Can­did colum­nist ful­fils fans’ crav­ing for caus­tic hu­mour

Kapi-Mana News - - REVIEW -

Mo­ran­thol­ogy (Ebury Press)

by Caitlin Mo­ran Bri­tish news­pa­per colum­nist Caitlin Mo­ran’s first book, How to Be a Woman, was one of 2011’s pub­lish­ing sen­sa­tions.

Fat, fash­ion, Brazil­ians, in­ter­net porn, abor­tion; Mo­ran gave us fem­i­nism for the 21st cen­tury woman, dic­tated, as she put it, from a bar stool.

The book was a hit with Kiwi women if its li­brary re­serve list was any­thing to go by – I was num­ber 42 in the queue and waited four months to get my hands on it.

While I ad­mired Mo­ran’s of­ten ex­cru­ci­at­ing hon­esty about her ado­les­cence and her cham­pi­oning of fem­i­nism in a decade when women seem em­bar­rassed by the word, the book felt ranty and half-formed at times.

It was no sur­prise to learn she wrote it in just five months.

Her fol­low- up, Mo­ran­thol­ogy, is more co­her­ent and con­sid­ered, be­ing a col­lec­tion of her best Times col­umns from the last cou­ple of years.

A less char­i­ta­ble re­viewer might say Mo­ran’s bol­shy ar­gu­ments hold up bet­ter when last­ing a mere three pages but I thor­oughly en­joyed this book – I cack­led through­out, even read­ing it while stir­ring a risotto. In other words, it was un-put­down­able. Mo­ran’s turn of phrase is batty and won­der­ful; her de­scrip­tion of David Cameron as a ‘‘robot made of ham’’ has its own Face­book page.

In Mo­ran­thol­ogy, Mo­ran tack­les sub­jects as di­verse as burqas, be­ing a skunk ad­dict, World of War­craft ad­dic­tion and moth­ers who drink heav­ily.

She in­ter­views Keith Richards on In­ter­na­tional Talk Like a Pi­rate Day and vis­its a Berlin sex club with Lady Gaga.

But my favourite col­umns draw on Mo­ran’s ex­pe­ri­ence of child­hood poverty, grow­ing up one of eight chil­dren in a coun­cil es­tate in Wolver­hamp­ton.

Rail­ing against Bri­tain’s Tory poli­cies, she de­fends pub­lic li­braries, paying tax, and wel­fare for the poor and dis­abled, in a deeply touch­ing way that gives weight to a book con­tain­ing an alarming amount of Doc­tor Who fan­dom.

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