… when I got totally distracted after only consigning one book to the charity shop pile by this little gem…
Pistache by Sebastian Faulks.
Originating from the BBC Radio 4 literary quiz, The Right Stuff, each week contestants would do a little party piece at the end of the show as one writer attempting the style of another author, book or genre etc. – they were usually terribly comic, and always very clever.
Sebastian Faulks was one of the team captains, and he retooled his party pieces into this expanded collection of his pastiches, or pistaches. Once I’d started leafing through for some of my favourites, all thought of book culling went out of the window.
So we have Ernest Hemingway writing a Christmas round robin, Jane Austen in the 1830s – sorry 18-30 holiday, Richmal Crompton’s Just William grows up into an estate agent, and so on. One clever one that grabbed me particularly was:
Dylan Thomas writes a cereal advert …
The force that through the green gut drives the food
Is each morning taken mortal fibre, tockticking,
Clockworking, regular in motion
Of day and wind and
Under milk good soaking of rough husk
Of hill-high rough-age in tough
From the farm in the blossoming hill through the mill
From bole to bowel to hwyl
Where gesture and psalm ring-
It is your thirtieth day to heaven
In all dark, all black,
All brown, all Bran.
We also have George Orwell confronting the real 1984 – ‘It was a bright cold day in April and the miners were striking. …’ and hilariously – Sherlock Holmes has a conversation with Motson (John ‘Motty’ Motson, was a wonderfully verbose football commentator).
I chuckled my way through these, wishing there were more (there will be a second volume next year), and now I have to go and cook dinner – no more time for book-culling today!
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Source: Own copy. To explore further on Amazon UK, please click below:
Pistache by Sebastian Faulks
9 thoughts on “There was I, ready to cull some books …”
Oh, this sounds right up my street! I have (and love) the Faber book of Parodies, and my favourite ones make me laugh out loud every time (the Skinhead Hamlet is amazing if you can copy with the language). Straight onto the wishlist!
Kaggsy! Now I have to add the Faber Book of Parodies to *my* wishlist. 🙂
How did your cake sale go? (my mum says sorry for not going back to buy some. she forgot!)
Aw thanks for asking – we did well. Juliet sold most of our cakes and made £18.10. All proceeds to the St Helens appeal for World Vision.
thats really good. Wish i had got some (oh the pity of now working Saturdays at the shop!)
An impossible job, guaranteed to distract and looks like you found a good one immediately. Good luck trying to finish that job!
I loved that programme but had no idea this book existed. I have to have a copy immediately. Of course, I have absolutely no space left on the shelves where I might put it, but that is completely and utterly beside the point!
Alex – it’s slim – it won’t take up much space!