Category Archives: Other

The Book Reviewer’s Nightmare – a game

A book reviewer is sitting in her office on a Friday afternoon. She has just one more book to review before she can go home. So she just looks at the title and makes up any old thing without actually READING the book.

But what if the manuscript has a typo in the book’s title? And what if that last book of the day eventually goes on to become an all-time classic?

Welcome to the realm of ‘The Book Reviewer’s Nightmare’.

Below are my efforts so far. Fancy playing along? Just post your book title as a comment.


WAUGH AND PEAS by Leo Tolstoy

‘The caterer on ‘Brideshead Revisited’ dishes the dirt on the behind-the-scenes action.’


ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECS by Charles Darwin

‘A fascinating insight into the history of optometry’



‘Lord Voldemort devises an evil plan to put Truprint out of business by sabotaging their photo machines so that every print is slightly out of focus.’


A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway

‘The victim of a horrific motorcycling accident comes to term with the loss of his upper limbs.’


LORD OF THE FILES by William Golding

‘Power struggles spiral out of control at an office assistants’ conference.’


THE ROUND AND THE FURRY by William Faulkner

‘An exploration of the reasons why baby animals are just so darn cute’



‘An insight into why the bossy and self-righteous Zebedee is the most irritating character in The Magic Roundabout’



‘This charming novel, set on a remote Greek island during World War II, chronicles one man’s passion for citrus fruit.’


I look forward to reading your book reviews!

Dear Derek

Dear Derek,

I should imagine I’m the last person you’d expect a letter from after the way we parted company, but I feel I owe you an explanation for my behaviour last night. As you don’t own a computer and you’re too deaf to use the phone, I was left with no option but to dust off the Basildon Bond and put pen to paper.

You see, Derek, I had something of an epiphany today. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say, that where before there was Darkness, now there is Light. Consequently, I feel the need to clear up some misapprehensions that you may have been under regarding our, for want of a better term, relationship.

I remember the night we met. I was performing my Gershwin By Candlelight set when one of the tea lights fell off the piano and set light to your toupée. Straightaway I knew you were different from the other punters. Cashmere jumper. Gold Rolex. Perfect dentures. You said you didn’t know why a young glamour puss like me would pay attention to an old duffer like you. I hope this letter will help to make that clear.

Remember the money you gave me to have a boob job? Well, I wasn’t entirely upfront, if you’ll pardon the pun, about how I spent it. A tiny fraction went on a pair of slip-in bra inserts, and I blew the rest on a fortnight in Barbados. With Todd. Or was it Brad? I forget. Anyway, that brings me to another teeny tiny confession-ette.

You know how I said that I was still a virgin and wanted to wait until our wedding night before consummating our love? Well, I haven’t been a virgin since John Major was prime minister. I could make a joke here about getting fucked when Labour got in, but I’ll resist the temptation, because I know how highly you regard ‘Our Tony’.

Last night things came to a head. I could tell by the uncharacteristic leer on your face that something was amiss, and when you whispered that you’d got hold of some Viagra, the bulge in your trousers, which I’d previously assumed was your colostomy bag slipping down again, suddenly made perfect and alarming sense to me. As fond as I am of you, Derek, you’ll have to admit you’re hardly love’s young dream, and there are some things that any self-respecting girl, even one as game as I am, just can’t bring herself to do. Which is why I left in such a hurry.

My God, I can’t believe how much better I feel for telling the truth at long last. I feel cleansed. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me for what I did. The best thing you can do now is forget all about me, and carry on with your life (what’s left of it.)




P.S. One other thing. Desirée’s my stage name. My real name’s Dave.

© Helen Lewis, 2010

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