with happy endings all round. It left me wanting to read more about the characters. All in all, I thouroughly enjoyed it…

  3. G&T Admin

    Excellent, Seb. I agree with it almost entirely. I too was disappointed with the rushed ending, especially with Hayleigh’s story, which I felt would not turn itself around quite as quickly as that. However, there’s no doubt that Rob did very well indeed to capture the teenage mind; I winced in recognition a couple of times!

  4. I will definitely be purchasing. Rob Grant is the better writer of the two, novel-wise at least. I love the nastiness of his books.

  5. G&T Admin

    It’s true, when it comes to sheer unpleasantness he’s got it down to an absolute art form. I’m currently just over half way through this and even though it’s certainly not the best book he’s written, his prose style never fails to cheer me.

  6. Here’s an interesting one for ya, something I didn’t mention in the review as it didn’t really fit in, but :

    Compare the above cover image with this :

    Aside from the tagline… notice any differences?

  7. Oh dear. So it’s NOT a bestseller?

  8. To clarify – the image in the review is the actual cover. The one I just posted was the cover around the time we posted “ROB GRANT IS A LAZY…” well, you know the rest…

  9. I say “we”, of course, but that was back in the John and Ian days… ;-)

  10. G&T Admin

    Hmm, the early version has a fat woman on the front. Good spot, that man. Could it be that, way back then, Grenville was a woman?

  11. Weird. Why go to the trouble of changing it though? I reckon it was for some nefarious PC reason that only Daily Mail readers can understand.

  12. G&T Admin

    I highly doubt it was a PC motivated decision. More than likely, the genders were changed to refelect two of the main characters in the book (Grenville and Hayleigh).

    Whether the fact that the orignal had a fat woman on the front was down to a character change or just a random decision from the art depertment is another matter, however.

  13. >Aside from the tagline? notice any differences?

    EXCELLENT catch, Seb.

  14. It makes me feel slightly ashamed that there’s even a small possibility that Rob could read my comment – ‘As for Rob Grant’s book, I’m thinking he ate the manuscript and now has to type it all up again, the fat twat.’ Although is he likely to click on an article with headline ‘ROB GRANT IS A LAZY FUCKING CUNT’?

    Whatever, the book sounds good, hopefully I’ll get round to reading it (once I’ve listened to David Tennant doing funny voices on those audios ‘free’ in the Radio Times).

  15. >Although is he likely to click on an article with headline ?ROB GRANT IS A LAZY FUCKING CUNT??

    Altogether possible, I think, actually. Hell, if I saw a headline calling me a lazy fucking cunt, I admit I’d be curious about it…

    And I still haven’t gotten my copy of Fat yet. [expletive deleted] free shipping, coulda gotten here faster if it were pulled here by [expletive deleted]ing snails…

  16. G&T Admin

    I must admit, I feel bad about the LAZY FUCKING CUNT thing. Anyone who reads this site will know it wasn’t meant nastily (being a “hilarious” overreaction for “comic” effect), but I’m presuming that this site is NOT one Rob visits regularly, and so if he came across it on Google, it’s possible it might be misinterpreted.

    I’ll stick up for most things on this site – I think it’s rare that we make a bad mistake – but I think I misjudged that one.

    Anyway. Fat. I’ve got a copy now, so I’ll try and read it this weekend.

  17. Will you be able to fit that into your busy schedule?

  18. G&T Admin

    “busy” “schedule”

  19. I found myself with very little to do on Monday, so lazed around and read Fat – which is to say, it’s a jolly good yarn. I largely agree with your review, especially the bizarrely disjointed nature of the beast and it’s rather odd ending that feels not entirely unlike my old primary school “and everything was better, The End”. Obviously Rob writes his with a tad more flair, but, y’know…

    As for Rimmerisms, I doubt I would have picked up on the whole swathe on them if there hadn’t been a ‘meladdo'(page 82). Between those and the repeated phrases, I did wonder if Rob was running out of words – excpet that they were generally a) spread over the three ‘strands’, and b) funny. I vaguely remember one of them getting my heckles up, but I’ve expunged it from memory.

    The only real weakness here was Jemma, for my money. I’m not going to pick it out, but a couple of the ‘facts’ she espoused were plain wrong . It’s just that I am a scientist, and I love science. And I hate to see it being strangled in this way. Now, I know characters in a book are allowed to make mistakes, but it’s fairly clear Jemma is the proverbial soapbox.

    Aside from that, ’tis a lovely book well worth a read.

  20. Always confuses me how something can be stated as a best seller before its been printed?

    Call me a part-timer but I’m waiting for the paperback ;)

  21. Well it’s the best selling book called ‘Fat’ ever written by a chap named Rob Grant, probably.

  22. I?m Rob Grant?s daugher and the comments you displayed on my father in the review ?Rob Grant is a lazy fucking cunt?are thoroughly hurtful and immature. My dad wrote his book at incredible speed and the way you can say such cruel things about somebody you claim to idolise is shocking. My dad doesn?t say mean things about somebody he?s never even met! You have no idea how hard we worked to only finish his novel in a matter of months. It?s easy for you to sit there and say rude things about such a kindhearted man, while all you do is sit there writing hurtful messages about people.

    Fuck you all.
    xxx

  23. John is a whore. hahaha sorry that?s the last time I?ll use that joke. I promise. But with a name like that you?re just asking for it.

    I would also like to clear up some misconceptions you have of my father and his book.
    1. Grenville was never going to be a female character, the book designers made that cover before Rob even came up with any characters,
    2. This is to ?Rosti?you say you are a scientist, my dad tells me practically everyday that scientists fiddle with facts to prove whatever they are claiming is true, such as cholesterol being affected by what we eat, if you listen to enough of my dad?s radio interviews you would recognize what I?m talking about, all of his points are very well documented and proven.
    3. The tagline on the front of the book saying ?his massive new bestseller? is not because it was a bestseller already, but it was a joke, not proven and just a pun. I couldn?t tell whether you were genuinly confused about that but I asked dad anyway and he explained it to me.

    Night night you lazy fucking cunts, don?t let the bed bugs bite. They don?t want to catch anything nasty…
    xxx

  24. Sigh.

    Look, that original headline was from a long time ago – and John has stated on numerous occasions that it’s something he’s quite ashamed of. To the extent, in fact, that two entire paragraphs of this review are given over to an unreserved apology for it.

    We all love Rob. We think he’s great. The original headline was a joke – perhaps not a very good one, but a joke. And it was the first thing I set out to address (even though I didn’t write it originally) when doing this review – because it was completely unjustified, and we all have a great respect for Rob and his work.

    So I’m sorry you’ve taken offence at that, I really am. And once again, I apologise on behalf of G&T for comments made in the past. But to come and say that on this article, an article when we came clean (when we really could have just not mentioned it at all) and apologised completely unreservedly and admitted that we were completely in the wrong… well, that’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?

    As for this :

    John is a whore. hahaha sorry that?s the last time I?ll use that joke. I promise. But with a name like that you?re just asking for it.

    … I see what you did there. But given that Rob is such a great writer of comedy, I find it hard to believe that Fat wasn’t a deliberate title – that he wouldn’t know that people would end up writing “Rob Grant’s Fat” from time to time. It’s a cheap joke, but it’s one that he clearly set himself up for – and it was never meant offensively, given that he (a) has a great sense of humour, and (b) is remarkably candid and open about his own weight.

    (also, most of us on G&T are fat bastards ourselves…)

  25. G&T Admin

    > (also, most of us on G&T are fat bastards ourselves?)

    Not to mention lazy cunts…

  26. Oh stop grovelling boys!

    An apology and full retraction has allready been made once. If any lazyness is present it’s reading the offending headlining without paying the apology paragraph it’s written in any attention whatsoever, because that’s not lazy in the slightest is it? As for the misconceptions, well none of them were. It was all just discussion.

    Just to back-up Seb’s point about the title.

    The London Paper – http://tinyurl.com/yw3cma

    and a freelancer’s article – http://tinyurl.com/22dqfm

  27. He has a point, actually. You’ve apologized, and you’ve apologized, and you’ve apologized some more. If, after all that, someone chooses to fire off a highly insulting post (and it is offensive; I don’t care how angry one feels for whatever reason, some of the contents of that post are entirely unjustified by any standard) without bothering to read whatever it was that got that someone angry in the first place, it’s not your fault. You’ve been more than nice enough; if they want blood from you, they can sodding well log off disappointed.

  28. I do NOT believe that you are his daughter, as the daughter of an acclaimed, awesome and highly intelligent writer would not sound like Jade Goody when posting on a forum defending her father. I don’t buy it. Oh, but I DO expect a torrent of abuse.

    John is a whore

    Jesus.

  29. Only, none of that was really Rob?s fault. In recent interviews, he?s said that as soon as he mentioned to his publisher the idea of a book about food/weight politics, they slapped it straight up on Amazon, with a release date to boot. Ever since then, he?s been working hard to meet unrealistic expectations of when the book would arrive – not helped in the slightest by cunts like us calling him a fat lazy bastard every time the release date ?slipped?. G&T would therefore like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly to Rob…once and for all, that Rob Grant is not a lazy fucking cunt.

    I think that was all the apologising you lot need to do. It was eloquent, it said everything needed to be said, it was polite, to the point – everything the “daughter” appears not to be. And I personally am not sure you had anything to apologise FOR in the first place. Anyone with an ounce of humour could have seen that the original article was written in jest.

    This is a fansite run by fans, and they ARE incredibly loyal fans. When the supposed daughter of someone we idolise comes on board and acts like a humourless chav, it’s a little difficult to see her father in the same light as we did before.

    So DON’T.

  30. G&T Admin

    Right, I think this is probably as far as this discussion needs to go. Both sides have had their say, and there’s nothing to be gained from turning this into a huge argument.

    So let’s make any further discussion on this post relate to Fat only. Ta.

  31. Ooh John, I love it when you’re masterful. :-)

    My own take on the novel was pretty overwhelming, and I disagree with a lot of Seb’s criticisms – but only in a much as what the review saw as weakness, I saw as unusual strength.

    (SPOILERS BELOW)

    I like that all the ranting is given to one character, because I guess we all know people like that, and it’s a great device to listen through Jeremy’s ears – because all he wants is for her to shut up and get naked. The information is being given to someone who couldn’t care less. Not for Rob the ‘tell me more’ hangers-on of Dan Brown.

    I’m also hugely fond of the conclusion. Ben Elton would have seen the fat camps blown up by pro-cholesterol rebels or some such thing, and I kinda prefer things this way. Hayleigh’s story ends the way it began for her, the conclusion as unconscious as the instigation. Grenville’s tale is almost a straight line, not much gets learnt, and I like him better for it. The end is just a beat, not a climax; which, structurally, either is your bag or it isn’t. I really took to it.

    To each his own, of course – it’s only a taste thing. But a genuinely think the book’s natural cycle – Grenville’s stuff being visceral and physical, Hayleigh’s being emotional and heartbreaking, Jeremy’s being about information and thought; guts, heart, head – makes for a teriffic literary waltz. More please.

  32. I really appreciate your p.o.v. on the plot, Andrew. It’s definite encouragement to put this book higher on my “buy and read when released in North America” list. :)

  33. Just a quick point.
    I’m not a huge reader of books, James Herbert, The Red Dwarf books by both Grant and Naylor, HHGTTG, Robert Llewellyn, a few biographicals and factuals along the way have been about my limit. Never got time, a general lack of interest etc etc. I did go through a phase of Arthur C Clarke and a few others, but have never considered myself a big reader. I’ve always preferred reference books, am delighted with the QI book, love my Python biography and really get a kick from ‘rock’ history type books (musical rock as opposed to limestone and granite).
    My point is, I’ve never really gone out of my way to find an author yet ‘FAT’ seemed to stand out, so much so, I bought it (very rare for me to buy hardback) and have today gone out and purchased ‘Colony’ and ‘Incompotence’. The fact is, all this was down to reading the PDF file sample of FAT supplied by TOS.
    I’m not saying that all Master Ellards reccomendations hit the the spot ( No way am I watching Big Brother or buying Buffy on DVD) but I think he deserves some commision at least…

  34. He recommends people watch big brother? The man is clearly a cretin.

  35. G&T Admin

    Buffy is great, Steve. Watch it.

  36. To be honest I’ve never gone with the view that ‘Dwarf’ was much better with him in I-VI, being as I am, a fan of VII & VIII as well, but I have to admit to being a bigger Grant fan than I was a month ago, having read the book. Dont get me wrong, I was perhaps one of the few ‘big’ fans of the ‘Strangerers’, but I’ve never really been the ‘book’ fan…
    I think the right advertising strategy in the right place at the right time goes a long way, which is a far less synical viewpoint than one I heard today from a friend who thinks that Rob’s inclussion in the upcoming DVD is nothing more that a back hander for pushing his book!

  37. I’ll stick with ‘Lost’, didn’t he reccomend that too?
    Oh, perhaps not :-)

  38. G&T Admin

    Big Brother is fantastic.

    Quite apart from the actual housemate stuff – what I love about it is that it’s produced so well. Russell Brand jumping around like a loon, shouting “I’M ON THE FUCKING PHONE!” to the audience. A barbershop quartet doing a version of the BB theme at the end of Big Brother’s Little Brother. The sound of wind hilariously dubbed onto the wide shots of the audienceless eviction night.

    It’s one of the best-produced shows on telly, recent problems aside – everything from the music, to the graphics, to the editing, to employing two of the best presenters currently on telly with Brand and O’Leary (and I think Davina is usually pretty good as well – there’s not many presenters who are called upon to present such a complex live show). It’s a joy to watch.

  39. Russell Brand is a cock.

    There, it had to be said.

    …But Buffy is fantastic.

  40. G&T Admin

    I always thought Russell Brand was a cock… until I actually watched him.

    That’s not to suggest you haven’t done that; it’s just my experience. I expected to absolutely loathe him, but he had me in hysterics throughout the entire show. But in general, I like people bounding around the place being cheeky.

  41. Heeeey! I like Russ!

    I thought he did well with the recent furore (the phrase “rock and a hard place” springs to mind), and he makes me laff. Some of it ain’t funny – ball sacs, etc. – but I like the chaos that he brings to Big Mouth.

    You swines.

  42. I’m not sure what to make of Russell Brand but I dont dislike him and O’Leary is a great presenter, yes…
    I just dont like the show, it’s concept or indeed ‘most’ of the people taking part.
    This was kind of my point, each to their own.
    If someone recomends something, I tend to take a look (depending on who it is), but that doesn’t mean I’ll take to it…
    Likewise, I’d never knock someone for liking something I dont etc…

  43. I love Big Brother normally, but lately it’s like watching human misery, and I get enough of that at work. Human misery doesn’t equals entertainment, no matter what any C4 executives say.

  44. > I always thought Russell Brand was a cock? until I actually watched him.

    Same here! I thought Russell Brand was a cock… until I actually watched him…
    And then I realised that I was vastly underestimating what a complete and utter cock he really is!

    :oP

  45. > And then I realised that I was vastly underestimating what a complete and utter cock he really is!

    Oh, and what’re you, some kinda cock expert or something? :-)

    *still finds Russell Brand funny*

  46. > Oh, and what?re you, some kinda cock expert or something? :-)

    Yes, is that a problem?

  47. > > Oh, and what?re you, some kinda cock expert or something? :-)

    > Yes, is that a problem?

    On the contrary, it’s a positive boon! ;-)

  48. > Boon?

    He’s riding on down – to rescue you…

    What you do with him after that is very much up to you.

  49. I was alway more of a “Rocky Cassidy” girl myself, but whatever works for you Andrew ;O)

  50. G&T Admin

    Speaking of Michael Elphick, have a look at the first episode of Three Up Two Down. In the first episode, Elphick is clearly completely pissed. Not acting – there’s no reason for his character to be drunk, and he’s fine in every single other episode – but in that first episode… Jesus. Really quite uncomfortable viewing, considering he was an alcoholic.

    But to brighten the mood – hoorary for Lysette Anthony!

  51. >And I still haven?t gotten my copy of Fat yet. [expletive deleted] free shipping, coulda gotten here faster if it were pulled here by [expletive deleted]ing snails?

    Update: Aaaaaand bn.com cancelled my order. Fucking perfect.

    On the bright side, however, there’s a new episode review up at the Holoship. Read on as I stir the pot with my controversial opinions on “Camille” =P !

  52. Arlene, did you notice I posted a while ago that Fat will also be released in North America and will be available through Amazon, at the very least? I’m simply waiting for more local availability.

  53. I know, but I ordered it through bn.com just before Christmas, on a gift card with some other stuff (a CD for my mother and Robert Llewellyn’s Punchbag, which I might actually read someday ^_^’ .). First they told me that the order was “delayed”, twice. Then they cancelled it. It kinda irritates me: if Barnes and Noble wouldn’t be able to get it to me until it was released in the States, why let me order it on the 23rd? Then why jerk me around with this “delayed order” business? Usually bn.com’s pretty good, too.

  54. Oh, Barnes and Nobel! Sorry, I didn’t identify bn.com immediately as B&N. Too bad. Did their website specifically list the UK edition when you first placed an order? The delay before cancelling may have been while they figured out an American edition was going to be released. I don’t know how B&N works, but I’d imagine they may be under some legal obligation to sell an American edition if one exists, before a foreign import. The legal agreements in the book publishing world are as hidebound about such things as is the DVD region specific system. Of course international Internet sales completely throw a spanner into all that. :)

    Anyway, at least B&N should carry the American edition eventually and you can still use your giftcard.

  55. >Did their website specifically list the UK edition when you first placed an order?

    Didn’t say anything about a particular edition when I ordered it. Possibly I didn’t look hard enough, but I didn’t see anything like that mentioned when I ordered it.

    >Anyway, at least B&N should carry the American edition eventually and you can still use your giftcard.

    They’d best do that **shakes fist in direction of website**. I’m checking regularly.

  56. > the lung cancer symptoms of

    hmmm…….you’re cheerful!

  57. G&T Admin

    I like it when they say ‘do it’.

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