Spending a day with the collection of Julie Burchill's Guardian Columns 1998-2000 is like being in the company of your wittiest, meanest, friend: very funny, stimulating and provocative at first but mildly depressing if taken in extended doses. This is an ideal tube-ride kind of book best taken in small doses. What makes it worthwhile is that Burchill can make you laugh out loud or make you cringe at her brutal honesty, but however mean-spirited she gets she's a life-affirmer. For example, how do you know when you're old?
You know you're really old when your mouth starts looking like a cat's anus ... look at recent photos of Iggy Pop. See it? The body's still buff, but those lips: it's like there's a tiny man standing on his tongue sewing his mouth closed from the inside. Its sort of ruched, and sort of frilled, and altogether horrible.As a social and political commentator she can be perceptive and wise one minute and a knee-jerk reactionary the next. But then one doesn't go, in the last resort, to Burchill for political leadership, one reads her columns to be stimulated, provoked and entertained and on this score she's still one of the best around. As Burchill herself said (on the subject of "Personality" columnists): "To open the Sunday papers is to be immediately transported to the World's Most Boring Dinner Party, to find yourself surrounded by well-groomed women with names that end in "a" and absolutely nothing to say while saying it very loudly." Burchill is easy to mock in her guise as champion of the working class, and sometimes tiring in her anti-male polemics, but love her or loathe her she is never, ever, boring. --Larry Brown
Used availability for Julie Burchill's The Guardian Columns 1998-2000
1656 : UK Paperback