Audiobook Review: Cunk On Everything: The Encyclopaedia Philomena

audiobookAudiobook by Diane Morgan(writing in character as Philomena Cunk)

Oh boy! It took a lot of persuading to get past those Black Templars. “…” Stop complaining Ciaphas. You know as well as I do it doesn’t bode well to get on the bad side of Amberly. I’m back here now anyway you can grumble to your heart’s content on the way home. Thanks for the help!

Well now that I’m safely back in my writing den despite Sgathaich’s best efforts last time – they did a very good job to be honest – hello again everyone! Now I know I promised a review of Good Omens and it will eventually happen but I’m going to take a small break from Sir Terry and friends and review a couple of other audio releases before I return for a pair of reviews.

cunk on everything audiobook

To start with I know the title sounds…rather crude! The comedienne/comedian Diane Morgan invented a character on stage called Philomena Cunk. Said character is very much a very sharp parody or acerbic take on the ‘idiotic chav from a council estate’ archetype and general personality that seems common these days except as an ‘intrepid reporter and visionary philosopher’. The character became famous after being used on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe and Screenwipe and end of year news satire programs and recently had some parody documentaries of her own notably Cunk on Shakespeare and Cunk On Britain.

Cunk On Everything can be seen as an evolution of the parody documentaries except as a parody encyclopaedia. She discusses a large variety of topics from clocks, dressage and Doctor Who to King Arthur and the Large Hadron Collider. Each topic under discussion gets a rather hilarious entry complete with examples and definitions that can make you burst out laughing – a personal favourite being her idea that doctors will die out like dinosaurs and be put in museums. Some entries also get a section on unanswered questions regarding the topic – such as why can’t we put medicine on crisps, or if you put money in a chocolate machine how does it get to the bank? Is there a tube?

I have to admit that I absolutely love this book. It’s completely insane and totally nonsensical but that is part of the appeal! The delivery in the audio version read in character can sometimes make you question your sanity or if you heard it correctly due to the sheer level of utter hilarious nonsense that gets delivered almost totally deadpan. This is definitely a book where I recommend listening to the short sample that is available to see if it’s your kind of humour before you buy. I heartily recommend the book for fans of the character and those who are simply curious about what on Earth I’ve been talking about but there is one caveat.

Although I do recommend the book for a good laugh if you are in the mood for one it isn’t the kind of book you should rush through. If you listen for an overly long time a few of the jokes can get somewhat repetitive although in my personal opinion there is a decent amount of variety. It also helps that the chapters and individual sections on topics tend to be quite short with the exception of the first handful which I believe are the longest.

NephriteIn conclusion Cunk On Everything is a book/audiobook which is ever so slightly mad but is still somehow a good laugh.  At the very least give the book a try and see what you think of it. You never know, you just might enjoy the madness!



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