Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Moranthology by Caitlin Moran
review copy provided by Harper Perennial
Description from Goodreads:
MORANTHOLOGY The very best of Caitlin Moran – in the first ever collection of her writing

‘In HOW TO BE A WOMAN, I was limited to a single topic: women. Their hair, their shoes and their crushes on Aslan from The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (which I KNOW to be universal).

‘However! In my new book MORANTHOLOGY – as the title suggests – I am set free to tackle THE REST OF THE WORLD: Ghostbusters, Twitter, caffeine, panic attacks, Michael Jackson’s memorial service, being a middle-class marijuana addict, Doctor Who, binge-drinking, Downton Abbey, pandas, my own tragically early death, and my repeated failure to get anyone to adopt the nickname I have chosen for myself: ‘Puffin’.

‘I go to a sex-club with Lady Gaga, cry on Paul McCartney’s guitar, get drunk with Kylie, appear on Richard & Judy as a gnome, climb into the TARDIS, sniff Sherlock Holmes’s pillows at 221b Baker Street, write Amy Winehouse’s obituary, turn up late to Downing Street for Gordon Brown, and am rudely snubbed at a garden party by David Cameron –although that’s probably because I called him ‘A C3PO made of ham’. Fair enough.

‘And, in my spare time – between hangovers - I rant about the welfare state, library closures and poverty; like a shit Dickens or Orwell, but with tits.’

My Take:
Before picking up Moranthology, I hadn't read any of Caitlin Moran's work. Why? Who didn't tell me about her? Someone is in big trouble. I'm pretty sure someone was supposed to tell me about her before now.  

This book made me laugh out loud. It made me laugh so hard I cried. It made me laugh in that way that causes my kids to peek  warily around the door frame for fear that mom has totally lost it this time. 

I don't really know how to explain or review Moranthology, because there are so many varied pieces. I will give examples of some of my favorites - which means the ones that made laugh crazily and alarm my family.  

Just the title of this piece made me laugh: "I Am a Dwarf Called 'Scottbaio'". In this piece, Moran examines World of Warcraft and creates a character and then madness ensues.  As a long-time gamer, I could relate to her adventures or misadventures, however you want to characterize them. 

I loved the interviews of Keith Richard and Paul McCartney - these should not be missed. I also really enjoyed her reviews, discussions about, fan ravings, whatever you want to call them of Sherlock and Doctor Who.  Her interview with Lady Gaga was eye opening for me. I don't keep up with most pop artists and while I do enjoy her music, especially for working out, I wouldn't consider myself an actual fan of Gaga. The interview piece shed new light and did alter my perceptions of her. 

I found her stance on goody bags to be quite funny and not without a certain logic. Since I have given up having actual parties for my kids (now we just load up a bunch of their friends and take them to see a movie), it is no longer an issue, but I do see her point. 

My one and only complaint about Moranthology, is that Moran has forced me to really look at the plot of Downton Abbey, and while I will concede some of her points, I will never forgive her for making me look so closely at the plot line and forcing me to admit that it can be a bit silly sometimes. I. Will.  Never. Forgive. Her. Ever. 

The book isn't just funny stuff though. Moran also tackles economic issues, poverty, women's issues, parenting, drinking and even fashion. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Moranthology and I will now add  How to Be a Woman to my wish list. 

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