The art of engagement

This week I read a funny book.

That’s great, I hear you say. But no, wait – it was a really funny book. It was the sort of book that made me laugh out loud and believe me – that doesn’t happen a lot. That’s a gift. To make someone who is, admittedly quite cynical and (whisper it) critical, laugh out loud takes a real talent. Especially if said person isn’t initially in the mood to be laughing.

The author is someone who I can’t for the life of me remember how I know of. I’ve now read three of his very witty books and recognised him enough as someone I liked, to buy the first one in a bookshop, whilst the others just caught my eye in a charity store and at the used books table in my local Co-op.

I know from the books that he was a radio presenter for years.

I have never heard him on the radio before and he’s just recently given it up, so it’s not that.

I also know from the books that he pops up from time to time on odd TV programmes… Well, ok, it might be that. I have watched quite a few odd TV programmes in my time.

Anyway, suffice it to say, I have now enjoyed enough of his writing to make me think that perhaps I should not rely on serendipitous sightings of his second-hand books (seriously – who gave those away?!), and just go out and !buy them. Because (and I may have already mentioned it  – this guy is funny).

He writes about his life! It’s personal to him and yet to all of us! He uses italics quite a lot! He does strange and sometimes random things! And… he uses exclamation marks a lot!

But somehow, this does not make him annoying – just someone you’d quite like to have as your mate.

He has two novels out, both of which have received great reviews from ye olde critics – neither of which I have read, but intend to do so At Once.

He writes with wit, makes it look incredibly easy and… is a great example of a writer who engages with his readers and quite frankly – could act as a great catalyst for non-readers to pick up a book.Q (As long as it’s his – to start with).

Who is this man of wit? This maverick of words? This impossibly funny person who I may be building up a little bit too much…?

Why, it’s Danny Wallace – didn’t you know?

And he’s an excellent speller.

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