Wandering around a busy railway station, a confused man realises he has suffered a total memory loss. When he is eventually rescued, he is told that his breakdown has probably been triggered by his marital problems. But then he comes face to face with the stranger he is supposed to be divorcing, and promptly falls head over heels in love with her.
Many of us were put off history by the dry and dreary way it was taught at school. Back then 'The Origins of the Industrial Revolution' somehow seemed less compelling than the chance to test the bold claim on Timothy Johnson's 'Shatterproof' ruler.But here at last is a chance to have a good laugh and learn all that stuff you feel you really ought to know by now...
In this 'Horrible History for Grown Ups' you can read how Anglo-Saxon liberals struggled to be positive about immigration; 'Look I think we have to try and respect the religious customs of our new Viking friends - oi, he's nicked my bloody ox!'Discover how England's peculiar class system was established by some snobby French nobles whose posh descendents still have wine cellars and second homes in the Dordogne today. And explore the complex socio-economic reasons why Britain's kings were the first in Europe to be brought to heel; (because the Stuarts were such a useless bunch of untalented, incompetent, arrogant, upper-class thickoes that Parliament didn't have much choice.) A book about then that is also incisive and illuminating about now, '2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge', is an hilarious, informative and cantankerous journey through Britain' fascinating and bizarre history.As entertaining as a witch burning, and a lot more laughs.
'This week the first pet passports came into effect. Around the country dogs have been hopping into photo booths and trying to look as relaxed as possible, which is not easy when you know you're not allowed on the chair.' Gathered here are the best of John O'Farrell's newspaper columns for the Guardian and the Independent which saw him win the coveted Best Columnist of the Year Award at the prestigious British Liars Awards. Among many other things, he claims that the only conviction in the Tory Party will be when Jeffrey Archer gets sent to prison; that scientists have created a genetically superior monkey which will advertise lapsang souchong instead of PG Tips; and that with the election of George W. Bush, the global village has finally got its own global village idiot.
Following his hugely popular account of the previous 2000 years, John O'Farrell now comes bang up to date with a hilarious modern history asking 'How the hell did we end up here?' An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain informs, elucidates and laughs at all the bizarre events, ridiculous characters and stupid decisions that have shaped Britain's story since 1945; leaving the Twenty-First Century reader feeling fantastically smug for having the benefit of hindsight.
Isn't it always the way? You wait ages for one purple flour-filled condom and then three come along at once. Of course the correct procedure for a chemical attack in the House of Commons would have been for MPs to remain in the chamber and remove all items of clothing.I'm not sure which is the more horrific vision; anthrax all over London or Nicholas Soames slipping out of his Y-fronts while chatting to a naked Ann Widdecombe.
Here at last is the third collection of John O'Farrell's immensely popular Guardian columns - the final part of the trilogy in which he discovers that Margaret Thatcher is actually his mother. Contained within these covers are a hundred funny, satirical essays on subjects as diverse as Man's ascent from the apes and the re-election of George W. Bush.Plus there is a full account of O'Farrell's heroic but slightly less successful attempt to capture his Tory home town for socialism.He claims that identity fraud has got so bad that an audacious impostor using the name A.L. Blair even managed to get himself a Labour Party card by posing a left-wing champion of wealth distribution and civil rights.He asks why a Blackberry isn't compatible with an Apple.And find out why the Queen didn't go to her own son's wedding; 'What happened to that other girl you were seeing?' 'Mother, we got divorced and then she died in a car crash, remember?' 'Well sometimes you have to work at these things dear...'
A doctor in America has just invented a 'sperm sorting machine'. At least that's what he claimed when his receptionist burst into the office to find him doing something peculiar with the Hoover attachment. Apparently the system used for separating the male and female sperm is remarkably simple. A sample is placed in the petri dish with a microscopic pile of household items on a tiny staircase. All the sperm that go straight past without picking anything up are obviously boys.
John O'Farrell's first collection of columns GLOBAL VILLAGE IDIOT was a huge success prompting fulsome praise from such major public figures as the Queen Mother, Roy Jenkins and Cardinal Hume. Sadly, since their deaths, their glowing endorsements cannot be officially verified. So here instead is another collection of funny, satirical essays on a hundred and one 21st century subjects. Read how the government plans to introduce 'Santa loans' that will leave school children £10,000 in debt for all the presents that used to be free from Father Christmas. Learn how the EU is being expanded to include Narnia. And did you know that American war planes now have a little sticker on the back saying 'How's my bombing?' with an 0800 number to call if they blow up any Muslim country in a discourteous of aggressive manner . . .
Alice never imagined that she would end up like this. Is she the only mother who feels so permanently panic-stricken at the terrors of the modern world - or is it normal to sit up in bed all night popping bubble wrap? She worries that too much gluten and dairy may be hindering her children's mental arithmetic. She frets that there are too many cars on the road to let them out of the 4x4. Finally she resolves to take control and tackle her biggest worry of all: her daughter is definitely not going to fail that crucial secondary school entrance exam. Because Alice has decided to take the test in her place...
With his trademark comic eye for detail, John O'Farrell has produced a funny and provocative book that will make you laugh, cry and vow never to become that sort of parent. And then you can pass it on to your seven-year-old, because she really ought to be reading grown-up novels by now...
Like bubonic plague and stone cladding, no-one took Margaret Thatcher seriously until it was too late. Her first act as leader was to appear before the cameras and do a V for Victory sign the wrong way round. She was smiling and telling the British people to f*** off at the same time. It was something we would have to get used to.' Things Can Only Get Better is the personal account of a Labour supporter who survived eighteen miserable years of Conservative government. It is the heartbreaking and hilarious confessions of someone who has been actively involved in helping the Labour party lose elections at every level: school candidate: door-to-door canvasser: working for a Labour MP in the House of Commons; standing as a council candidate; and eventually writing jokes for a shadow cabinet minister.
Along the way he slowly came to realise that Michael Foot would never be Prime Minister, that vegetable quiche was not as tasty as chicken tikki masala and that the nuclear arms race was never going to be stopped by face painting alone.
Michael Adams shares a flat with three other men in their late twenties. Days are spent lying in bed, playing computer games and occasionally doing a bit of work. And then, when he feels like it, he crosses the river and goes back to his unsuspecting wife and children.
For Michael is living a double life - he escapes from the exhausting misery of babies by telling his wife he has to work through the night or travel up north. And while she is valiantly coping on her own, he is just a few miles away in a secret flat, doing all the things that most men with small children can only dream about. He thinks he can have it all, until is deception is inevitably exposed...
The Best a Man Can Get is written with the hilarious eye for detail that sent John O'Farrell's first book, Things Can Only Get Better, to the top of the bestseller lists. It is a darkly comic confessional that is at once compelling, revealing and very, very funny.
It's a big night at the London Palladium. As Jimmy Conway steps out blinking into the spotlights live on national television, he can't help wondering whether he should have perhaps shared his little secret with someone by now. Jimmy has never done any performing of any sort ever before...
Just as 'bogus doctors' are occasionally discovered working in hospitals, Jimmy Conway has become a 'bogus celebrity'; winning an award for something he never did, being photographed in Hello! in someone else's house, and ultimately making a fool of the entire mad and shallow celebrity merry-go-round.
'...as the Labour candidate I prepared for every possible question on the local radio Election Phone-In. What I had not prepared for was my mum ringing up to say that she agreed with John O'Farrell. On EVERYTHING.'Where Did We Go Right? is the personal story of one political activist helping Labour progress from its 1997 landslide to the unassailable position it enjoys today.
Along the way, he stood for Parliament against Theresa May but failed to step into her shoes; he was dropped from Tony and Cherie's Christmas card list after he revealed he always sent their card on to a friend from the SWP; and he campaigned for a new non-selective inner-city state school, then realised this meant he had to send his kids to a non-selective inner-city state school. The long-awaited sequel to the best-selling Things Can Only Get Better is for everyone who could use a good laugh after Brexit, Boris and Trump. A roller-coaster ride through the last two decades via the very best political jokes (excluding the ones that keep getting elected).