Who else is better to delve into the psyche of underappreciated genius Richard Ayoade than Richard Ayoade himself?
Our lives are fictions. We construct this fake reality that we’re happy, when really we want to smash everybody’s faces in and make them kneel down before us and beg for mercy.
If you’re hoping to learn more about Richard Ayoade or his work, you may be disappointed. Ayoade on Ayoade is much more fiction than fact; a parody of film journalism and self-serving biographies, from the viewpoint of someone who thinks they’re incredibly influencial and misunderstood. The book is split into several parts. To start, journalist Ayoade interviews film-maker Ayoade who is arrogant and ignorant of his own mediocrity. Then there are a series of “articles” written by what seems to be a slightly different Ayoade persona. Then there are the appendixes, which vary from more articles and film-making advice, to letters from his agent, Terrence Malick’s social media and a variety of lists.
There are a lot of footnotes. Like the whole work, they are used tongue in cheek, in fact the first footnote comes with an apology for taking the reader away from the page. Within the footnotes, there are references to the appendixes, so really it’s a book to flick back and forth in and may make it unwieldy in ebook form.
The pre-emptive strike. Ayoade is so terrified of criticism that he prefers to criticise himself (often mid-sentence, and in parentheses) before the reader has a chance to demur.
It’s a strange and random little book, one I liked in parts with plenty of chuckles but it felt like just too much of the same. Perhaps it is one to dip in and out of when you need a bit of oddness to take your mind off reality. Instinctively I would call this experimental fiction but it really is poking fun at that sort of thing.
Even so-called “short novels” are pretty long and can take several hours to read, so make sure you stay hydrated.
I laughed at The Art of Adaptation, 10 (or should that be 9?) commandments on how to adapt a book into a script. Hint: it helps to read the book and not just Wikipedia. I also enjoyed the woes of the bit part actor in the parts describing his time on set of apocalyptic-sci-fi-rom-action-com Boom Goes the Neighborhood! I guess this is where I became confused if this was supposed to be the same Ayoade that was interviewed. He’s a bit oblivious to the fact he’s not really wanted but he doesn’t seem the same pretentious guy as the director/writer persona.
Ayoade on Ayoade is published by Faber & Faber and is available now in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.
Shelve next to: The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
Subscribe via Email
Somehow it's March already, here are 28 books hitting the shelves this month! https://t.co/xfhhuDSBIpFollow
Scully keeps stealing cauliflowers! This would not be weird if she stole other food items. But we can leave her wi… https://t.co/RgkyjAu6OaFollow
If you happen to be reading articles about Kazuo Ishiguro/Klara and the Sun having not read (or watched) Never Let… https://t.co/Sql7aCHQ6VFollow
Today he would become a god. His mother had told him so. The opening line may seem like something any mother would tell her son, but in the case of Serapio, his mother truly believes he will become the Crow God reborn. She blinds him,…
The day Bree gets accepted into an early college placement at UNC, is the day her mother dies. The last words they spoke were of anger. Unable to deal with her dad’s grief on top of her own, Bree goes ahead with the placement. Once…
Alex Stern does not belong at Yale. When she awakes as the sole survivor of a multiple homicide, presumed a drug deal gone wrong, she is given an unlikely offer. Come to Yale, join the House of Lethe and oversee the rituals of the other…
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor
Just let me dust off this blog thing, I have a review for you! One of my anticipated reads released during lockdown was the follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. If you read that, of course will will be dying to know what happened to…