Craig Charles’ Log

thelog

Over the years there has been a great many pieces of official Red Dwarf merchandise, including some high quality titles such as The Making of Red Dwarf, Red Dwarf VIII: The Official Book and The Official Red Dwarf Companion. However, The Log: A Dwarfer’s Guide to Everything – written by Craig Charles Russell Bell and published in 1997 – is neither official or even in the vague realm of high quality. It is completely and utterly shit.

QUESTION: What is this universal infatuation with the Internet?
If someone had told me, a few years ago, that we’d be looking upon a phone conversation you had to type as a major innovation I’d have them certified. And don’t say ‘But you can send pictures as well.’ It takes about an hour to download a bloody picture, and half the time the tits are out of focus … oops.

I think it’s probably its sheer laziness that gets me most. As it turns out the “Dwarfer’s Guide Everything” is, in fact, just a collection of appalling jokes sourced from the beginning of time itself and the wellest of well worn urban legends all wrapped up in a big ball of trite and lazy observational humour. It does have a loose-ish frame of an alternative history of Earth (the book actually goes as far as to nick jokes and the odd scenario from Dwarf for its own needs) which is a pretty decent idea but, you know… done shitly.

Two things could elevate this book above what it is: being funny and having a genuine relevance to Dwarf. Obviously it’s neither of those things, and it’s frankly offensive that it’s so plainly aimed at Dwarfers when really it has no real relevance at all, save for a few mentions of the show and pictures of Craig Charles in his Lister getup. In fact, Craig getting the sole writing credit on the cover when in fact it was co-authored by Russell Bell (as mentioned later in the book) does raise some interesting questions regarding how much Craig actually wrote and whether his presence is purely for his face and Dwarf connection. Although, I could be being hugely unfair and unkind there.

Questions

  • Why is abbreviation such a long word?
  • Why didn’t Noah swot the flies?
  • Where do female to male sex-change patients get their penises from?
  • Why do they make toasters with a setting that burns the toast?

If I was being a tad more fair, I’d probably say it isn’t entirely worthless, as a book of this nature is always going to give the odd surprise laugh even if it is just a book filled with the sort of stuff some twat in a pub would reel off all night believing himself to be hilarious. In fact, the whole point of this brief review of the book version is to point out a new acquisition in our Downloads section, which does raise the value of the title a tad.

It is a copy of the audiobook version of The Log read by Craig Charles. Frankly, it came as a surprise to me that this even existed, but here it is nonetheless. In fact, you can download it…

HERE.

Advice About Sex
Women, you should never:

  • Answer the phone and chat
  • File your nails
  • Talk about marriage (especially on the a first date)

Men, you should never:

  • Think that, to be a winner in the sex stakes, you have to finish first all the time
  • Call someone else to see if they want to join in
  • Shout a running commentary about what you’re doing to your friends across the street

Available are all four parts (or a collected ZIP) for you to download at your leisure. It’s definitely worth a go (despite what I’ve just said) if only to form your own opinion. Even if you’ve only previously read the book, I would go as far to say that it’s also worth listening to these through because the fact that it’s the abridged version and it has Craig reading adds a certain value. Old Cracky is always entertaining to listen to and his trademark chirpy and lively style really breathes some life into this limp material. It’ll give you a chuckle, I guarantee that, and it’s certainly a more worthwhile venture than tracking down and devoting valuable eye time to the book.

Coming soon: Paul Alexander’s Log No.1996 read by Killcrazy from off of Series VIII.

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25 Responses to Craig Charles’ Log

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  1. >In fact, Craig getting the sole writing credit on the cover when in fact it was co-authored by Russell Bell (as mentioned later in the book) does raise some interesting questions regarding how much Craig actually wrote and whether his presence is purely for his face and Dwarf connection

    Maybe he read over it before publishing and said “what was I THINKING, being pissed during the whole writing process?”

    Maybe it should be called “The Shit Log”?

  2. Go on Craig, tell that dildonics joke.

    This is pretty bad, but I’d claim that Log No.1996 (review please!) is worse. At least Craig and Russell came up with some new jokes, regardless of their quality.

    And the Red Dwarf Survival Guide? Worst bit of merchandise ever. I’m ashamed to say that I bought that simply because it had some photos from VII inside.

    There have been rather a lot of Audio Books for RD stuff. Craig reads Last Human, Grant reads Backwards…you just can’t better Barrie reading Infinity and BTL though.

  3. >And the Red Dwarf Survival Guide? Worst bit of merchandise ever. I?m ashamed to say that I bought that simply because it had some photos from VII inside.

    I mentioned that book to Paul Alexander at DJ. He seemed genuinely surprised that anyone had even bought a copy.

    It did have one or two decent jokes, in. I think it was marginally better than the 1996 Log. And I think it’s probably better than the Craig Charles book, as well.

    I remember getting my Dad to take me to town to buy The Log at a Craig Charles signing… *sobs*

  4. > I mentioned that book to Paul Alexander at DJ. He seemed genuinely surprised that anyone had even bought a copy.

    I remember that!

  5. The survival guide had an amusing flipbook. And it was funnier than the majority of series 7.

    Always thought the 1996 Log was just a glorified novelty diary…

    As for Craig’s log…I thought it was hilarious when I was about 11. Then I turned 12 and grew out of it.

  6. >And the Red Dwarf Survival Guide? Worst bit of merchandise ever

    >Coming soon: Paul Alexander?s Log No.1996 read by Killcrazy from off of Series VIII

    Which one had the bloodied flipbook thingy in it?

  7. That was the Survival Guide. Hence why it’s not quite the worst bit of merch ever (also, I seem to recall a couple of quite amusing bits, mainly the profile pages)

  8. I am actually excited about downloading this later, by the way. Obviously my expectations aren’t very high, but I look foward to it as I have no experience with the book at all.

  9. G&T Admin

    In the absence of my Guardian Euro 2008 Daily podcast, I shall be listening to this on the way home from work. My hopes are not high. Unlike the author, etc.

  10. > Which one had the bloodied flipbook thingy in it?

    >> The survival guide had an amusing flipbook. And it was funnier than the majority of series 7.

  11. G&T Admin

    It’s quite a lazy adaptation. Occasionally they bother changing things like “as I write this book” with “as I record this tape”, but most of the time they don’t bother. Either do all of them, or do none of them, but not some of them! It could really do with some short musical stings as they change topic, as Craig just pausing and then announcing the next chapter title is too jarring. And his intonation is all over the bloody place as well.

    As for the book in general, it’s all just lazy observational standup or “FW: Fwd: FW: FW: funny!!!!!! lol” emails. And really sloppily researched – there’s a joke about Eric Cantona kicking a fan at QPR. With a minute amount of fact-checking, they’d realise that the incident actually took place at Crystal Palace.

  12. It’s better than Craig Charles – Live On Earth, though. *Shudder*

    Anyone remember Space Cadets with Craig Charles and Greg Proops…and possibly Bill Bailey? That was funny. So I think.

  13. That showed up on UK Nova a while back. I downloaded it and meant to stick the Norman Lovett and Hattie Hayridge appearances up here, but… forgot. And ended up deleting it without having watched the whole thing. I remembered really liking it at the time, but bloody hell, it hasn’t aged well at all. It’s far more sneery than you would expect a show like that to be nowadays (in this post-Battlestar/New Who/Matrix/LOTR/Spider-Man/etc. environment).

  14. >Craig Charles – Live On Earth

    And yet I’d STILL actually like to see that.

  15. >And yet I?d STILL actually like to see that

    Me too. I’ve never seen it, or Sickbag. And yet even I have heard the dildonics routine too often.

  16. I havent read all the comments on here so someone may have previously mentioned this, but if memory serves me correctly then there is some stuff on the audio book that wasnt printed in the book

  17. > there is some stuff on the audio book that wasnt printed in the book

    It’s sure to be top quality stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. G&T Admin

    Stay AWAY from Mr. T’s BINS.

  19. The whole crack incident was funnier than anything in The Log. He should definitely stick to that type of material.

  20. I didn’t think it was that bad when I read it, but that’s a good ten years ago. I definitely preferred it to the Survival Guide, but that’s down to the style of humour. I could accept Craig (well Russell) as not being Dwarf from various Craig stuff I’d heard before. Whereas ‘Survival Guide’ was branded as a Red Dwarf product, but the humour didn’t feel like Dwarf to me.

    I went to see Craig’s stand-up show in about ’98. He came all the way up to Inverness which was fairly rare. His support act, a magician, had all his luggage misplaced my the airline so Craig did an extra half hour with a few poems and even a couple of songs. Anyone remember ‘The Eye’? – Craig’s band for a while.

    Craig’s humour is basically sickopedia. It felt very, very wrong laughing at a lot of the gags, but anyone who was at DJ last year for his comeback will know he’s capable of charming an audience and this seems to be why he can get away with stuff that on paper no one should be able too.

  21. I remember getting this for Christmas back when it came out. The review is utterly spot on, the book is UTTER shit. A blatant cash-grab from Craig Charles.

  22. This is really good.

    Oh no, hang on, I just listened to shitthingery podcast before downloading this, I must have lowered my entertainment expectations below sub zero.

    This is enjoyable, as in the odd good bit, and some fun enjoying how bad some of it is. Cheers.

    All this craig audio though, I think G&T could have some fun remixing this
    into a Dwarfcast interview.

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