Posy Simmons’ art is deceptively simple, plump characters, round noses and eyes, neat little English shops and Cotswolds picture perfect countryside, beautiful doctors and nurses in uniform reminding us of 1970s photo novels.
All this little world is perfectly polite and nice, and that’s all the funnier when the bite kicks in with typical British wit.
This book is actually a collection of one page cartoons that had been previously published as a regular feature in the Guardian. In this respect reading it from cover to cover is a bit too much, it’s more pleasant to dip into the book for one our two pages at a time, especially these days when you’ve been to your favorite bookshop and come back dreaming you’d quit your job and have your own, or when you hear of indie publishers, or when you’ve received a rejection message and contemplate your manuscript gathering dust in your drawer.
Because if you follow Simmonds to the letter, you’ll just let your manuscript alone and find another activity for your free time!
She has a little something for everyone: for ageing writers with over-inflated egos, for aspiring writers who have “rustic block” in their nice thatched cottage, for writers who write badly, for children books writers who are never considered seriously (anyone can do it), for indie bookshop owners who are self righteously jealous of the bigger chain stores but secretly go there, for the YA writers who want to sell the next bestseller full of scandal, for the writer’s partner who can’t cope anymore and for the readers too!
Sometimes it is funny ah-ah, sometimes she nails it so cleverly that it makes me cringe a little, the (few) times I recognize myself in it, especially the young mother who tries to juggle writing and a baby.
I’m not knowledgeable enough to recognise if Simmonds satirizes some real-life authors and publishers (it sometimes feels like she’s settling some score, even though I’m not sure with whom), but I guess it’s fair enough.
At any case it makes a great present for aspiring writers and book lovers.