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Stranger Thingies: From Felafel to now

The incredible, delightfully funny John Birmingham is back, with a weird and whacky selection of short stories, most of which he claims to be amongst some the best he has ever written.

Truth to tell, they are pretty good, but as many of them are in the first person, it is hard to believe he has experienced all these various ‘pleasures’, but then maybe he has, because anyone who can write “Felafel” has obviously led a very interesting life.

From the beginning, as that is a  great place to start,  he deals with The Things Themselves, which is a collection of odds and sods of stories, followed by Stuffing Your Piehole, which leads into more stories about food, the use of food and in the case of the Christmas ham, you could perhaps consider an lament has been constructed to pay homage to this very, very traditional Christmas ‘must have’, as once again, it has to move from the centrepiece of the fridge to make room for another year!

Moving right along, we skip across the topics of sport and leisure with aplomb, tread carefully in domestic affairs, check out what exactly maketh the modern man, and then take on the sacred cow of politics with a certain flair and pizazz, addressing the sometimes downright lunacy that seems to inhabit the fair lands of Canberra and all who work in the hallowed portals of Parliament House.

The writing is in Birmingham’s indomitable style of tongue-in-cheek, with a good dose of satire and humour added for good measure. It is a terrific change to be able to pick up a really good collection of short stories, plunge recklessly into the pages and be totally entertained, wherever you happen to find yourself. Perhaps the titles of the pieces could easily be considered entertainment in themselves, with titles such as ‘The Tasmanian Babes fiasco’ or simply ‘Flopping it out’, but then again perhaps we should all consider the ‘Procrastination masterclass’ as detailed in ‘Work It, Bitch’! The mind is left to gasp!

Wherever you choose to begin, after of course you have read the Forward, almost the most important segment of the book, you will definitely find something to fit every occasion and bring a laugh crashing into your day; which I believe, is the absolute intention of the book!

AuthorJohn Birmingham
PublisherNew South Publications
DistributorNew South Books
ReleasedSeptember 2017