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Askew Review 15

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IT TAKES A VILLAGE IDIOT…By John Allen. This 52 page book is a collection of poem like, lyrical stories penned by the lead singer/accordion player for Big Bad Bollocks (I highly recommend [scroll down] this band. They are great). Johnny Allen is an Englishman and writes that way; English slang lingo, “Me Mom” instead of My Mom, etc, which beautifully sets the tone for these tales of mischief, romance, and other things John has gotten himself in to. The stories range from running with his “mates” to drunkenly picking up women in pubs to puking at church. Some of the stories, “Tiddly om Pom Pom,” “MaryAlice,” “Fueled by Piss”, are also songs performed by the band. Along with the writings are a bunch of drawings, photographs, pictures, and other graphics that enhances the English atmosphere.
                Looking for a heart warming, fun filled read without being subjected to someone else’s hang-ups? If so, look no further than this charming lil’ book. Finally, poems and stories that are fun, not dark, dank misery toned whinings about hatred or loneliness. I hate that junk. John Allen writes his poems/stories/tales in such fun way it’s impossible to not have a good time reading the often humorous scripts. My favorite story here is “Midnight Mass” in which John details his hilarious adventure of being drunk while attending a Christmas Eve Mass. I did have a tough time with some of the English slang, but I enjoyed the fact that I had to sometimes figure out what John was writing about.  I read this book cover to cover while sitting alone in an Irish pub quenching my thirst with pints of Guinness, and I had a flat out ball doing so. It was the perfect setting for such a read, but I know I would have loved this book if I had read it anywhere. – Denis Sheehan


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