(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.