When I heard that Elis James and John Robins were releasing a book I was very excited, mainly because I really enjoyed their radio show on Radio X and was intrigued to see what they could bring to the table in the form of a book. When I bought it I was impressed when I looked at the contents that the book was in order of the alphabet that reflected on one of the popular games that they played on the show. Then I read it.
When you open up a book and in one of the first few chapters they explain that one of them was too busy a lot of the time to write as much as the other due to scheduling it can create doubts. If you are writing a book as a duo it should be together not predominantly one person. I have read many books written by duos (Ant and Dec, Gorman and Wallice) and it has always been pretty even and balanced level of writing. I accepted it and went into this book with an open mind hoping it would still be great.
The first couple of chapters I really enjoyed but then my thoughts start to change – I don’t know how or where these changes started to occur but it made me find the book, well, a tad dull. I had a lot of questions – was it because I listen to the podcast I just felt like it was a repeat of everything I had heard? Was it because there were chapters that did not interest me at all (like snooker, drinking session ale and in depth description of bands?)
I went into this book expecting it to be sort of like other comedians books I have written, where they go into depth about how they became a comic and rose to where they are. I was expecting it to be a story of how the best mates met and how they got to that moment but no – it was nothing but everything that they talk about on the podcast / radio show.
Disappointed I think doesn’t even compare to how annoyed I was that I did not enjoy this book – I felt bad I didn’t enjoy it but I couldn’t get on with it at all. I didn’t like the fact that there was more then one chapter that was a transcribed conversation because they didn’t have time to write a chapter. I didn’t like the fact that at times it felt a little self absorbed and was more about them then the reader, I didn’t like the fact that there were so many footnotes, a huge glossary and loads of random content at the end of the book (the book on my Kindle was 70% book and 30% random stuff at the end)
I am a fan of Elis and John so it irritated me that the book wasn’t great, if you haven’t heard of them before and you want a read you may find it a bit niche as some of it you may not understand like why there is a chapter about a Producer called Dave. If you are a fan of the duo you may find it too well, dull. I am not really sure who this book was made for but I am sure someone enjoyed it, sadly it was not me.
Readability Rating – 4/10