Today is my turn on the Random Things blog tour for The A – Z of Skateboarding by Tony Hawks. Many thanks to Anne for organising this tour, and inviting me to take part and to Tony Hawks and his publishers Unbound for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Meet The Author
Tony Hawks is a radio and TV comedian who makes regular appearances on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Just a Minute and Have I Got News for You. He wrote the Sunday Times bestselling Round Ireland with a Fridge, which has since sold more than 800,000 copies and been made into a feature film.
Random fact: Tony Hawks was part of the group Morris Minor and The Majors who released “Stutter Rap (No Sleep Til Bedtime)” a parody of the Beastie Boys hit. I didn’t know this song until I saw it on a late night Top Of The Pops rerun last week – now here I am writing a review for his book! Anyway, if you’re so inclined here is a link to the song
For more than twenty years, Tony Hawks has been mistaken for Tony Hawk, the American skateboarder. Even though it is abundantly clear on his website that he is an English comedian and author, people still write to him asking the best way to do a kickflip or land a melon.
One mischievous day he started writing back in a pompous tone, goading his correspondents for their spelling mistakes and poor grammar, while offering bogus or downright silly advice on how to improve their skateboarding.
Featuring entries on Pain, Disappointment, Underachievers, Quorn and the Vatican, this is his A to Z guide to the world of skateboarding, as seen through the eyes of someone who knows absolutely nothing about it.
The only time I have ever tried to ride a skateboard I ended up on my ass, with owner of said skateboard pointing and laughing. Prick.
While I still harbour some notion (and obviously some resentment) that one day I might learn to ride a skateboard, I am now 34, so that notion probably deserves to go on the shelf with my goals of winning the world cup (despite rarely playing football) and recording a smash hit single that sells so much that I get to live a life akin to Will in About A Boy (Played by Hugh Grant in the film), despite having the musical talent of a constipated otter.
Anyway…moving swiftly along to the book
This book essentially does exactly what it says on the tin. People who were silly enough to confuse Tony Hawks with legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk have been sending him emails for years asking for tips on skateboarding. It only took a matter of time before the comedian started replying.
While I wouldn’t normally be in favour of this approach, after reading a couple of the questions that the book contained, it was hard to say that at least some of the people who sent questions did not deserve the response they received.
I especially liked the factoids scattered throughout the book – and the authors tongue in cheek response to them.
Overall, while I didn’t find every section of this book to be perfect, there were many sections that made me belly laugh.A great pick me up, especially after being harassed by some “punk kids” in the car park.
The length of this one, coupled with the writing style make this a perfect book for dipping in and out of. Deserves to take a place on your coffee table or, dare I say it, your bathroom book shelf ;-). Recommended.
Please check out the rest of the blogs on this tour!
Order on Amazon below