“Truly the intellect for our baffling times.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Cunk on Everything is an ‘encyclopedia’ by Philomena Cunk (a character played by Diane Morgan). “This is a book” inspired by the BBC series’ Cunk on Christmas, Cunk on Shakespeare and Cunk on Britain. “In the olden days, people used to learn about things from encyclopedias”
For anyone who has watched the TV series, you will know well know the dead-pan way in which Cunk talks about ‘facts’ and interviews experts and the book follows in a similar way. For fans of Cunk, you will probably, like me, hear the character’s voice in your head as you read the book.
Cunk on Everything like classic encyclopedias runs from A to Z but unlike a traditional encyclopedia, it does not cover all topics but rather a selection of topics from Adam and Eve, The Big Bang and crime to William Shakespeare, Xylophones and Zombies.
“The first human to evolve from God was Adam, who was the first man. In those days, there were no women at all, only men, like on the repeats of Have I Got News for You? On Dave.”
In this book, Cunk does also tackle some modern issues which through her sarcastic tone shows how ridiculous some of these topics have become, Cunk discusses; Brexit, The Alt-Right, Fake News, and even the refugee crisis via St. George’s Day.
“Sir George is the patron saint of old England, Scotland, Ireland and Walesland have their own ones, just like they get different ITVs. Sir George, who was a Roman soldier born to Greek parents in either Turkey or what was then Syria but is now Israel, is the quintessential Englishman.”
For anyone hoping to learn something from Cunk on Everything, good luck. While there are some correct details they are scattered within the made-up words and facts so you would have to know what was right and what was wrong beforehand. What Cunk does offer, however, is laughs on every page, using sarcasm, alternative/subversion of correct facts, puns, and malapropism to create a hilarious read. The perfect gift for anyone who laughed along to Philomena Cunk on Television and wants to hear even more from this hilarious, self-described “journalist and thinker.”
Catherine Muxworthy, Booksbirdblog
Added 30th January 2020