Sweary girl writes sweary book and makes me teary

20130826-140451.jpgThose easily offended by cussing, bad language and profanity might want to clear off now. Though, to be honest, if that’s the case you’re not going to be well pleased when you read Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl and meet Aloysius Bent.

Anyway, enough about me. This is a post about the young lady who you can find on Twitter and at her own blog under the name Bookcunt. Well, I say “young lady”, I’ve no idea at all if she is what her online identity suggests. She may well be a 45-year-old man living in his mother’s basement and struggling with real-life relationships. Possibly with a collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer statuettes on a shelf above the tumble-dryer.

This is the internet. Anything’s possible.

But unlikely, because Bookcunt has written a book (under the pen-name Anonymous; maybe being filed under “B” wasn’t good enough for her). It’s called A Fucked Up Life In Books and it made me have something in my eye at the end.

Those familiar with Bookcunt’s blog will recognise the format of each of the chapters in this ebook from The Friday Project. Each episode is ostensibly about a book which the author was reading at a certain point in her life. But the relationship between the book and the incident can be fleeting; sometimes it’s barely given a mention.

At other times, the book is very, very important. It’s sometimes an escape tunnel, or a rope made from knotted sheets, or just a friendly face to fall back on. Yes, this book is filled with swears and naughtiness and sex and more swears, but it might just be all about the redemptive power of literature.

Bookcunt is let down by a lot of people in this book. It might not be what you think it is. You’ll definitely read some of the chapters and mutter, “Oh my God.” You might not laugh as much as you thought you would. You might cry a bit more than you expected to.

Yes, it’s a little rough and ready in parts. Yes, if you’ve read her blog for any length of time you’ll already have seen maybe a quarter of this already. Yes, you wonder if the cussing is ramped up for little apparent reason sometimes. But anyone who has an interest in a) books, b) people or c) all of the above should get their hands on this sometimes moving, sometimes astonishing and always readable memoir. It’s like nothing you’ve read before.



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