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26 Literature

Our longest-server freelancer Gordon W. chuckles and sniggers to his favourite book this month.

68989 ROGER’S PROFANISAURUS: Das Krapital edited by Dury, Jones and Thorp

Many of our more puerile and scatologically-minded customers will be familiar with the magnum opus of Roger Mellie (the Man off the Telly), a perennial favourite from the pages of Viz magazine. Here is a collection of euphemisms or alternative nomenclature for sexual, lavatorial and not-the-kind-of-subjects/ objects/pastimes-you-would-ever-discuss-with-your- elderly-relatives-or-local-man-of-the-cloth-type “things”. Every five weeks Viz “readers” (term used with some reservation) update the database with new four-letter words, expressions and disgusting turns of phrase, and periodically the entire unsavoury literary toilet bowl is published in book form, and Das Krapital is the 2010 softback edition, which also includes a very useful guide to the history of turning the air blue in “Swearing Down the Ages” as a foreword. Expressions such as Cleveland steamer, rear gunner, one oar in the water, oneymoon suite, golden ticket, a good listener, a mole’s eye, fur trapper’s cabin or “clean up on aisle two”, your curiosity will be satisfied. 624 filth-packed pages, a skidmarxist literary leviathan. Cartoons. Adults only. £13.99 NOW £5

be in rude health. Here are verses dedicated to today’s world of the Internet, mobile phones and celebrity culture, plus classic gems on families, food and drink, animals, sex and sport. Zany Quentin Blake-style illus. 589pp in paperback. £7.99 NOW £4.50

67603 LITTLE BOOK OF BUMS by B. Hynde Well rounded and streamlined, this teeny book is packed with synonyms, proverbs, catchphrases and quotations from people worldwide. Here is the Rump Reviled, the Posterior Political, the bum beautiful, the seat sexy, the buttocks beautiful, the rear rude - in short, this peachy cheek of a book gets to the bottom of things. As Ogden Nash said ‘I test my bath before I sit, and I’m always moved to wonderment That what chills the finger not a bit is so frigid upon the fundament.’ 96pp in tiny paperback.

£1.99 NOW £1


WANTED TO KNOW by John Krausz The art of mind-reading revealed, photo-sculpture, how to make Saur Kraut, horseback etiquette, a method of restoring the apparently dead, how to climb a ladder, sniggle for eels, protecting life and property, how to fly, how to cast a statue, learn to skate, how to use chopsticks and have good posture - this is a part how-to manual and part handbook of the amazing and bizarre. Krausz has culled material from government pamphlets, Victorian etiquette manuals, farmer’s publications, military handbooks, turn-of-the-century magazines and more. 220pp with line art. £7.99 NOW £1.50


Apart from living eccentrics the author includes famous historical eccentrics, for instance the taxidermist Charles Waterton of Wakefield who created the strange stuffed hybrid the Nondescript and tamed a cayman or crocodile by riding on its back, attributing his success to the fact that he “hunted some years with Lord Darlington’s foxhounds”. The Gothick revival architect William Beckford, the reclusive shell-collector Sir Vauncey Harpur-Crewe of Calke Abbey and the 20th century Conservative MP Nicholas Fairbairn are other examples of eccentricity. 192pp, photos, watercolours. £18.99 NOW £2.50

66462 SECOND-CLASS MALE: A Book of

Misguided Letters by Stan Madeley Madeley is one-of-a-kind, a fearless and singular letter writer. How many people can claim that they have attempted to hypnotise Derren Brown by letter? These hugely enjoyable flights of fancy have received replies from Alan Bennett, Sir David Attenborough, Terry Gilliam, Esther Rantzen, General Noriega, Mr Kipling, Jeffrey Archer, Terry Wogan, the British Flute Society and some nuns. 192pp in large softback with many illus. £9.99 NOW £2.50


66478 TELEPHONE DOODLE BOOK by Andrew Pinder

Ever spent a lengthy phone call bemoaning the state of the world, only to hang up the receiver and discover you have doodled a masterpiece on your jotter? Or perhaps you have just emblazoned your notepad with matchstick men? Either way, the doodle book is an ideal companion to vent your artistic tendencies with your own mindless biro musings. It contains over 150 beautifully drawn but incomplete doodles to get you under way. It is an outsize softback which resembles the Yellow Pages. Large softback. £7.99 NOW £1.75


by Richard Benson

‘I would like to be a signtist and I would like to work in a lavatory.’ ‘Last week it was Jacks berthday. He brort a cac to school and we all had a pis.’ Children are at their funniest when trying to be serious, and their earnest attempts at mastering the English language are

a goldmine of unintentional humour. Packed with hysterical examples of silly spelling and wonky words from the charming and ludicrous to the downright x-rated. Reproduced in the original children’s handwriting. With line art, 128pp in paperback. £5.99 NOW £3


The English aristocrat John ‘Mad Jack’ Mytton died a bloated, paralysed and penniless debtor in prison. His premature demise was partly due to injuries sustained while setting fire to his own nightshirt to try to cure

hiccups. It worked! Here in a delightful miscellany of great British eccentrics are over 200 aristocrats, inventors, artists and just plain weirdoes. Much fun to be had in 298pp in paperback. £10.99 NOW £1


These little white cute bunnies really should not try to kill themselves, but you just have to laugh. In a book branded as containing ‘all new deaths!’, here is the author of the cult bestseller series The Book of Bunny Suicides with another unmissable collection of rabbit-related self destruction. Sick, sick, sick, sick. Sick - but hilarious, being catapulted, sucked into a vacuum, freshly squeezed with orange juice with just a fluffy bunny tail showing, hiding in the wall as a man approaches with his cordless drill, beneath an axe. Deathly cartoons. Softback. £9.99 NOW £3.75

68209 SEE JOHN RUN: The Complete Radio Two Janet and John Marsh Stories by Kevin Joslin

As told by Terry Wogan on BBC Radio Two, the Janet and John Marsh Stories entertained millions of listeners. Now we can recreate those magic moments. Whether he is in Tunbridge Wells or at the dry cleaners, see John run the wrath of Janet. The effete fop that is John goes about his business in a language that seems to be that of an innocent, childish yesteryear and gets into more and more trouble. By the time he gets back to his long- suffering Janet, his adventures have taken on a decidedly blue hue. He finds himself the victim of her hilariously ferocious fury. 274pp. Line art. £9.99 NOW £4

68268 SOD THAT! 103 Things Not to Do Before You Die by Sam Jordison

The ultimate slacker’s bible, this definitive anti-list book is for people fed up of being told what to do with their time. Joining in the Mile High Club usually involves rubbing your bits against vomit-coated surfaces. So if you don’t fancy swimming the Channel or sampling fine wine because you wee it out like any other drink, never want to hold a house party, bathe in the Ganges, rebel, go to Lourdes or take a shower in a waterfall, this is the book to buy for yourself or for the old curmudgeon in your life. 244pp in paperback. £6.99 NOW £3

68386 JUST LIKE DAD SAYS: A Book of Dad’s Wit by Geoff Tibballs

“Having one child makes you a parent; having two makes you a referee,” says David Frost with characteristic venom; and only Bob Hope could have quipped, “Kids are wonderful, but I like mine barbecued”. Some dads do not play a major role in their children’s lives: “Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life” (Oscar Wilde), while

“I make it a rule to pat all children on the head as I pass by - in case it is one of mine” (Augustus John). 224pp. £9.99 NOW £2


by Ed Roberts and Kate Parker For all Michael Jackson fans or those who love the nostalgia of flicker books, here is a book to flick open with your thumb and watch a silhouette of Michael Jackson perform each pose from two of his most famous dances and pop soundtracks. Here are his unmistakable pirouettes, pointy finger monster moves from Thriller and backward steps from his Moonwalk. Paperback. £2.99 NOW 80p


by Charles M. Schulz Life isn’t easy for Charlie Brown. Between that pesky kite-eating tree, a complete lack of Valentines in the mailbox, and his troubles on the pitcher’s mound, it can be pretty downright disheartening. Fortunately he has Snoopy, Linus, Peppermint Pattie and the Peanuts gang to make the big world seem a lot friendlier. For the first time in book form, here is another collection of our old favourites. 160 large pages in softback, this time the cartoon strips are is in full colour. £9.99 NOW £4

68613 WORLD ACCORDING TO LUCY by Charles M. Schulz

A new collection featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the whole Peanuts gang. 5 cents is a bargain for great advice, especially when it comes from Lucy Van Pelt. So what if she has a reputation for being a little bossy and crabby? And when she pulls that football away from Charlie Brown, she really is doing it for his own good - these sorts of things build character. Join Lucy and the Peanuts gang for this wonderful collection of colour and black and white strip cartoons, not all just in front of her psychiatrist’s booth. 160 very large pages in softback. £9.99 NOW £5

68142 ASK YOUR FATHER by Emma Cook

If there is a God, why are there so many wars? Can I get my belly button pierced? Why were you and daddy shouting last night? All parents know the moment when your child comes up and asks one of those impossibly embarrassing and unanswerable questions. Here at last help is at hand. Packed with on-the-button advice, this will make

you laugh all the way to the school and back. 181pp in paperback with line art. £8.99 NOW £2.50


The Diagram Prize has been running in our trade magazine The Bookseller for many years and is a merry hunt for ‘unlikely’ book titles. Experts in the world of remainders, Bibliophile has seen thousands of implausible titles over the years! This fabulous little book features 50 of the most mind- boggling winners and runners up - baffling titles such as Bomb Proof Your Horse, People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead, Greek Rural Postmen, Italian Without Words, Teabag Folding, Fancy Coffins and Reading Toes among them. 96pp with book jackets in full colour. £9.99 NOW £1.50

Bibliophile Books Unit 5 Datapoint, 6 South Crescent, London E16 4TL TEL: 020 74 74 24 74 69285 AESOP’S FABLES LITERATURE

No one who can read, ever looks at a book, even unopened on a shelf, like one who cannot.

- Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend


TALES by Henryk Sienkiewicz Sienkiewicz was once the most widely known of Polish writers and his novel Quo Vadis won him the Nobel Prize in 1905. A superb storyteller, his language is flowing, rich and evocative and these are the qualities in this selection, a headlong satire on village life in Russian-ruled Poland where Tsarist administration

encourages corruption and promotes injustice with bureaucratic aplomb. He is at his best as an observer of character in the first two stories, Charcoal Sketches and Bartek the Conqueror. In the third story, On the Bright Shore, he tells the story of an affair between an artist and a beautiful widow of dubious reputation among the Polish community on the Riviera. It contains some five vignettes of its setting and arresting cameos of the variegated types who are drawn to it. The brawny Bartek is a hero of the Franco-Prussian War but no match for the Germans in the post-War peace. He embodies the fate of the Polish peasantry in the west in the face of Bismarck’s ruthless Germanisation policy, but even in this story humour is present in the ludicrous brainlessness of the ‘hero’. New translations by Adam Zamoyski. 211pp in paperback. £6.95 NOW £3


A Transatlantic Friendship by Frances Woodsford Frances Woodsford wrote over 700 letters to retired Commodore Paul Bigelow of Long Island, New York, between 1949 and 1961. There was some 50 years between their ages, there was no romance between the two of them - in fact, they never actually met - yet their epistolary friendship was her lifeline. She was

an unmarried woman living in austerity-years Bournemouth in a house with her mother and ne’er-do- well bother Mac, working in a job she loathed at the Pier Approach Baths for a ghastly boss and having to constantly evade the unwanted attentions of Dr Russell - he was a wealthy widower 3,000 miles across the ocean. Her “Saturday Specials” as she called them (those penned in her free time on that day) are brilliantly packed missives which sparkle with comic genius, and in them we follow her travails, and those of post-War England in general, and at the same time we get to know Frances and her deep affection for Mr Bigelow. The correspondence began by way of her thanking his daughter for the clothes and food parcels she sent. A gimlet-eyed commentary on her life and times that still leaps vividly from the page - in particular, her letters to Mr Bigelow during his final illness, aged 97, are as tender and moving a farewell as you are ever likely to read. Now aged the same as her penpal when he passed away, Frances still lives in Bournemouth. In 2006 she dug out the letters and they were serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour in October of that year. Photos. 382pp.

£15.99 NOW £6.50 68838 THE COMPLETE


This collection comprises Joyce’s three novels, plus the short story collection Dubliners. ‘Dubliners’, about Joyce’s native city, is faithful to his country, seeing it unflinchingly and challenging every precedent and piety in Irish literature. The stories in Dubliners show us truants, seducers, hostesses, corrupt

politicians, failing priests, struggling musicians, poets, patriots, and many more simply striving to get by. ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ falls between the realism of Dubliners and the symbolism of Ulysses. The novel is a highly autobiographical account of the youth of Stephen Dedalus, who comes to realize that before he can become a true artist, he must rid himself of the stultifying effects of the religion, politics and essential bigotry of his life in late 19th century Ireland. Written with a light touch, it is perhaps the most accessible of Joyce’s works. ‘Ulysses’ is James Joyce’s astonishing masterpiece. Scandalously frank, it tells of the events which befall Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus in Dublin on 16 June 1904, during which Bloom’s voluptuous wife, Molly, commits adultery. Initially deemed obscene in England and the USA, this richly- allusive novel, revolutionary in its modernistic experimentalism, was hailed as a work of genius by W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway. ‘Finnegans Wake’ is the book of Here Comes Everybody and Anna Livia Plurabelle and their family - their book, but in a curious way the book of us all as well as all our books. Joyce’s last great work, it is not comprised of many borrowed styles, like Ulysses, but, rather, formulated as one dense, tongue-twisting soundscape. It also remains the most hilarious, ‘obscene’, book of innuendos ever to be imagined. 1482 page paperback. New from Wordsworth. ONLY £7


WHITE HORSE by G. K. Chesterton More than a thousand years ago, the ruler of a beleaguered kingdom saw a vision of the Virgin Mary that moved him to rally his chiefs and make a last stand. Alfred the Great freed his realm from Danish invaders in the year 878 with an against-all-odds triumph at the Battle of Ethandune. In this ballad, G. K.

Chesterton equates Alfred’s struggles with Christianity’s e-mail:

illustrated by Arthur Rackham Unabridged republication of the work originally published in 1912 with an introduction by G. K. Chesterton and with all the original 13 full colour and 53 black and white pen and ink sketches, drawings and silhouettes lending the perfect blend of humour and romanticism to the timeless fables. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing and don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Attributed to a legendary storyteller of ancient Greece, these fables speak to readers and listeners of all ages and cultures with the simple allegories, abounding in paradoxes, ambiguities and ironies, all embodying great truths. And there are dozens and dozens of them, mostly very short and digestible, in fairly large clear print, many illustrated like Venus and the Cat, The Crow and the Swan, The Clown and the Countryman, The Blackamoor, The Two Soldiers and the Robber, The Fox Without a Tail, The Vain Jackdaw, The Traveller and his Dog and more. An enchanting edition with an illuminating introduction which complements V. S. Vernon Jones’s sprightly, concise and idiomatic translation. 224pp in softback. £17.99 NOW £5

fight against nihilism and heathenism, a battle that continues to this day. One of the last great epic poems, the tale unfolds in the Vale of the White Horse, where Alfred fought the Danes in a valley beneath an ancient equine figure etched upon the Berkshire hills. Chesterton uses the mysterious image as a symbol of the traditions that preserved humanity. His allegory of the power of faith in the face of an invasive foe were much quoted in the dark days of 1940 when Britain was under attack by the Nazis. This new edition offers an authoritative, inexpensive version of his inspiring work. Unabridged facsimile of the 1911 original with fairly large print, 132pp in paperback. £7.99 NOW £3


edited by George Davidson If you have never persevered with Burns because his vocabulary defeats you, then this is the book for you. Each poem comes with its own glossary, and the editor’s helpful notes clarify the subject matter. The work of this lyricist and poet has a uniquely wide appeal, claiming admirers from

Abraham Lincoln to Bob Dylan. The poems in this collection show every facet of ‘Scotland’s best-loved son’, revealing not only his optimistic, will-o’-the-wisp character but also his passion for truth and justice. This appealing selection includes poems, songs, psalms and prayers. 128 pages illustrated in b/w. £6.99 NOW £3.50



From Ben Jonson’s hilarious romp ‘The Alchemist’ to the anonymous drama of domestic violence ‘A Yorkshire Tragedy’, from Thomas Dekker’s sprightly comedy of London life ‘The Shoemakers’ Holiday’ to John Ford’s grim tragedy of forbidden love ’Tis Pity She’s A Whore’, here is a clear and lively guide to 34 great Elizabethan and Jacobean plays. Includes source and synopsis, the author and his work, historical context, the playwright’s craft and the plays in performance. Superb historical background. 269pp in paperback. £8.99 NOW £4.50

68600 A CHOICE OF SHAKESPEARE’S VERSE by William Shakespeare, selected by Ted Hughes

The late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes has collected a wide range of speeches from all the plays except two or three in his inviting selection of Shakespeare’s verse. Scholars have always been reluctant to lift huge chunks of poetry from the great sonnets and songs of Shakespeare’s plays. Yet when the great speeches of his plays are taken out of context they are no more difficult to understand and appropriate than poems by other great poets. In many cases they are much easier to understand. 216pp in paperback. $15 NOW £4

68292 POETS IN VIEW: A Visual Anthology of 50 Classic Poems

edited by Chris Emery This unique full-colour anthology brings together the finest known portraits of 50 major British and Irish poets across four centuries (16th to the 19th) alongside a classic poem from each writer, ranging

from Sir Thomas Wyatt (born 1503) to Rudyard Kipling (born 1865). Each poet here offers an intimate view from their time, dealing with love, loss, grief, hope and mortality, which will find echoes and reverberations with the reader’s own. Cat-lovers may wince at the elfin Thomas Gray’s (1716-71) cautionary tale On a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes, and Robert Burns’ ruddy cheeks are echoed in O My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose. Featuring Shakespeare, Byron, Blake, Rossetti, Browning, Coleridge, Yeats, Tennyson, Wordsworth and many more. 104pp. £12.99 NOW £4


FUNERALS AND MEMORIALS compiled by Luisa Moncada

With a very useful index of first lines, here are reflections on grief, life and death from Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, the Upanishads, Socrates, Shakespeare, Saint-Exupéry, Rumi, Revelations, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, Lorca, Keats, Job, John XI, Thomas Gray, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Lord Byron, Emily Brontë, Jacques Brel, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, W. H. Auden and the famous Anon in 120 of the most lovely and poignant

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