Abacus £7.99 (212pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Magnificent Bastards, By Rich Hall
Friday 12 November 2010
Rich Hall, an American-born, Perrier award-winning comedian otherwise known as his grizzled alter ego, Otis Lee Crenshaw, shows flair for conjuring up an assortment of characters in smart, playful vignettes that are told in a tone which crosses the comic with the absurd and wry.
There is a kiss with an adored 13-year-old whose teeth are "encased in some kind of insane orthodontic structure", his daughter's party to which she invites all 2,300 of her MySpace "friends", a softball game that becomes tomorrow's news after a Muslim cleric is hit in the face and a childhood skirmish which clarifies the power that lies in comedy: "I stood at my locker thinking, the ability to laugh and owning a sense of humour are distinctly separate things."
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'