Alan Partridge, Nomad by Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons and Steve Coogan
Alan Partridge is a wanker. He is a complete tool who seems not to realize that he is the person at parties that others want to drown in the punch bowl, before burying his flayed body in a quicklime pit beside a nuclear reactor.
Which, coincidentally, ties nicely in with the premise of this autobiographical book about the English broadcasting phenomenon. Partridge has decided that he will undertake a journey that he titles in the ‘Footsteps of my Father’.
This misadventure follows his auwl fella’s trip from Norfolk to the nuclear power station at Dungeness on the southern English coast. It has escaped the hapless Alan that his father drove to his destination, whereas his dim son has opted to trek the route, encountering various places and personalities along the way.
Described on the book sleeve thus, ‘Documentarian, humanitarian, contrarian and vegetarian (once a month)’, it would seem as if Mr Partridge thinks somewhat highly of himself. He appears to be alone in his assessment.
Did I mention that he is a wanker? I don’t just mean the literal wanker that encompasses almost every male on this planet (and probably every other planet. I imagine even male aliens waken on Sunday mornings and feel like giving their genitals a stroke or two (perhaps their genitals are located behind their ears which would make it more convenient, although sadly easier for their mothers to catch them when they enter the bedroom to collect their dirty washing)).
No, I mean that Partridge is a figurative wanker also, one who has an eighty years old assistant who he refuses to name in his book, and who he forces to carry his microwaves upstairs to his office. He also detests Noel Edmonds, who he describes as having a head like an Ewok (he’s right), and teachers, although that may not be too unusual as I suspect that most of us hate at least one teacher. Mine is my former history teacher who genuinely looked like Gimli’s mother, and was only slightly less grumpy… and bumpy, and smelled really stale.
To give you an idea of the bold Alan’s viewpoints, I shall quote him and his take on the small English village of Royal Tunbridge Wells, ‘The last of the working classes were driven out some time in the late 1960’s, and you can really sense that feeling of safety as you limp along the high street.’
Or how about this one, as he recalls the comments from his just-gone-postal work colleague, ”You’re not feckin’ goon annie-where’, he spluttered, his Irish accent clogging up his throat like an unclean dish-washer filter.’
And this acid-etched gem, ‘… the snap showed yours truly from behind after I’d stowed my cock and balls up between my legs and against my backside, the genital seemingly peeping from between my thighs, like the head of a shy bird.’
Yes, Alan Partridge is a piece of work alright. Still, this book will be best enjoyed by those who are familiar with any of the author’s various T.V. shows, and a knowledge of British T.V. and the celebrities to be found there will improve said enjoyment.
For those reading this who have never heard of Alan Partridge (I’m thinking outside of the Celtic Isles), I should probably tell you that he is an extremely funny parody played to perfection by Steve Coogan. Partridge’s escapades are legendary. He is the epitome of what it means to be un-p.c. No one is safe from his criticisms or (sometimes even worse) good-intentions.
He is right-wing and conservative, reasonably xenophobic, entirely sexist and innocently oblivious to his many, many, many faults. In short, he is a typical Tory.
Ok, ok, what did you expect with that last comment, I’m an Irish Republican for feck’s sake, I couldn’t let it go. But it’s still valid.
Alan Partridge, Nomad, is a very enjoyable read. It will make you squirm and cringe and smile as you enter the world of the Bane of East Anglia (Lizzie Windsor should create titles like that and bestow them on Little Englanders), to share his triumphs and tragedies.
Sult Scale is a 6.5 out of 10. Recommended.