In the waning hours of the fifth of September I received an email from a contact in deepest, darkest Scotland. I do not usually get emails from this contact. Our communication is usually limited to bizarre and esoteric insults on twitter, which despite our best efforts are likely to come across to outsiders as either vaguely homoerotic or evidence that we will very shortly be festooned in the innards of our latest victim. The contact in question is the venerably bearded Andrew of Blair, known to twitternauts as aagb1884. A screen name which begins with a collection of letters more reminiscent of a dying wail (or confused jizz-noise) and ending with the year Colchester was hit by a magnitude 4.8 earthquake.
Mister Andrew has recently completed work on an eBook with an associate by the name of Danile Lilley. He was curious as to whether I would be interested in reviewing or plugging his most recent fictional endeavour. Since agreement would result in me getting a book for free I could hardly refuse. I told him I would whore, pimp, sell, flog, wax-lyrical, preach and praise it and that I might even, if push came to shove, think about reading it. So this blog post constitutes me being all professional, reviewing the fictional works of others. After being called an asshole by a comedian who didn’t like my negative bloggings about his show I’m becoming dangerously professional. Well, at least as professional as you can get while wearing jim-jams stained with bits of last night’s dinner and perching on the corpse of what used to be a chair.
I’ll admit that I had some reservations about agreeing to do this. What would I do if I didn’t like it or it turned out to be spectacularly bad. I could hardly declare to the internet “Oh hey guys, this book is really shit but you should buy it anyway.” Well, I could, but I wouldn’t feel particularly great about doing so. But once I’ve said I’m going to do a something I damn well do it. Unless of course the original statement was a polite lie, constructed out of social awkwardness and a desire to be left the fuck alone. This was not such an instance, since I know Andrew solely through the magical and mystical medium of the internet superhighway I could have just ignored his email and pretended he didn’t exist or was at the very least a product of an imagination tripping the light fanatic on some especially strong cheddar.
As some of you may know Robert Pattinson was the poor benighted soul to whom the part of Edward “watching you while you sleep totally isn’t creepy or weird” Cullen in the recent Twilight movies was dubiously awarded. A man who nobly agreed to become the fixation of an entire generation of emotionally unstable, love starved women in exchange for mindbogglingly large wads of cold, hard, cash. The book is a collection of nuanced and revealing details pertaining to Robert Pattinson. The fact that none of them are true is but a trifling inconvenience. At least that is what the press-release tells me. Look at me, reading press-releases. This is so far outside my wheel-house that it’s wobbling about the Oort cloud looking in extreme puzzlement at an OS map of Norfolk.
So the book…
From beginning to end, (legal-wankery and contents page included) The R-Patx Factz is a brisk 37 pages long. It is comprised of a collection of facts covering a broad variety of topics. They’re all about the titular R-Patz and all of them are, naturally, carefully constructed and entertaining lies. All the facts very much have a “Chuck Norris fact” air about them. If you’ve been on the internet long enough you’ve probably encountered them. facts such as “There’s no such thing as evolution, only a list of creatures that Chuck Norris has allowed to live.” That is to say a deeply irreverent, tongue in cheek mockery of the actual term “fact.” Ranging from the simple and straight forward:
Robert Pattinson isn’t sure what the zeitgeist is, but has been told to catch it and has built a special net.
To vastly more complicated beasts that leave you wondering what the hell Messrs Blair and Lilley were smoking and whether you could have some of it:
Robert Pattinson has spent many a happy evening creating illicit bootleg recordings of famous bands by recording himself making crowd noise over existing musical releases. This is how he learned acting, by perfectly representing each person in the crowd with complete verisimilitude. You should hear his improvised stage banter over Beethoven’s Fifth, it’s way better than The Hunger Games.
The book itself doesn’t start out strong. It eases you in with facts which aren’t too outlandish, or too funny. Which is shame, but also a necessity. Though the opening page may cause some to shy away and not bother with the rest, it is decidedly less off-putting than being flung straight into a deep-end mired in the surreal. The facts rapidly pick up pace, they carry you off on a surreal and inexplicably compelling journey. It reads like the demented diary of a Lovecraftian cultist, punctuated by crude, dreamlike and slightly unnerving depictions of R-Patz. But amidst this bizarre tapestry are nestled gems of true laugh out loud hilarity which, if anything, serve to enhance the strange and wonderful experience of reading it. It’s like the Necronomicon, but written by a stand-up comic.
The press release recommends it as something to dip into while waiting for a bus or when ever you’ve got a free minute and nothing better to do, but I think it works better as a self-contained experience to be read in one sitting. If you’re slightly freer with your money than I am I would recommend picking it up and setting aside some time to give it a proper read through. Let’s be honest, you’ve probably spent more on cups of coffee or tea that are best described as being “grey” or on biscuits which could at a push be used as a construction material or improvised weapon. And if you’re willing to spend cash on things so fundamentally fulfilling you should at least be willing to spend it on an eBook which while not guaranteed to enrich your life, might at least make it slightly more interesting for a bit.
The R-Patz Factz is available, online, at Smashwords from the 18th of October
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