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Tony Hawks – A Piano in the Pyrenees | Review

Title: A Piano in the Pyrenees

Author: Tony Hawks

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 312

Rating: 4/5

This non-fiction book tells the story of what happened when a middle-aged British comedian called Tony Hawks decided to buy a house in France, almost on a whim. He also decided to take his piano over there so that he could finally learn to play the thing.

It was a fun little book, and overall I found it to be a pleasure to work my way through it. My only real complaint would be that the pacing was a little off, in that it felt as though the whole book covered a period of just a couple of months or so.

Other than that though, there were some great little insights into French culture here, as well as a few smatterings of French dialogue that were enjoyable for me as someone who’s slowly but surely trying to learn the language. There were also some great little examples of culture shock or of misunderstandings, particularly when Hawks was trying to navigate the complicated French legal landscape to purchase properties and to build swimming pools, despite being utterly useless at assembling basic flat packs.

I’ve read a couple of Hawks’ other books at this point, and tonality and sense of humour wise, it’s pretty similar to those. That means that if you enjoyed Round Ireland with a Fridge, for example, then you’re probably going to enjoy this one too. Sure, his sense of humour might not be quite right for everyone, but Hawks has always made me laugh and he did so here, too.

There were occasional borderline sexist comments in it here and there, but then I suppose that gave it a certain sense of realness. He was a single bloke surrounded by Frenchwomen, after all. But overall, yeah.

Learn more about A Piano in the Pyrenees.

 


Irvine Welsh – Reheated Cabbage | Review

Title: Reheated Cabbage

Author: Irvine Welsh

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 275

Rating: 9/10

 

Irvine Welsh - Reheated Cabbage

Irvine Welsh – Reheated Cabbage

 

Welsh is back, ya fuckin doss cunt. It’s time for me to blather aboot this eminently readable collection of Welsh’s short stories, spanning from 1994-2000. And what a cracker it is, too.

Written in Welsh’s typical vernacular, complete with his idiosyncratic sense of spelling and grammar, Reheated Cabbage captures the essence of Welsh’s early writing in a fantastic collection of short stories which cover everything from pills and pals to aliens addicted to Embassy cigarettes who’ve learned the niceties of human culture from a Scottish geezer who’s hiding out from the police on-board their ship.

 

Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh

 

There’s death too, of course – the collection starts with the story of a man who’s so keen to catch the Hibs v.s. Hearts game that he leads his wife into the path of an oncoming train, and you can expect to witness the death of a junkie in the sad surroundings of a Scottish house party.

But above all else, Reheated Cabbage offers you a chance to catch up with old friends, whether you’re eating Christmas dinner with Begbie or you’re catching up with Juice Terry and Carl ‘N-Sign’ Ewart in Miami.

 

The famous quote from Trainspotting...

The famous quote from Trainspotting…

 

Meeting up with a middle-aged Carl and Terry is made all the more sweet by the reappearance of their former nemesis – Mr. Black from their schooldays. He’s not quite the imposing figure that he used to be – in fact, by the end of his story, you’ll just want to give him a hug.

That is, if you’re a fuckin poofta, ya fuckin radge – git tae fook and buy the book!

 

Irvine Welsh - Reheated Cabbage

Irvine Welsh – Reheated Cabbage

 

Click here to buy Reheated Cabbage.