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Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

Moranthology (edition 2012)

by Caitlin Moran

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2251451,607 (3.77)17
Authors:Caitlin Moran
Info:Harper Perennial (2012), Paperback, 240 pages
Tags:journalism, pop culture, feminism, essays, non-fiction, ebook, own

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Moranthology by Caitlin Moran




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I discovered Caitlin Moran in 2000, the year I moved to England for the first time and went a little wild with all the newspapers. She recently wrote a funny book about feminism and that was enough to get a collection of her newspaper columns published as Moranthology. It's a solid collection of her writing, although I thought it was a mistake to leave out her review of Wife Swap, and there were a few longer pieces included only because the person she interviewed and wrote about was really, really famous.

Caitlin Moran is very funny. She's also opinionated, a feminist, a geek and really very funny. She writes about what she calls "the bangingness of Sherlock," her unconventional childhood as a one of eight children being home schooled by "the only hippies in Wolverhampton," and binge drinking. She gets Keith Richards to talk like a pirate and visits the set of Doctor Who.

In this feature, the BBC let me go around the Doctor Who studios, where I found the Face of Boe in a warehouse and sat on him. For two years, a picture of me doing so was the screensaver on my laptop. There is no doubt in my mind that, when I'm dying, and my life flashes before my eyes, that particular picture will get a longer slot than many other pivotal life moments, with a caption saying "WINNING!" flashing over it.

She also speaks seriously about the importance of libraries and what it was like being raised on benefits. These columns make for every bit as compelling reading as her account of her teenage job deliberation, which had her debating being a check-out clerk at the grocery story, a prostitute or a writer. I'm glad she chose writer, although she would have made being stuck working the late shift at the supermarket a lot of fun. ( )
2 vote RidgewayGirl | Jun 25, 2014 |
I loved this book...found it so hard to put down, really intelligent and funny with a nice dose of feminism. Great stories I just had to read aloud to my husband. Lots of great Britcom in its subtleties. Really liked this book. ( )
  studioloo | May 23, 2014 |
Caitlin Moran writes a regular column for The Times newspaper, and this book is a collection of those columns (almost 80 of them in fact). They cover a very wide array of subjects – Moran’s childhood in Wolverhampton, late night conversations with her husband, the Eurozone crisis, the welfare state, Ghostbusters, and celebrity weight loss, to name just a few. There are also some longer columns where she reviews/discusses some of her favourite TV shows, including Sherlock and Doctor Who, or where she describes a day spent with stars such as Lady Gaga, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney.

Just as the subjects of her columns vary widely, so does her tone – some of the columns have an air of melancholy, some are humorous, and some are angry. Obviously, people’s enjoyment probably depends on their level of interest in whatever subject is being written about, so there were a few columns which I found, if not exactly unenjoyable, not particularly memorable or engaging (sorry, but I’m not interested in Moran’s holidays, not because the places she writes about aren’t interesting or beautiful, but because she focuses so much on how they affect her personally). Occasionally she comes off as trying a bit too hard to be funny or quirky, but for the most part -and especially with the lighter hearted columns – her writing makes for enjoyable reading. I wish she didn’t write about so much about politics – it is a fascinating subject and I enjoy reading about it, but not in this kind of three-page-essay format.

So there were a few things about the book that didn’t grab me, but with a collection of columns on a wide variety of subjects, that is almost bound to happen. If I sound negative, I should point out that many of the columns really did make me laugh out loud, and on a personal note, I did enjoy her mentions of Wolverhampton, because it is also the town where I grew up. Moran is clearly a clever and witty writer, and quite frank about her own life (including her past drug taking, and her weight issues). I’d like to read more by her, but I would prefer a book which stuck to just one or two main themes, as this one felt rather scattered, but that made it a good book for dipping in and out.
  Ruth72 | May 22, 2014 |
Review to come. In the meantime, please see the full review on my blog:
http://theidlewoman.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/moranthology-caitlin-moran.html ( )
  Leander2010 | Apr 5, 2014 |
Not quite as consistently hysterical as How to Be a Woman, and also somewhat riddled with typos, but still enjoyable. Topics range from fashion to pop music (from Keith Richards to Lady Gaga to Paul McCartney) to politics to parenthood. Her essay "Libraries: Cathedrals of our Souls," which was included in The Library Book, is here also.


...as an artist, there's nothing to say about the people you love and understand. It's the ones who mystify you that you need to write songs and books about. That's how you try and figure them out. (Moran to Keith Richards, p. 64)

"I had to invent the job, you know," he said, earlier. "There wasn't a sign in the shop window, saying, 'Wanted: Keith Richards.'" (68)

The casting was perfect. Benedict Cumberbatch - the first actor in history to play Sherlock Holmes who has a name more ridiculous than "Sherlock Holmes" - was both perfect and astonishing. (70)

In a cramped, crowded nation, we know the essence of politeness is ignoring pretty much everyone around us. (77)

This is why recent debates about the importance of the arts contain, at core, an unhappy error of judgment [i.e. that the arts are not essential and can be cut]...Art...is a world that runs constant and parallel to ours, where we imagine different futures - millions of them - and try them out for size. (85)

...it seems to be a good idea to enable children in learning about it [transgender people] nice and early on - before they start getting the kind of weird ideas adults have.
...As a general rule of thumb, I don't think we need worry much about overloading kids with interesting philosophical subjects that help them develop both understanding, and tolerance of, other human beings. That's like worrying that the Beatles might have made Sgt. Pepper "too good." That's what's supposed to happen. Carry on! Everything's fine! (88)

Society isn't Nature - it's made by people. Hopefully, polite and civilized people. And if society isn't working for 52 percent of the people [women], then it would be mannerly to change it so that it does. That's why I'm in favor of employment quotas and positive discrimination...People who are anti-positive discrimination are ignoring the fact that we've been giving jobs to MILLIONS of stupid, unqualified people for millennia: men. (116)

From "I Would Like Some Chivalry, Please, Dude": The first three months of gestation - when there are no visible indicators to the onlooker - are a panoply of astonishing and debilitating side effects...All kinds of head-spinning insanity can be going on inside a woman's body. Some days, it's like we're covering up a circus that's on fire, using only an A-line skirt and a blouse. Underneath, there are clowns jumping out of windows, and crying seals everywhere. (119) ( )
1 vote JennyArch | Dec 2, 2013 |
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To the bit in 'Bottom' where Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson hit the gas man with a frying pan forty-two times. I learned so much from you.
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When I became a journalist at the age of fifteen, it was a matter of simple expediency.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Possibly the only drawback to the bestselling How to Be a Woman was that its author, Caitlin Moran, was limited to pretty much one subject: being a woman. Moranthology is proof that Caitlin can actually be "quite chatty" about many other things, including cultural, social, and political issues that are usually the province of learned professors or hot-shot wonks--and not of a woman who once, as an experiment, put a wasp in a jar and got it stoned. Caitlin ruminates on--and sometimes interviews--subjects as varied as caffeine, Keith Richards, Ghostbusters, Twitter, transsexuals, the welfare state, the royal wedding, Lady Gaga, and her own mortality, to name just a few.--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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