Morning. Antosh and Antosh sit around a novelty tea party table. The cups are empty. There are no other guests.
Antosh: So, you’ve decided to review the book in the form of the book?
Antosh: And why’s that?
Antosh: It’s a visual representation of what the reader is in for when they sit down with this book expecting something straight forward, which I would argue was a mistake given it’s written by Richard Ayoade.
Antosh: OK… One of your comments whilst reading it was that you read more of the latter end of the book before the first half.
Antosh: How did you know I said/thought that?
Antosh: I was there…
Antosh: Ah yes. Well, it’s true. Ayoade essentially embarks on ten interviews with himself, all the while throwing you into the appendix section of the book to read reams and reams before you’ve advance past page 20. It’s a great technique. It means you can’t speed read and you’re totally focused on Ayoade’s voice, jokes and analogies.
Antosh: And did you learn much about cinema?
Antosh: Nope. Diddly-squat.
Antosh: So what was good about the book?
Antosh: It was funny. If you like Richard Ayoade, you’ll find this funny.
Antosh: But not one for cinema buffs trying to learn about ‘the process?’
Antosh does a dramatic claw-grab-the-air motion when he says ‘the process.’
Antosh: I wouldn’t say so. Ayoade does his usual undercut-type humour where he leads you down the path of maybe talking about something that you will learn from and then makes another joke. But I think it works. It’s like a show-don’t-tell guide to him as a person. You’re never going to see him outside of his persona. Maybe he has no persona? He’s embedded in himself. I just love the fact that the book might have lured people into thinking it’s biographical and/or going to discuss his process, when really, you’re sinking into another facet of his comedic work. And he wants the reader to be angry, cheated, disappointed. He wants this book to be overanalysed. All of this is SO intentional. Which is why it’s worth a read.
Antosh: So, it’s an anti-book?
Antosh: That’s as good a conclusion as any.
Antosh shakes Antosh’s hand. They then break their tiny chairs over each other’s heads, laugh and exit the review.
Ayoade On Ayoade: A Cinematic Journey, by Richard Ayoade, Faber and Faber, 2014