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Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant PDF, ePub eBook By the popular Vice contributor, a collection of full-throated appreciations, elaborate theories, and unflinching recollections Joel Golby's writing for Vice and The Guardian, with its wry observation and naked self-reflection, has brought him a wide and devoted following. Now, in his first book, he presents a blistering collection of new and newly expanded essays--i By the popular Vice contributor, a collection of full-throated appreciations, elaborate theories, and unflinching recollections Joel Golby's writing for Vice and The Guardian, with its wry observation and naked self-reflection, has brought him a wide and devoted following. Now, in his first book, he presents a blistering collection of new and newly expanded essays--including the achingly funny viral hit "Things You Only Know When Both Your Parents Are Dead." In these pages, he travels to Saudi Arabia, where he acts as a perplexed bystander at a camel pageant; offers a survival guide for the modern dinner party (i.e. how to tactfully escape at the first sign of an adult board game); and gets pitted head-to-head, again and again, with an unpredictable, unpitying subspecies of Londoner: the landlord. Through it all, he shows that no matter how cruel the misfortune, how absurd the circumstance, there's always the soft punch of a lesson tucked within. This is a book for anyone who overshares, overthinks, has ever felt lost or confused--and who wants to have a good laugh about it.

30 review for Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant

  1. 4 out of 5

    Oriana

    Okay so this essay collection is a bit of a mixed bag, but Joel Golby is very, very, very funny; like ludicrously funny, with a voice that's sharp and strong and snarky and delightful. He's also a very specific kind of 30-something white dude, which comes out in ways that are sometimes delightfully fun and sometimes eye-rollingly awful. He's a Vice writer, so I mean, duh. In the better of these essays, Joel is the kind of writer whom you just want to describe the world to you, pretty much any as Okay so this essay collection is a bit of a mixed bag, but Joel Golby is very, very, very funny; like ludicrously funny, with a voice that's sharp and strong and snarky and delightful. He's also a very specific kind of 30-something white dude, which comes out in ways that are sometimes delightfully fun and sometimes eye-rollingly awful. He's a Vice writer, so I mean, duh. In the better of these essays, Joel is the kind of writer whom you just want to describe the world to you, pretty much any aspect of it. I learned more than I ever expected to about Twitch, that site where you watch people play video games, such as the fact that you can spend hundreds of dollars to send specific emojis to your favorite players, and also the idea that for certain boys, the time they spend in their tween years playing video games together is as close to emotional bonding as they are allowed to get. It was fantastic to read about Joel's trip to a camel festival in Syria ("camels are freaks, basically, absolutely irregular boys, and not as you thought before just lumpy horses"), and another to Barcelona to meet a sex robot maker ("the majority of sex doll enthusiasts are extremely 'adult lizard collector' and a lot of them do not really have full control over the amount of sweat they pump out of their bodies"). I was gutted by various essays about Golby's dead parents, as well as when he waxed very sort of machismo-romantic about his hometown and his youth. I even loved his long treatise on which Rocky movie is the best Rocky movie, despite having never seen or wanted to see a single Rocky movie. Between all those long and interesting essays is a lot of silly filler (though much of it is hilarious!) about his attempts to grow a mustache or wear a leather jacket, his tips on going to dinner parties, why he wears an eye mask like a serial killer, and why every adult man, regardless of size, wears an adult size large t-shirt. I could have done without his bizarre fantasia about fistfighting a life-size M&M, not to mention his very gory, violently detailed fantasties about murdering every landlord he's ever had. Calm down, my dude. But anyway okay, because humor is subjective as hell, here are some of the lines that made me laugh literally out loud, often on the subway to the point that I got looks from strangers, so you can decide for yourself whether you'd like to read nearly 300 pages of it. On Twitch: "Go to TV and say: 'Hey, I've got a half-hour video of a lad chewing gum and urgently whispering to himself. You uh... you want that?' And TV will say: 'No thank you.' But the internet has carved out its own weird niche of antimedia. Some people just like watching people do mad and boring shit." On surgery: "Major surgery is this: medicine puts you into a deep and painless sleep that allows doctors in masks to open your body up with knives. Are you kidding me." On a very bad winter in a cheap apartment: "The house got so cold, it was colder than just being outside. Somehow the boiler broke so bad, it reverse-engineered the entire place into a refrigerator." On foodie culture in the young: "Millenials, doomed, almost entirely, to live in worlds without formal long-term spaces for them, without home ownership and many without cars, plow their energy and resources into expensive hobbies instead, a brief taste of luxury before the grave, like by getting some really expensive maple syrup and having a lot of opinions about olive oil." On some character from Rocky "He's a real breathe-fire-and-shit-out-more-fire kind of guy, with this primal scream he does, as if Mr. T was yelling the sound 'auGH' into a cavern that goes deep into the earth." On grievous bodily injury: "If someone stomped half the teeth out of my head I would just die out of politeness both to the stomper and myself—who, truly, wants to get up from that." On not drinking as a teen: "Dad died at the age everyone at school got into alcohol, so he stole my formative drinking years away ('Hey, wow, a great long chug of the poison that killed my dad—thanks!' No.)" On self-fellatio: "I was at university the last time I tried it—my method was to bob my head down towards my crotch at great pace, like a sudden cobra strike, hoping to catch my body off guard and accelerate straight from head to dick—but sadly, obviously, it didn't work. I had a realization there, stripped to my pants in the gray light of my bedroom: talk to some girls maybe, go outside, maybe convince someone else to take this job on."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chaunceton Bird

    Generally hilarious. With this wonderful collection of essays, Captain Golby rams the Titanic of polite society into the iceberg of taboo. His frank crudeness and naked honesty, paired with his British wit and knack for nihilism, will keep you laughing and entertained throughout. Definitely recommend this one to people who keep it real. Definitely don't recommend this one to people who eat dinner with more than one fork.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The low rating I am giving this book is partly my fault. I should've read some of Golby's articles on Vice before requesting this, that way I would have quickly found out that I likely would not get along with the tone of the writing in this collection. But the tone was only part of the problem - often the subject matter was puerile (I'm thinking specifically of the essay where Golby talks about *that* thing Marilyn Manson is supposed to have had ribs removed to be able to do, and how he spent a The low rating I am giving this book is partly my fault. I should've read some of Golby's articles on Vice before requesting this, that way I would have quickly found out that I likely would not get along with the tone of the writing in this collection. But the tone was only part of the problem - often the subject matter was puerile (I'm thinking specifically of the essay where Golby talks about *that* thing Marilyn Manson is supposed to have had ribs removed to be able to do, and how he spent a lot of his childhood wishing he could do that too), or just incredibly mundane. These are the kind of essays you may find funny if you know Golby personally, but most of them contain oddly specific and unfunny lists filled with rants about topics which don't hold the readers interest. For example, one essay innumerates all the properties Golby has rented in his lifetime, the price of the rent and the gripes he had with said house and/or landlord. Who wants to read about that?! Recommended to fans of Vice, and probably nobody else. Thank you Netgalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adam Woods

    I have this theory about books and theatre. For some reason, my theory goes, people find things funny in a book or on the stage that otherwise they wouldn’t. Like somehow expectations are so much lower in these formats, that any idle witticism is met like one of John Mulaney’s funnier bits. Well, this book is funny. But really truly funny. Not book funny. Funny funny. Golby is above all honest - his stories are real, his language relatable and his tone exactly what it should be in this shit-show w I have this theory about books and theatre. For some reason, my theory goes, people find things funny in a book or on the stage that otherwise they wouldn’t. Like somehow expectations are so much lower in these formats, that any idle witticism is met like one of John Mulaney’s funnier bits. Well, this book is funny. But really truly funny. Not book funny. Funny funny. Golby is above all honest - his stories are real, his language relatable and his tone exactly what it should be in this shit-show we call 2019 (or 2018 when he wrote it). I especially loved his essays on the barbarism of monopoly, fighting M&Ms, his irrational fears and his long (I mean LONG) list of how he would like to see landlords meet their demise. I have no problem at all recommending this book. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Georgette

    A book that delivers on its title. The essay about both of your parents being dead will slay you.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Boyd

    I hate Joel Golby cause he made me write my first Goodreads review. I hate Joel Golby because his writing is so good I get disappointed in my own. I hate Joel Golby because he made me have a Big Think about drinking. I hope he writes a load more books.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erik Nygren

    Joel Golby has been doing the lord's work in Vice UK with his “London Rental Opportunity Of The Week” series for a few years now. Giving me a healthy way of channeling my frustrations against London’s rental market and it’s blazer wearing extortionists. He’s a really funny writer, and as a same generation, same city resident I find the stuff he writes about often relatable. This book is a collection of essays, that is a bit broader than just hating on rental agencies/landlords (but don’t worry, a Joel Golby has been doing the lord's work in Vice UK with his “London Rental Opportunity Of The Week” series for a few years now. Giving me a healthy way of channeling my frustrations against London’s rental market and it’s blazer wearing extortionists. He’s a really funny writer, and as a same generation, same city resident I find the stuff he writes about often relatable. This book is a collection of essays, that is a bit broader than just hating on rental agencies/landlords (but don’t worry, a huge part of the book is still dedicated to that). It takes up some serious stuff like coping with the death of your parents, alcoholism; Some less serious stuff: like a surprisingly long tribute to pop-rapper Pitbull, highlights from childhood football games and monopoly metagaming. A varied, insightful and enjoyable casual read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    This book is very honest, and often powerful and moving, and sometimes funny, but I didn’t like it very much. Golby is an affable narrator, and he’s extremely disciplined when it comes to structure, but he’s a little sloppy with word choice. The major problem, though, is that this book wasn’t written with me as the target audience. It does give me a glimpse into a world very different from my own, but it’s not a world I particularly want to spend time in.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    You should read his articles in the Guardian. If you like them, which I do, you will enjoy this book, which I did. The book feels like hanging out with the guy who wrote them, as it is that. He writes for vice magazine, which for ME would be a dealbreaker, but it is only very rarely vice magazine esque.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Declan Cochran

    im glad our generation finally has its own (british) chuck klosterman

  11. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Finally, a book that precisely captures what it is like to be a 30 year old white millennial male in The Current Year. Joel is a great writer, managing to deftly switch from tragedy to farce in the same sentence. Insightful and relevant, but most importantly entertaining. Probably not recommended for prudes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    At long last, a non-fiction book described as "achingly funny" and which actually is. This was laugh-out-loud brilliant (x5), with pinprick bouts of melancholy that just made this book an all-around wholesome, nutritious, full breakfast of a reading experience. Have to confess I skimmed a bit during the very long, very exhaustive pretend-Ted talk about which of the Rocky movies is the Ultimate Rocky Movie, but an essay on the particular brand of masculinity represented by Pitbull? An investigatio At long last, a non-fiction book described as "achingly funny" and which actually is. This was laugh-out-loud brilliant (x5), with pinprick bouts of melancholy that just made this book an all-around wholesome, nutritious, full breakfast of a reading experience. Have to confess I skimmed a bit during the very long, very exhaustive pretend-Ted talk about which of the Rocky movies is the Ultimate Rocky Movie, but an essay on the particular brand of masculinity represented by Pitbull? An investigation on human nature as revealed by the Monopoly board game? An in-depth study of who would win in a fight between the author himself and the Red M&M? Sign me the fuck up. Perfect as light, non-gooey summer reading.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tory

    3.5 stars rounding up to 4. The preface is SO TRULY HILARIOUS except then the essays are good in their own way but not nearly as hilarious. Lots of great one-liners (and "Ribs," "Ribs" is very very good) and fully enjoyable and read-aloudable the whole way through, but doesn't quite live up to the hilarity of the preface. "If you slapped me in the face with a properly dressed American pancake, in my opinion, it should be hefty enough to leave a bruise."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Two great books in a row? A miracle. This was hilariously heartwarming, nostalgic and heart breaking all in one. The essays varied in topic -from landlords to camels to death- and they're all so well done I cannot truly pick a favorite. ( But if I had to- The Landlord essay. It was pulled from the inner depths of my own mind) Definitely suggest picking this up if you're looking for a good laugh or brief moment of reflection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marti

    2.5 stars. Several observations were excellent - brought out some laugh out loud moments. Others may have been funny but I was having trouble relating to and reading it due of all the obscenities and the graphic sexual content that seemed completely gratuitous and added little to nothing to what he was discussing. I'd skip this one . Felt it was a waste of time mostly.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Golby is a fantastic writer, truly quite brilliant at times, and this collection of essays has more hits than misses. The opening chapter is very, very good, along with one on landlords and the closing chapter on alcoholism. Audiobook could perhaps have been improved with a different narrator, despite it being the author.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Toby Neal

    Sometimes, you just want to get in touch with the zeitgeist of a generation, and this little book of essays gave me a vivid window into the world of a sensitive, insecure, honest and funny young man trying to figure out life in the wake of the early death of both parents.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Harry McDonald

    Coal-black humour runs through this collection of essays, on everything from being an orphan at 25, the various ways you might fantasise about killing your landlord, to the virtues of Rocky IV. Really compelling and really well-written. And I actually cackled OUT LOUD. That NEVER HAPPENS.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor C

    Joel Golby makes me want to write for me again. And, he also makes me want to read Vice again (if this is the kind of content Vice writers are putting out there, I’m in.) I cried, I laughed, I kept wondering why the hell everyone isn’t this honest all the time. VERY GOOD. Brilliant x 5, INDEED.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sadishika

    This book is brilliant. Very brilliant. If that hasn’t convinced you, go and google one of his shirt stories called “things you only know if both your parents are dead”.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Incredulously funny! Highly recommend this book if you are in need of numerous bouts of laughter.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This dealt with some pretty heavy subjects (death, alcoholism, gamer culture..) but I did laugh aloud a few times.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    VERY funny collection of essays. I just randomly picked this one up - turned out to be really good.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Funny! And sad. But funny

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sam Howard

    Loved this

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Not my brand of humor I suppose.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Garrett

    Joel Golby is my favorite blogger and now my favorite essayist.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

    Cracker A real cracker of a book, nice and chewy, good for reading on the bus, or the loo, or in bed, or just about anywhere.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Wojtkun

    Enjoyed the intro...made me smile...then found his essays to not to be such...just not to my liking...but you may think otherwise...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annabel Burn

    Very funny observations on life in this bunch of essays. Looking forwArd to the next one and in meantime reading Vice

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