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Summary

A collection of full-throated appreciations, withering assessments and hard-won lessons by the popular journalist.

There are a few things you need to know about Joel Golby. Both his parents are dead. His dad was an alcoholic. He himself has a complicated relationship with alcohol. He once went to karaoke three times in five days. He will always beat you at Monopoly, and he will always cheat.

Joel makes a name for himself as a journalist who brings us distinguished articles such as 'A Man Shits on a Plane So Hard It Has to Turn Around and Come Back Again', but that says more about us than him. In his first book, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant, Joel writes about important stuff (death, alcohol, loss, friendship) and unimportant stuff (Saudi Arabian camel pageants, a watertight ranking of the Rocky films, Monopoly), always with the soft punch of a lesson tucked within.

Golby's sharp, evocative prose thrives on reality and honesty that is gut-wrenchingly close to the bone and laced with a copious dose of dark humour. Who is this book for? It is for everyone, but mainly people who are as lost and confused as Joel and just want to have a good laugh about it.

©2019 Joel Golby (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant: Modern Life as Interpreted By Someone Who Is Reasonably Bad at Living It

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Witty, touching, relatable

Does it count as a review if I say I have never related harder to a chapter purely about the fantasy of murdering landlords?

I’m a long time admirer of Joel’s writing. He has a fresh, skewed vantage point on millennial life that never fails to entertain. Getting to hear about how he grew into the author he is was a fun experience, made even better hearing it read aloud by Joel himself. Also learned a lot about camels. ✌🏻

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable insight

As a 63 year old woman with children if a similar age to Joel I really enjoyed listening to his to histhoughts a growing up and in particular the effect of an alcoholic parent.

2 people found this helpful

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Does what it says on the tin

Great read, very well read by the author and laugh out loud (embarrassingly on the train) funny.

2 people found this helpful

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I Felt Too Many Emotions

Joel Golby usually strikes me as a soulless meme; funny, yes, but also a mere simulacrum of a thinking and feeling human being. A robot that thinks it understands love, but does not.
He’s also the best writer Vice has ever produced, and this book is proof.

What we have here is an assortment of essays loosely strung together. I was initially weary that his book might just consist of rejected Vice pieces, but it is more than that.
I was expecting to laugh (an expectation that was consistently fulfilled), but I did not expect to ugly cry in my university library while supposedly writing my dissertation. Joel Golby did that to me, with his words & actions.

As for performance, Joel’s slightly nasal monotone isn’t the most compelling in the world, but you get used to it. He also shouts ‘MY EGG!’ in a silly accent repeatedly at one point.

It’s an excellent book, and I’m glad I took the time to consume it.

2 people found this helpful

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Tory the Corey baby

This man is a genius but he also pronounced jalapeño in a very troubling way

1 person found this helpful

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Full of a cold

The whole book sounded like he was full of a cold and pre-nose blow and found my self zoning out to zone back into a 40 minute essay on Wayne Rooney. Not ideal.

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better editor required

30% very hilarious and well written
70% narcissistic rant or you had to be there

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Found it really boring and quite weird

Felt like he just wrote what random things came to mind. At one point he ponders whether m&ms are gangsters or have sex. Very strange

2 people found this helpful

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Poetic and Poignant Observations of one's life

I'm a fan of Joel's work with the Guardian and have been reading his articles for a couple years now. I came across his novel on there after taking greater interest in his work after him name dropping an all-you-can eat buffet I frequented when it was still open. In the book he describes this as being on an industrial estate which though sort of accurate, most here would consider it an extension of the village, as the high street is only a couple minutes walk away. But we will forgive him.

This set of stories are genuinely laugh out loud funny at times and on the edge of heartbreaking at times. This isn't the kind of book I would normally read or listen too so at times it is a bit of a chore. Part of that is cultural as it is difficult to be empathetic with him at times. Other times his observations hit right on the nail. Not entirely sure what the camel museum stuff was about and I was sorely tempted to skip the Wayne Rooney chapter. I am glad I didn't as it was pretty insightful.

Poignant and poetic, a good first attempt at narration and novel. Will definitely listen to more in future, should he create more.

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beautiful and funny. brilliant X 5 . . . . . . .

beautiful and funny. brilliant X 5
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