Procrastination and uncertainty has done for me again. Asked to pick my favourite three books published in 2013 by The Observer, I paused for thought a while too long, and missed the deadline. So as not to waste these few words and thoughts, here they are anyway.
I received The KLF:Chaos, Magic and the Band that Burned a Million pounds by John Higgs due to a minor coincidence, which was a good start, as it explores coincidence, mysticism, the totemistic and taboo nature of money. It has just the right level of scepticism to keep the story intriguing and as mystical as you wish it to be, with the author warning you that you might wish to opt out of one chapter as the coincidence is put into perspective. Like all good books on coincidence, it seems to increase your coincidence rate. While taking a break from reading it, I spied a copy of Space, Gravity and Flying Saucers in a Brighton bookshop window. Despite the price tag, this 1954 relic of presumptions on the mechanisms of unidentified flying objects had to be mine. Tweeting of this magnificent unearthing, I received a a tweet from John Higgs telling me he had seen the book a few minutes before me and had debated buying it, now I had robbed him of that opportunity. That night, a friend brought a scientist backstage and told me she was probably the only scientist in the audience who had also performed backing vocals on episodes of Top of the Pops. “what band did you do that for?” I inquired. The answer was The KLF obviously. There were more besides, but they stopped as I finished the final page, back to the humdrum.
Alan Moore and Kevin O Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series continue to reinvent cultural and literary figures with verve, panache and rip roaring stories, and 2013 saw the publication of Nemo:Heart of Ice. As for the book I have not handled yet, I hanker for the beautiful new edition of John Fisher’s No Way to Be Hero, the finest book on the art, history and minds of stand ups.
Dirty Book Club returns to London at Chortle Book Festival next week http://www.comedybookfest.com/#!robin-inces-dirty-book-club/c225z