Review: Tickling the English

Author: Dara O’Briain
ISBN: 9780141046662 / 014104666X

As funny as I find Dara’s stand-up shows, his hosting of Mock the Week and appearances on Three Men and … “boats”, I found this book less than amusing. It was sold to me as a humourous book on the English persona (not unlike Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a Small Island“), but actually it’s a diary of the comic’s interactions with, and observations of punters attending his shows as he tours England with the occasional jump to Dublin for a boost.

This tour diary gives a run-down of the audience members he spoke to, a description of the theatre, some snippets from the show, few of which were amusing, and then a generalisation about the English which Dara then proceeds to attempt to prove false. That’s pretty much it. It was dry reading that felt like it dragged: I genuinely laughed about four times in the book. I will say that I have watched several of Dara’s performances and appearances and much of the material in “Tickling the English” I had already encountered. Still, I really pushed myself to finish in case it got better and reflected the reviews it’s received. It didn’t.

I’m afraid I just can’t recommend “Tickling the English“.

Rating: 1 out of a possible 5.

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Britain, Reviews

One response to “Review: Tickling the English

  1. Oh no, that’s disappointing, I love Dara but I know what you mean about comedians recycling their material. Watch enough stand up comedy and they seem to repeat the same lines or stories with slightly different nuances all the time.

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