When Steve Stack popped over to talk about his unusual collection of books

(To celebrate today’s launch of ‘21st Century Dodos‘, I’ve got THREE dedicated copies to give away, but there’s a slight twist. May I introduce you to Mr Steve Stack…)

I have a collection of unusual books. Not that the books themselves are unusual, you understand. They are the regular oblongs of paper and card, much the same as the books you have on your shelves. No, it is something about their contents that are a trifle odd. A bit wonky, to use a phrase that Caroline likes.

You see, whenever I meet an author I ask them to write something insulting in my copy of their book. They can write anything they want, but the more insulting the better.

It all started when I went to see American satirist PJ O’Rourke at a reading in Hammersmith. After the event, people queued up to get their books signed. I was towards the end of the line and was getting a bit bored of people asking PJ to ‘sign Happy Birthday John!’ or ‘can you make it out to Jeremy?’. It was doing my nut in. I had two copies of his book to sign. One for me, and one for my flatmate Andy. By the time I got to the front of the queue I was really fed up.

“Could you sign: ‘To Andy, Fuck Off’?”

He was delighted. I think he was as bored with the niceties as I was. Here’s what he signed in my book:

Ever since then I have tried to collect as many insults as possible. I have some crackers.

John le Carre in a copy of Absolute Friends: Scott – I’ve been wanting to say this for years – FUCK OFF!

Andrew Kaufman wrote in one of my favourite books, All My Friends are Superheroes: You daft cunt!

Jackie Collins in Lovers & Players: Fuck off Scott!!! You asshole!!!

And this work of art from Audrey Niffenegger:

The Fuck Off Books, as they are known, now take up two shelves of my home library. And they are growing. It is a collection that brings me a lot of pleasure.

Which is why I want to share the love by offering to insult you in this splendid blog giveaway.

I have written a book called 21st Century Dodos. In it I attempt to pull together a list of endangered inanimate objects. It is a collection of tributes to things that are on the verge of extinction – VHS tapes, typewriters, handwritten letters, that sort of thing – things that I think deserve a good send off. I’d like to think it is destined for toilet libraries across the nation.

And I will sign and dedicate three copies of the book for readers of Caroline’s blog. But only if you let me insult you, or the intended recipient. Simply leave a comment beneath this blog post telling me what rude message you would like me to write in the book. Caroline and I will then pick the three that most appeal and their wishes will come true. This could be your chance to get the perfect Christmas present for your husband/wife/boss/teenage son.

So go for it. Do your worst. I can’t wait to read them.


The winning comments will be selected after 3pm (GMT) October 4. This competition is open to all. And if you haven’t yet had enough of Mr Stack, then he’ll be visiting this blog tomorrow and his rather fabulous son read an extract (whilst unicycling!) over on Nik’s blog yesterday.

About the author: Steve Stack is the pen name of my lovely publisher Scott Pack. He is the author of one other book, It Is Just You, Everything’s Not Shit. He is fond of cake, female Scandinavian singer-songwriters and naps. He runs the almost famous Firestation Book Swap with novelist Marie Phillips. He is well fab.

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  • Cally Taylor
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    What a brilliant idea for a giveaway!

    I’d love to win a copy for my dad with the dedication “Dear Reg, pensioners should not buy Leona Lewis albums. Seriously, your music taste stinks.”

  • Jane Willis
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    What a great idea, I’d love to see your collection!

    My dedication would be “While reading this, please don’t get lost in thought. I’d hate to be responsible for luring you into unfamiliar territory”

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    My dedication would be
    Ben go eat shit on a stick in front of the luuvly ladies

  • Toby
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    “Dear Toby, I hope this book precedes your physical ruin”

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I would be both delighted and humbled if you were tell to tell me to ‘Stuff this book so far up your arse that I can read it whenever you yawn’ and maybe a cheeky ‘You fat bastard’ to round it off?

    Hope I win!


  • Sam Lindsay
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Dear Sam,
    Here is your fucking book. I hope you choke on it. May you aggressively go procreate with yourself, preferably using a sharp pointy object. Regards, etc. etc.

  • Julie
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Your face offends me, fuck off before I vomit.

  • Iain Mullen
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Best Wishes Iain, now fuck off & sell more of my books you Irish cunt

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    To Pete,

    What part of your restraining order do you not understand? Piss off and leave me alone.

  • Lee "Budgie" Barnett
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Great idea.

    I’d like a copy with the words:

    “Budgie?” “BUDGIE?” What a fucking stupid nickname.

    Many thanks!

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I saw this book about endangered inanimate objects and thought of you. Love, Bill

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    How about:

    Go back to the 20th Century you worthless piece of shit, that’s where you belonged

    For what it’s worth, I once bought a book called ICARUS in a second hand book shop for the inscription alone. It read: ‘Lionel, I hope that in this book you find support for those ideals which you never found with me, Alice’

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    George, may your next shite be a hedgehog.

    (He’s my husband)

    • Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      If this lady doesn’t get a copy it’s a fucking fix. (And you can scratch that in your book, too, and stick it up the highest rafters of your arse).

      MESSAGE TO Nettie T: May this gift bring lasing pleasure in your harmonious household.

      • Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        That should of course be ‘lasting’ pleasure, but after the hedgehog he’ll probably appreciate laser cauterisation.

      • Posted October 4, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        *curtseys* Thank you kindly,good sir!


    • Posted September 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Proper laughing at this, Nettie!

    • Posted October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Nettie – Steve Stack has spoken and you are a winner! Please email/PM your address to me. Well done! x

      • Posted October 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Can’t tell you how excited I am to win! It’s been a particularly shitey day and this has proper cheered me up! Also, it’s my 19th wedding anniversary next month and this will make a great – and thoughtful – present for my lovely hubby!


  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I would like the following for my “wanker banker” friend’s recent birthday.

    Dear James,

    Now that you are an old cunt I thought you’d appreciate a book about inanimate objects that are dying out and becoming worthless. Much like how you will if you keep drinking like an alcoholic.

    Best wishes on your birthday,


  • Clara
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I’d like ‘If you can’t say anything nice then fuck off’

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    For: Oscar Windsor-who? Who the fuck do you think you are, twat…? A writer? Don’t make me laugh. Now I’ve gone and pissed myself all over the book.

  • Hazel
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    If you enjoy this book please recommend it to a friend … if you have one.

  • Lisa Hart - Collins
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    ‘Dear Pete,
    Having to sign books really boils my piss.’

  • Mike Caddick
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    It gives me a perverse satisfaction to know how much it’ll piss you off to have to find space in that tasteless, pokey hovel you call a home, for a book you dont even want (and certainly wouldn’t pay for), but then to have to explain how wonderfully witty, generous and clever Steve Stack really is.

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    To Andy,
    Jog on, nobber

    • Posted October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Sandy – Steve Stack has spoken and you are a winner! Please email/PM your address to me. Well done! x

  • Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    To Sarah,
    your writing is very ‘nice’.

  • Posted September 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    To Bill: You four-eyed fat fuck, do you even know what a Dodo is? Look in the mirror.

  • Posted October 3, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Look you piece of shit, I am going to earn more money because of this book than you ever dreamed of. Now you can sit there and whine like a 2 yr old or have a wank over a picture if my Ferrari, or you could just simply FUCK OFF! Whatever you choose donor in tour time not mine CUNT!

  • angela readman
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    To Angela,

    The breathing argument of why the word ‘cunty’ needs to be added to the Oxford Dictionary.

  • Posted October 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    “To Sarah
    Can’t imagine anyone wanting to Do-Do you – seen perkier tits on a corpse. Read this, or use it as scaffolding for that sagging arse of yours. Either way just fuck off.”

  • Posted October 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    My OH is a 21st century dodo. He should have a copy of the book. I’d like it inscribed with a phrase he often uses:

    To Mark, ‘No Offence, Fucker …’

  • Paul Valentine
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    …Oh whatever. Have this book. Anything to make you SHUT THE FUCK UUPPP!!!

  • lucy brett
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Lucy, Do stop cunting on. Kisses Steve

    PS Fuck off

    • Posted October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Lucy – Steve Stack has spoken and you are a winner! Please email/PM your address to me. Well done! x

      • Posted October 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        That is so brilliant! Thank you. Will PM you. Good blog, too. L

  • Futoomph
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Futoomph, one day I will take great pleasure in munging your rotting corpse.

  • Paul Valentine
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    …The winner is pretty funny even if it’s not logical. To shit a hedgehog, you have to eat one: if you do, you deserve what you get. Anyway, most of are fairly close anyway…serves you right – you flesh eating, brain-dead-heads.
    Me, I eat vegetables. I’m not party to the culture that wiped out not only Do-do’s but almost the entire indigenous populations of North America and Australia. Frankly, these so called pioneers were the ‘most odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth’*

    *best insult ever written courtesy Jonathan Swift Gullivers Travels

  • Posted October 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for having me on, Caroline, and full marks to your bunch of cunty foul-mouthed readers!

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