Wednesday, 15 September 2010

What a blast!

It is the morning after the night before and I am still buzzing! What a great night it turned out to be - and I was voted second best act behind my good friend Gemma Beagley.

Granted I had about 25 friends in the room and the winners are chosen based on audience reaction, but who cares?! I came second and won a little plastic Subbuteo trophy! And I couldn't have come runner-up to a better person. Gemma was brilliantly funny last night.

As for me, the night was aptly named Comedy Virgins for many reasons. The entire night felt exactly like a carbon copy of the emotions I experienced when I actually lost my virginity. I was excited at first, but slowly the enormity of the evening started to fester on my brain, and as the night went on, the more nervous I became.

The Cavendish Arms have a system whereby they call out random numbers to the crowd to choose from. Each number represents an act so you never know when you're going on. I sat through 20 acts before my number was finally called, but that didn't stop my stomach churning every time we went through the number calling process.

* I'd like to point out at this stage that this comparison is not directly related to when I lost my virginity. I wasn't sitting in a room with numbers being called out before I could have my go *

When the time came I took to the stage, slightly blurry-eyed from the alcohol I had consumed throughout the night, and did my thing. And you know what? I bloody loved every second of it!

Two weeks ago I decided to do the set about the night I actually did lose my virginity, because quite frankly, that was a joke in itself. Perhaps not the most original of material, but I had practiced (in front of a mirror with the door closed, holding a biro up as a makeshift mic), and felt it would be good enough for a first attempt.

I'll let you judge for yourself from this video clip. Unfortunately the camera stops before the final punch line! The punch line was: "The doctor told me that the Hayfever jab was a form on injection and because they inject into my bum, there is a good chance the chemicals will make its way to my groin area and render me impotent... The good news is I haven't sneezed in over a week!"

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Lad Lit Book Reviews: The Brethren by John Grisham

Books For Men Book Reviews! The Brethren by John Grisham
John Grisham is one of those authors that after you have read one of his books you immediately think: Why the hell haven't I read more Grisham novels! It's a big of a mystery of any Grisham tale, because after putting this book down, I was left scratching my head once again.

Grisham has previously excelled with his gritty courtroom thrillers, but he changes direction in The Brethren. The book branches down two roads; one focusing on three disgraced former judges (the 'Brethren') serving time in a Florida prison, and the second follows US presidential candidate Aaron Lake.

Frustrated by their plight, the three judges continue to weave down a criminal path from the inside, as they pool together their knowledge and cunning to blackmail wealthy men keen to keep their homosexuality a secret. At the same time, Aaron Lake is seen to be maneuvered and manipulated by CIA director Teddy Maynard, who wants Lake in the White House for his own gains.

Lake has a secret though, and the brethren are threatening to destroy that. All the time Grisham perfectly keeps the reader guessing how the two stories will eventually come to a head, and moves along seamlessly at a pace that keeps the two stories entwined. Even when you think you have the answer, Grisham expertly changes direction.

Despite the three main protagonists of the story being somewhat antiheroes, Grisham paints them in a way that keeps them interesting and whilst you might not be able to say you like them, you won't loathe them either, and you'll quickly want to know more about them and this world in which they have conjured up from behind steel bars.

Although this might not be my favourite Grisham book, you can't deny that the man has a bucket load of talent. I did miss the intense courtroom drama that he so brilliantly and effortlessly brings to life on the pages of his novels, but he shows with this story that he is no one-trick pony and is just as adept at writingout of his comfort zone. Now can someone again tell me why haven't I read more Grisham books?