Haywire: The Best of Craig Brown (Hardcover)

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From the bestselling and award-winning author of Ma'am Darling and One Two Three Four, a selection of Craig Brown's finest writing collected together for the first time.

What is James Bond's middle name?

How does Jacob Rees-Mogg's nanny set about cleaning him up in the morning?

When did Piers Morgan introduce his special guest Kim Jong-Un as “the straight-talking boy from North Korea who grew up to become a global superstar”?

All these important questions, and a great many more, are answered in Craig Brown's Haywire.

Featuring handy household tips from Mary Berry (‘When eating a boiled egg be careful to remove the shell first, or it can be a little crunchy’) and historic admissions from Queen Elizabeth 1st to Oprah Winfrey concerning her mother's beheading (‘Thank you for having the courage to share that with us’), Haywire presents a survival guide to the 21st century.

In one chapter, Brown writes about the influence of Blackpool on Sigmund Freud and Les Dawson. In another, he unearths the Historical Online Archive and discovers that the invention of the wheel in Mesopotamia in 4000 BC drew fierce criticism on social media. “My mate tried it, says it's total rubbish” wrote Brian from Sumeria.

The acclaimed biographer of Princess Margaret and The Beatles delivers essays on such diverse figures as Ronald Searle, John Stonehouse, Bruce Springsteen, Richard Dawkins, Katie Price, Stanley Spencer, Harry and Meghan, Brian Epstein, Kenneth Williams, Ronald Reagan, Simon Dee and the Marx Brothers.

With the full battery of the humourist's armoury – clerihews, tongue-twisters, whimsy, parody, farce, satire, social observation, nonsense – Brown skewers the passing fads and delusions of the contemporary world.

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