Aleksandr Orlov to write life story? Simples!

A talking meerkat is the latest in a line of animals to publish their 'memoirs'

An autobiography by a meerkat who speaks with a cod Russian accent, splatters conversation with his "simple's" catchphrase and wears a dressing-gown is being tipped as the literary sensation of the year – and is expected to beat the likes of Nelson Mandela, Keith Richards and Tony Blair to the top book slot in the Christmas market.

The meerkat in question, for those who have managed to escape his ubiquity on TV screens, is Aleksandr Orlov, the advertising creation that has helped the price comparison website comparethemarket.com to earn a record £60m this year. The free publicity in newspaper articles and other spin-offs – Orlov has 750,000 Facebook fans, 40,000 followers on Twitter and his iPhone application has been downloaded 700,000 times – can't have hurt.

The "autobiography" – A Simples Life, My Life and Times – topped the Amazon Movers and Shakers list when news of its impending publication was announced last month. The book has remained in the retailer's top 100 list on pre-orders alone and is due to be released this week.

The meerkat is that rare beast that can sell a product without having to mention the product's name, according to Dave Trott, creative director of the advertising agency CST. "You can have a cute character, like esure's Mr Mouse, but the trick is that the character is associated with the product, which Mr Mouse wasn't," he says.

"We can talk about the meerkat all day without having to name the website he represents, because we immediately know what it is. The rule of thumb in advertising is something called OTS – how many times will people have the 'opportunity to see' the advert. The average is seven times. A character like the meerkat can improve that dramatically. Every book he sells is one more OTS."

'SuBo's Cat: The Imaginings of Susan Boyle's Pampered Pussy' ( 2010)

If there was ever a case of public bullying, the ridicule meted out to a woman with learning difficulties must take the top prize. Here the Scottish singer - who shot to fame in a very 21st-century way courtesy of a reality show - is revealed to have been the beneficiary of her cat Pebble's sharp management.

'Me Cheeta' by James Lever (2008)

Numerous chimps played Tarzan's sidekick Cheeta in the jungle films. There was one - actually called Cheeta - who starred in at least 11 films, however. Reputed to be born in 1932 and thus the oldest chimp in the world - a claim heavily disputed - this fictionalised life story tells us nothing about a chimp's life, but instead is a slanderous satire on Hollywood's golden years.

'Buster's Diaries: The True Story of a Dog and his Man' by Roy Hattersley (2000)

Roy Hattersley was pilloried on Spitting Image as a slobbering buffoon. So it's probably apt that it's his slobbering dog Buster who gets to tell the story of their relationship as he charts his journey from crossbreed orphan to being the pet of one of Britain's most recognisable politicians.

'The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his Friend Marilyn Monroe' by Andrew O'Hagan (2010)

Marilyn Monroe's pampered pooch Maf - given to her by Frank Sinatra - no doubt gained the envy of many admirers of the glamorous star. In this novel we see the well-connected Maltese terrier's unique viewpoint on the sharks and piranhas who swim in Hollywood's glittering waters.

'Truffles' Diaries: The Memoirs and Mewsings of a Fat Tabby Cat' by Sheila Collins and Ann Widdecombe (2008)

What is it about politicians and their pets? Here's the famous cat lover, former Tory minister and surprise 'Strictly Come Dancing' star Ann Widdecombe with a book about her cat's perspective on life and diets. It even spawned a sequel.

'Copper: A Dog's Life' by Annabel Goldsmith (2009)

Socialite Lady Annabel Goldsmith's mongrel Copper recounts his hilarious adventures - such as the time he rode a bus with his friend Jessie the cat and met some joggers in the park.

'Flush: A Biography' by Virginia Woolf (1933, reprinted 2005)

Far removed from her intense classics such as Mrs Dalloway, Woolf turned her attention to the cocker spaniel Flush, pet of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This biography, seen through the dog's eyes, tells the story of Browning and life in the city.

'Traveller' by Richard Adams (1988)

If it ain't broke don't fix it. The author of Watership Down had a massive hit with his tale of homeless rabbits. In this book he returned to the animal's point of view by recounting the adventures of the favourite horse of the US Confederate general Robert E Lee, telling the story of the civil war from an equine perspective.

'My Life As a Dog' by Moose, also known as Eddie, with Brian Hargrove (2000)

Frasier was one of the most successful US sitcoms of all time. But the real star was Moose, the Jack Russell who played Eddie, the family pet. This memoir reveals the story of the world's best-paid dog.

'A Simples Life, My Life and Times' (2010)

There's something about his accent and indignation that has made the meerkat Aleksandr Orlov part of the zeitgeist in these cynical times. Not slow to cash in, this expansion of the biographical details revealedin the adverts is tipped to be a Christmas bestseller.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there