Jo Brand – Sorting out Billy
Five days away for work on my own. Breakfast, dinner, waiting rooms, evenings, every moment is a moment to read. I had brought one more book than I expected to read. I was wrong. I was a book short.
Hotel libraries are a solution. Many people leave their books behind for those who come to the same hotel afterwards. In this particular case two huge shelves full with books. And every time I’m stunned by the average taste of the reader. Bestsellers and trashy chicklit, hundreds of books staring at me and I am not tempted at all. In the end there are two books I do consider. Two out of a few hundred! I am a reader; I read a lot of different books, different styles, but the collection of trash ahead of me surprises me, can’t even say disappointing, I don’t expect quality in a tourist trap.
I picked this one. Jo Brand is a familiar face on the BBC, I liked her cynicism, a book by her would be a good read in the flight back home.
The book is about Martha. Not about Billy. He does appear in the title, perhaps because the title was there before the rest of the book, or for marketing reasons, no clue, but he is just an extra in a novel about Martha. Martha does not like her own father. Hence a lot of choices she has made in her life were made to annoy her father.
Martha has two friends, Sarah and Flower. All three of them are in a difficult phase in their lives, they try to help each other, yet find it hard, with their own problems blocking their ability to help the other. It seems to me that Brand has used some autobiographical memories to build the character. Martha is an overweight nearly single mum with a cynical view of the world, while Flower is a stand up comedian at the start of her career.
The book is funny. The book has some great lines. The title does not cover the story. But, looking back after a few months, there is nothing in the book that still sticks. Not a book to remember I guess, though I did enjoy reading it. It certainly was the right book to pick from the wall of trash and it was great airplane reading.
Quote: “Once Dave had failed to come home for his dinner and in a fit of rage Dawn had gone to the pub with it on a tray, walked up to a table containing a very surprised Dave and three amused mates and dumped it in front of him and walked out.” (p.101)
Title: Sorting out Billy
Author: Jo Brand
Language: English (UK)
# Pages: 344 (3979)