Jonathan Pie: Off the Record

Jonathan Pie has finally started to get the recognition he deserves. The angry political pundit has been consistently uploading his views on the current political climate onto the usual social platforms for some time now and is soon to embark on a countrywide tour, an event that I am attending. The socialist brainchild of comedian Tom Walker, Pie is the kind of pundit this country needs (within reason), an individual unafraid to reveal the true state of this failing country, as voted for by 42% of the public during the last election.

Pie’s Youtube rants are always unapologetic in their bluntness, and this has transcribed effortlessly across into his book, a quick read that collects his thoughts on certain political and powerful individuals that have had a detrimental impact on the country and the world. Ranging from Thatcher to Blair, from Murdoch to Trump, Pie does not hold back when detailing how these influential people have ended up making this world a worse place to live in. Pointing the finger in all the right places Pie makes consistent sense throughout his short debut, often bringing me to question whether I should laugh at the absurdity of it or cry at how much an individual can destroy countless peoples lives in the aim of personal gain.

The book, whilst incredibly funny and succeeding in enriching the Pie character in surprising ways, is ultimately (as pointed out within the first few pages) a toilet read, something quick to pick up and put down during your daily routine. This is such an incredible shame.

As detailed on the cover of this book, Pie has been compared to such satirical creations as the brilliant Alan Partridge, a sentiment that I share. Yet by releasing such a book I feel it does a disservice to the character. Yes he can be overly vulgar at points (I’m emphasising ‘AT POINTS’ as often his vulgarity is needed for a lot of the situations he covers) yet his creator is obviously a fiercely intelligent man, I just wish he had done something else for his debut. Top Ten lists are all the rage in this clickbait society and, in places, this book feels phoned in, little more than copy and pasted from past rants.

Now this may not be the fault of Walker, more of the publishers who are aiming to get Pie out there as quickly as possible, releasing an easily accessible book to coincide with his up coming tour. But in doing so it has stunted some of the intelligence of this creation, dumbing him down to the level of a Sun reader with a prologue obsessed on unfunny toilet humour.

Like the cliched mother looking down at her child after it had smeared shit on the wall; I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed… and yes, I see the irony in that statement after what I have just said.

This book could have been so much more. Yes it is funny. Yes it is thought provoking. But it could have been groundbreaking.

I have had the pleasure to meet Tom Walker at the book signing for this in Bristol. He was a genuinely lovely man who, whilst talking about the evils of the conservatives after I had mentioned my grandparents, went on to say “Not that your nan is evil or anything.”

Fingers crossed that his next book will be the explosive political revelation I wished this had been.

3/5

 

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