I hold many vices, devout Christian or Catholic I am not. Although I do hold testament to the 10 commandments in some ways, that being I only routinely commit seven of them. I haven't killed anyone (ever) any animal or insect (albeit accidentally, never intentionally). And I am never jealous or envious of anything or anyone. Nor do I idolise anyone or anything.
That being said there is one person whom I have always admired, adored and have put on a proverbial pedestal. That man was A. A. Gill.
He was a seamless combination of the wit and creativity of Stephen Fry and the intellect and diction of Clive James. His phraseology was their beautiful expressive verbal love child, with the locution of a genius epigrammatic.
He was not just a restaurant critic, and to be perfectly honest the majority of his restaurant reviews barely touched upon the food, he would ramble on about something completely random yet perfectly linear for the majority of the article and then finally briefly touched upon the food.
I remember my favourite article of his spent the first 900 odd words talking about pointless wars and then only for the last 100 actually brought up the restaurant he was meant to be critiquing.*
He was effortless in his eloquence. The most facetious man you’ll ever read and one if the most brilliant.
His words were evocative and tantalising, gripping and ridiculous. I think Giles Coren sums him up to the tee with:
“Worldy, utterly hilarious and absolutely the last fucking person I’d go to advice for.”
Now I will briefly stop gushing about this wonderful man.
This book is a collection of columns A. A. Gill wrote for Esquire magazine; Uncle Dysfunctional was their resident "advisor" - his answers were brutally honest and phlegmatic. Generally revolving around the issues of one's manhood, love or more appropriately lust and extra-marital affairs.
This will now be my go-to gift for all the intellectual men in my life. In Alex Bilmes' wonderful foreword he is adamant that presenting this to one's mother is an apocalyptic suggestion, but I beg to differ, my mother has a horrifically dirty mind and would absolutely devour and adore this.
By A. A. Gill
160 pages. 2017.
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*Click here immediately, because you should read it, it is brilliant. Actually, you should just read all of his work, your life will feel greatly fulfilled if you committed a year or two to read everything he has ever written.