Diary of a Somebody (Paperback)
  • Diary of a Somebody (Paperback)
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Diary of a Somebody (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 400 Pages
Published: 09/01/2020
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Waterstones Says

Bilston’s terrific debut is that rare find: a genuinely funny – not to mention bittersweet and clever - comic novel. Interspersed with the hilarious, parodic poems that have made his name on Twitter, Diary of a Somebody follows the misadventures of the poet, sometime Casanova and expert procrastinator as he variously pursues love, fame and an unfortunately missing rival. A laugh-aloud pleasure.

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2019

It's January 1st and Brian Bilston is convinced that this year, his New Year's resolution will change his life. Every day for a year, he will write a poem. It's quite simple.

Brian's life certainly needs improving. His ex-wife has taken up with a new man, a motivational speaker and indefatigable charity fundraiser to boot; he seems to constantly disappoint his long-suffering son; and at work he is drowning in a sea of spreadsheets and management jargon. So poetry will be his salvation. But there is an obstacle in the form of Toby Salt, his arch nemesis at Poetry Club and rival suitor to Liz, Brian's new poetic inspiration.

When Toby goes missing, just after the announcement of the publication of his first collection, This Bridge No Hands Shall Cleave, Brian becomes the number one suspect. If he is to regain his reputation and to have a chance of winning Liz, he must find out what has happened to Toby before it is too late.

Part tender love story, part murder mystery, part coruscating description of a wasted life, and interspersed with some of the funniest poems about the mundane and the profound, Diary of a Somebody is the most original novel you will read this or any year.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781529005561
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 292 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Nobody must find out about this unique gem, because I’m giving it to EVERYONE - Dawn French

Glorious. I will be astonished if I read a more original, more inventive or funnier novel this year. - Adam Kay

Achingly funny. Without doubt it should win next year's Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for the best comic novel, even if my own novel is in contention as well - Jonathan Coe

If you like a) laughing or b) words which rhyme with each other, you will love Brian Bilston - Richard Osman

Not since Victoria Wood has a writer squeezed so much hilarity from a biscuit. - The Oldie

How do I laugh at thee? Let me count the ways . . . If you like sub-Carry On puns, clever parodies of famous poems and Wittgensteinian meditations on language, you’ll love it - Mail on Sunday

The midlife answer to Adrian Mole? It's a big comparison to make, in comic novel terms, but Brian Bilston - parodist and 'poet laureate of Twitter'- is worthy . . . Laugh. Cry. Cringe. - Stella Magazine, Sunday Telegraph

He has a knack for playing with language but his poems are accessible, witty and touching . . . In fact I rather regretted reading it over just a couple of days - it would have been better to take longer and saver it. - Kirsty McLuckie, The Scotsman Magazine

A welcome reminder of the joy to be had when you put yourself in the hands of someone who knows their way round both a joke and a bittersweet narrative . . . Funny and ingenious - The Times

In a similar way to Morrissey and John Cooper Clarke, [Bilston] has the ability to make the mundane both funny and beautiful – whether that's taking out the bins or procrastinating on Twitter . . . A must-read for anyone who is a fan of wordplay, puns, The Smiths and custard creams. - Dominic Kearney, Irish News

The English comic novel, whose death this year was announced prematurely, is actually alive, well and in the safe hands of Brian Bilston - Jonathan Coe, The Times

Highly original, genuinely funny and clever, with a gentle humanity in between the lines. Brian Bilston should be Poet Laureate - John O'Farrell

Bilston is the greatest English anti-hero of our time. His poems have delighted people on Twitter for several years, and now he's treated us to this brilliant novel . . . This book has everything you want from a comic novel . . . Brian Bilston is real. And I love him - Spectator

The pseudonymous Brian Bilston turns the base metal of comic verse into gold . . . Imagine a mash-up of John Cooper Clarke, Ed Reardon’s Week and James Joyce, and you’re about halfway there . . . Bilston is a magician with words . . . Read this novel in short bursts, pausing to savour its individual brilliancies - Guardian

Brian Bilston is bringing poetry to the masses . . . topical, witty, thoughtful - Irish Times

Brian Bilston is a laureate for our fractured times, a wordsmith who cares deeply about the impact his language makes as it dances before our eyes - Ian McMillan

One of the funniest novels in years . . . It also has genuine heart - and scores of poems so witty and accomplished that, in the real world, their author would surely be as famous as, well . . . I predict that Brian Bilston will soon be - Reader's Digest

Part John Cooper Clarke, part Frank Sidebottom . . . brilliant - Esquire

Bilston is no stranger to crafting cleverly composed poetry - Huffington Post

Word play, laugh-out-loud poems and the deft skewering of office life are part of the fun in this brilliant comic debut. - Eithne Farry, Sunday Express

In 1892, George and Weedon Grossmith published The Diary of a Nobody, now a classic of comic writing. In 1978, Christopher Matthew updated the idea. Now Brian Bilston brings us another Diary of a Somebody and it's as fun as its predecessors. - William Hartston, Daily Express

This fun, charming novel is a fine showcase for Bilston’s irrepressible creativity . . . It’s all done with wit, playfulness and a sense of amused wonder at the possibilities and idiosyncrasies of the English language, with the occasional groanworthy pun seeming like a price well worth paying. - Alastair Mabbott, Herald

Bilston has perfected his comic voice, which brings to mind a bitter man-child with spades of misanthropic charm and a dash of Alan Partridge-esque pedantry. This is a comic novel of the highest order. - Literary Review

An original, imaginative and funny book. - Daily Mirror

Part murder mystery, mainly great comic novel. - "What We're Reading", i

Charming, funny and touching. - Ian Rankin, First Printing

The midlife answer to Adrian Mole? It’s a big comparison to make, in comic novel terms, but Brian Bilston is worthy. In Diary of a Somebody, Brian makes a New Year’s Resolution to write a poem a day for a year. Hilarious results ensue, as well as the disappearance of a poetry (and love) rival. Laugh. Cry. Cringe - Stella Magazine, Sunday Telegraph

Sparkling with wit, intelligence and humanity. - Jonathan Coe, First Printing

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Hardback

“Most original novel...”

Brian is my hero, stuck in a rut, divorced with a teenage son with going nowhere job, dreams to become the next big poet. He decides to keep a diary for every day with a poem, that is what we read in this book.

His... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 64

“A Haiku Review”

A book with poems
And a mystery tale too
It's well worth a read

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 32

“A work of genius”

How on earth am I supposed to review this book? It's part fiction, part poetry, part diary. The sum of the parts though is, in my opinion, a work of genius.

Our eponymous hero, Brian Bilston, starts the year... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 28

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