This is a day late due to the SOPA/PIPA related blackout, but I will make up for it by marching straight onto day 5 after this. But first, Day 4 of the challenge requires me to admit a guilty pleasure book, which again is proving difficult.
The whole premise of a “guilty pleasure” implies that it is something a reader would feel guilty about, whether it be because it is daggy and embarrassing, or trashy, or they just know they should be reading something of an altogether higher quality, but just prefer to indulge in this instead. Often books under this label are based heavily on ideas of escapism, and so often for many people fantasy falls into this category, as does paranormal, romance, erotic, and so on and so forth (no offence to any fans of these genres, I myself love a saucy read from time to time (okay I don’t really, I just wanted to say the word ‘saucy’ in a blog (look, I did it again))). While I have no trouble thinking of guilty pleasures when it comes to my music collection, or my taste in television and movies, it seemed a lot more challenging for books.
In the end, I can’t settle on a single book, but on a series of books by one of my favourite authors and comedians, the late, great Spike Milligan. Spike Milligan wrote a lot of books, and a lot of series of books, which I am slowly but surely collecting and making my way through. Lately I have found that when I am braindead, exhausted, and just looking for a laugh, I have been turning to a particular series of books that all contain “According to Spike Milligan” in the title, and are all essentially rewrites of classic tales. Some of the stories include Frankenstein, Robin Hood, and even The Old Testament of The Bible (which I must confess is my favourite – hilarious and somehow condensed down to just 200 pages, which in itself is an impressive feat). A lot of these aren’t the best writing in literary terms, but they are some of the funniest things ever put to paper, which is particular impressive considering how many of them were written towards the end of Milligan’s life, as an old man. I can honestly say every time I read from one of these books, I actually laugh out loud (which is awkward if it’s in the wee hours of the morning).
If you’ve never read anything by Spike Milligan, you are most certainly missing out. If you’ve never even seen or heard anything by him either, then you need to buy some of his books or find copies of the radio show The Goon Show as soon as you possibly can! That is all.
Now, onto Day 5, because I’m nice like that. (Give me an hour or so, though).