03 May 2009

My Extraordinary Life and Death

by Doug Macleod

Ford Street Publishing. Australian, Junior, Young Adult. Paperback rrp $19.95

Guest Reviewer—Anastasia Gonis

This book kept me laughing from the first to the last page. The target audience is 13+ but an ageless audience will be drawn to this marvellously clever and funny book. It is naughty, witty and filled with surreal humour, which is how I imagine the writer to be.

Doug Macleod, author of the best-selling Sister Madge’s Book of Nuns, has worked with most top comedians in Australia. Therefore it comes as no surprise that he was awarded the Fred Parson’s Award Recognising Special Contribution to Australian Comedy, by the Australian Writers’ Guild in 2008.

The book is compact in size but full-blown in content. The farcical extraordinary life was recorded after the State Library of Victoria invited Macleod to keep a blog. How many people actually believe that their life is interesting enough to blog about? He didn’t, so he made up a whole life story, using old pictures as background to sustain the text.

The entries incorporate an extremely idiosyncratic childhood, followed by an education through which he survived the Tight Trouser Club, his parents, and adulthood through to old age (including a section for romance). The perfect union of the pictures with the text/captions is what makes this book so superior to others of its kind.

Extraordinary is the most descriptive word for this book. For people who love to laugh, who adore the unusual and want to feel that their money is well spent, these readers will invest in a copy of this book. It will make appearances at family gatherings and all other functions. It will be talked about everywhere, for this book will make a lot of noise through word of mouth alone.

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