I have to admit that I am a bit obsessed with Caitlin Moran. Okay not obsessed but I reckon a night in the pub with her would be something you wouldn’t forget in a hurry. I mean, what’s not to like? A home schooled bookworm, ex-music journo, and straight talking force of nature with big eyes, big hair and a big personality. My kind of girl. When your average broadsheet columnist comes across as part of the old school tie brigade, sharp dressed and peddling an agenda, how can you not warm to a flaky, kohl eyed, West Midland indie kid who is known to keep falafel in her handbag.
As she admits in the introduction, when she fell into journalism at a very young age after dismissing prostitution (due to sharing a bedroom with her sister) and working at the local supermarket (and slightly regretting the amount of cheap ham she might have accrued) she was at a loss to know what to write about. And after realising that she wasn’t cut out for acerbic social critique or hero slaying music reviews, there was a moment of realisation that what she was really about was politeness….and silliness….and pointing at things.
The puntastically titled Moranthology is, as it name suggests, a collection of her favourite articles about pointing at things, mainly the things of popular culture and everyday life, looking at them from a different angle and finding the humour in them. This collection covers everything from The Big Society to big hair, Boris Johnson to Benedict Cumberbatch (a lot,) children’s party bags and library’s, family holidays and internet trolls, short, funny literary art attacks about the world that we can all relate to.
But what comes across more than anything is her personality. Anyone who has seen her being interviewed knows how big, fast, uncompromising, blunt and wonderful it is and that is apparent on the page. She is also known to be a feminist, but rather than the old school, man deriding, Germaine Greer version, hers is more of a “let’s just have a laugh at everybody’s strange bits” type with a twinkle in the eye and a smirk. At least on the written page it is.
Being a collection of short, literary art attacks it makes the perfect coffee table book, or a bath time read, you can dive in and dive out spending as much or as little time there as you want.
For my money it is a great read, its an opinionated and slightly silly look at the minutiae of everyday life, the magic and madness and even when talking about the big issues does so from the angle of the slightly bewildered man…or indeed women, in the street. In short, and to use terms Caitlin herself might use, imagine a book written by a slightly drunk Victoria Coren or if John O’Farrell had breasts!