Thursday, 11 February 2016

Rapid Reviews : The Actual One by Isy Suttie

You only need look at the bottom right hand side of this blog to see that I am a big fan of Isy Suttie, so it should come as no surprise that I had pre-ordered her debut book for some time. Released at the end of last month, The Actual One : How I tried, and failed, to remain twenty-something for ever, has never been far from my hands this week, meaning I have rather hurriedly devoured it.

This is a great read as sweetly amusing as Isy herself - known to many as the wonderful Dobby from Peep Show - and a timely read considering St Valentine's Day is upon us singletons this weekend because this is a great anti-Valentine's read. The book concerns Isy's late-twenties and how she slowly became aware that all of her friend and contemporaries were starting to marry, have children and buy houses whilst she had just come out of another unsuccessful relationship. Told that the next guy she meets won't be 'The One' but 'The Actual One' (which is better, obviously) Isy sets out to somewhat half-heartedly find him, whilst at her home in Matlock, her eccentric mother ventures into 'The Computer Room' with a cuppa to explore the world of internet dating on her daughter's behalf. 

The book is littered with very funny and very frank anecdotes that are very relatable, especially if you too are of a certain age and find yourself single. Some will be familiar to fans of Isy's stand up or her excellent radio series Isy Suttie's Love Letters, but many of them are new. Having read the book, I certainly feel like I know Isy especially well, perhaps too well, given her no-holds-barred anecdotal style. But there's still more to learn from Isy and I hope she intends to write a follow-up which explains how she got from here to a settled relationship with fellow comic Elis James and - as of 2014 - a child of her own. 

It's hard to conjure up a significant sound bite or summary for how good this book is, so I shall just close with what Stuart Maconie had to say about it;

"Imagine if you will a more cuddly Trainspotting, or a drunker, dirtier Adrian Mole. Isy's warm wonky memoir lies somewhere between the two: darkly, sweetly funny and affecting, and studded with lemon-sharp insights on life"

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