Monday, August 14, 2006

Boom bang a bang

I haven't had this much fun since the heady days I discovered Yahoo Groups, and later YouTube. Lulu is the 'self-publishing' website, allowing every punter who reckons they're Will Self or Zadie Smith to upload a PDF of their masterwork and have it printed on demand.

This got my very excited - it's so cheap, about a fiver including postage costs and there's no minimum order value. I'm going to start printing political tracts, ooh, ooh, and woodcuts - lots of woodcuts.

But first I wanted to check out the opposition. After reading just a few of the blurbs, I became convinced that I might as well not bother - these people's book ideas are ace.

Take stirring memoir Eight into One by Joe David. Here's the blurb: "In my lifetime, amongst other things, I have been: a gunsmith; a soldier; a Yeoman Warder; a Special Constable; Bodyguard extraordinary to the monarch; a Town Crier; a Toastmaster; a lecturer; and last but by no means least, an after-dinner speaker." How can I trump that? I don't even know what a 'Yeoman Warder' is, dammit!

Or Dreams Do Come True, by Juliet Roberts: "The true life story of the nightmares and dreams of realising that one is different, and not knowing why until late in life. The struggles of growing up in a brutal family life to the struggles of coping with relationships later in life. The final decision to become the person I really was."

I love that "final decision to become the person I really was" as opposed, presumably, to becoming Ronald Reagan or Keith Chegwin or an eighteenth century highwayman and huckster. Well done Juliet!

Making slightly less grandiose claims was "One Life" Among Many by Nick Stott, summarised with Beckettian brutal minimalism thus: "The life story of my father who lives in Scotland but travelled the world."

But Tony Harris is more confident in claiming you will like the immediacy of his epic detective story (now with added Knights Templar), Knight Without Armour: "Topics mentioned are right up to date, including an authoritative discussion on climate change, and the possible consequences of the fast moving events on the international stage. For the reader, another bonus. If you also like travel or sailing, or both, you will find much of interest."

Ooh, ooh! But I like travel and sailing! Will I be able to handle the excitement?

Brenda Courtie is also pretty confident, describing her book as her "first autobiography" in Wayne Rooney-esque fashion, although I can't help feeling she has probably overestimated people's interest in her (apparently shockingly mundane) life story. Maybe that's the point - after reading, say, Bravo Two Zero or the Alan Clark diaries, Courtie's insights into her washing up dilemmas are the literary equivalent of a cup of tea and a sit down.

I also liked the overweening grandiosity of It's My Life by Brenda Guy ("My Autobiography that only points the main life changing events that have occured in my life over the years") so much that I recommend you look at the cover here perhaps before casting your eye over the Arabic translation. You might also like Doing Something Different ("Stories of a woman who decided to literally do something different" - thanks for clearing up the ambiguity in the title there, Brenda) by the same author.

However, there could only ever be one winner, and I'm actually sorely tempted to buy Boyd Braxton Boggess, Gentleman Painter by David Johnson. Apart from the genius naming skills of Boggess Sr, listen to this for a blurb: " A brief history and the collected works of Boyd Braxton Boggess, an artist who didn't begin to paint until he retired from the Goodyear Rubber Company where he had worked for forty years." Oh yes.

6 Comments:

Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Hmmm. Not sure I'll be bothering with Lulu...

8/15/2006 9:46 am  
Anonymous Taste said...

Yeah... I'm not really feeling the adrenaline boost I associate with YouTube browsing. Not got quite the same bite-sized buzz to it. Or the brawling southern hicks.

I guess the stupidity quotient's just not high enough.

8/15/2006 1:18 pm  
Blogger Tamburlaine said...

It does seem to run heavily towards the (auto)biographical. Why don't they just get a blog instead?

8/15/2006 1:28 pm  
Anonymous random internet guy said...

I detect a note of sarcasm in this post.

8/15/2006 2:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Lulu is a pandora's box of literature. (Get my GW Pabst reference there?) It must therefore be perfect for all jismic outpourings from the exciting, tumescent pen of Anonymous Anon and her wombic word processor...
AAnon

8/15/2006 4:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Lulu is a pandora's box of literature. (Get my GW Pabst reference there?) It must therefore be perfect for all jismic outpourings from the exciting, tumescent pen of Anonymous Anon and her wombic word processor...
AAnon

8/15/2006 4:54 pm  

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