From one Charlie to another. I’ve been enjoying Charlie Brooker’s TV reviews and other bits in the Guardian for an arbitrarily long period of time, but until now I haven’t read any of his books. Anyway, I was in Waterstone’s recently and found myself tempted by their ongoing three for two deal on paperbacks, which led to me buying this collection of columns, which are mostly reprints from the paper starting from August 2007 and running up to August 2009. I say “mostly” because there’s at least one that the Guardian declined to print on the grounds that it was too bleak, and several have had the original wording restored after editors decided that Charlie was being a wee bit too rude even for them.
If you’re not familiar with Charlie from his various TV appearances, you should be warned that his default attitude is grumpy with curmudgeonly overtones. About half the columns here are his “Screen Burn” items from the Guardian’s Saturday Guide supplement. These are exactly how good reviews should work – telling you all you need to know about diabolically bad TV shows and saving you from having to actually watch the damn things. “Reality” shows get the skewering, roasting and general mockery they deserve, for instance. Charlie’s invective is so gloriously, spectacularly, viciously over-the-top that reading this book in public may not be a good idea. It’s funny. No, it’s abso-bloody-lutely hilarious.
And there’s more. The Guardian also gives Charlie a licence to write a column about whatever the hell’s annoying him for the G2 supplement. Well, except when they didn’t like the bleak one, but that was on the subject of “why don’t we end it all right now”, so they might have had a point.
Look, there’s loads to read here, it’s bitter, twisted and funny. What more could you ask for? I was so impressed that I ordered the previous two books before I’d finished this one.
 My special word of the day