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Alan Partridge: Nomad

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The main trait of Alan Partridge is how oblivious he is to him own shortcomings, and how he is able to convince himself that life is working in his favour. The great thing is you can just visualise Alan as he walks in the footsteps of his father to Dungeness Nuclear Power Station. Although Alan makes some good points concerning Gatwick’s conveniences, I must confess that my heart will always side with Heathrow, even if the quality of its passenger experience is very terminal-dependent (T5>T2>>T4>T3).

This is a book that is just crammed full of funny stuff and Coogan’s narration only makes it funnier. The first third is so funny I often laughed outloud, but much like Alan, he can't quite keep the pace up all the way through.

One of those funny little books that are well worth checking out if you're a fan of the character, or if you just like eccentric British comedy on the whole. I'm fairly Anglophile, but some of the cultural references still went past me, but I'm confident I inferred the point correctly when that happened. After replacing Peter Flint as the presenter of Scout About, he entered the top 8 of BBC sports presenters. Diarising his ramble in the form of a ‘journey journal’, Alan details the people and places he encounters, ruminates on matters large and small and, on a final leg fraught with danger, becomes – not a man (because he was one to start off with) – but a better, more inspiring example of a man. But the way it’s done here feels in keeping with Partridge’s literal-mindedness, his instinct for over-elaboration.

Expect loads and loads of laugh-out-loud moments, some introspection, and an overall fun time reading. But then again, it seems people from further afield find Partridge funny anyway, so maybe I’m just spewing drivel… again.Also, now that the Elizabeth Line is fully operational, Heathrow has further extended its natural lead over Gatwick in the game of public transportation links. In an attempt to feel closer to his father, Alan decides to follow the journey he once took for a job interview. If you haven't kept up with Partridge since he disappeared from TV screens in 2002, you might have assumed that the occasional book release or the inevitable film were just lazy cash-ins. Whereas the last book focus on the scale of his life, this one looks at a walk partridge makes to follow his father's footsteps.

Due to declining ratings, a single catastrophic hitch (the killing of a guest on air) and the dumbing down of network TV, Alan’s show was cancelled. For those of you familiar with the work of Partridge, he does ‘over-share’ and in typical praeteritio style he plummets to great depths of poor taste, over the top open disclosure and unashamed narcissism. I nearly spat out my tea hearing about Gary Wilmott at a wedding, but I can't imagine many Gen Z'ers even knowing who he is. The above table explains why Heathrow is always so chockablock full of A380’s and 777’s and A350’s and other such heavy-duty-no-messing-about big boys (much more ground shakingly interesting for plane spotting).But analysis seems pointless – better to just skim through some of my updates and remind yourself what all the fuss is about. I'm now listening for the third time and it's been better each time, but that's what I've found with pretty much everything he's been in.

That is no word of a lie, to laugh is one thing – and laugh I did, but to repeatedly guffaw (hard) when you least expect it does wondrous things for one’s capacity to hold onto even the emptiest of bladders. Although, you might find yourself getting a few funny looks from fellow passengers because there's no way you'll be able to get through even a single chapter without letting out at least one or two audible giggles. The satire is scrappy too, half the time Alan's views are being mocked, while the other times Alan seems to be being used as a mouthpiece for the authors' more right-on metropolitan views.Gregarious and popular, yet Alan’s never happier than when relaxing in his own five-bedroom, south-built house with three acres of land and access to a private stream. For that matter, there's far too many footnotes that are meant to be a representation of Alan's obsessiveness but soon become a chore to read through. But the authors manage to show the reality as well, filtered through the character’s justifications. Another problem with the idea is that his father has gone from being a fairly average nonentity in the first book to being an unpleasant bully in the second, thus undermining the fiction. Alan is going to honour his dead father, even though he didn't like him, by walking from Norfolk down to Dungeness.

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