Hilarious Treatment of a Dark Subject

  • Book: Funnily Enough
  • Location: The Cotswolds
  • Author: Sophie Neville

Review Author: DavidButters



I read the original issue of this book some time ago and although I remembered it as being good, I had forgotten exactly how good! Reading this 2nd edition has acted as a joyous reminder.
For anyone not familiar with the previous issue, ‘Funnily Enough’ is an account of the 10 month period when Ms. Neville, at the time a television director at the BBC, was off work suffering from M.E. (or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).The text is a transcript of the diary she kept detailing, day-by-day, progress of the illness, the various treatments undergone to combat the affliction, and the inner struggle that was taking place in her head while she tried to reconcile her Christian faith with her seemingly endless incapacity.
Weighty stuff, perhaps; and there are some very thoughtful and thought-provoking passages within these pages. But the way Sophie describes what was going on both to her, and around her, the humorous element is always to the fore, giving us a highly entertaining and often hilarious account of virtually every incident and situation – I found myself laughing out loud on a lot of occasions. She is helped, it has to be said, by a wonderful cast of family and friends, some of whom verge on eccentricity. I particularly enjoyed being reminded of her Granny’s somewhat unorthodox techniques at salesmanship in a craft shop, her father’s encounters with various pieces of agricultural machinery, and I loved the account of a church picnic where we learn the consequences of trying to eat yoghurt without a spoon (you will have to read the book!). We also meet a menagerie that includes two lively pet otters and a delinquent parrot. All is described in brilliant and vivid writing; there is truly a laugh on every page.
So, if you already have the first edition do you need to acquire the second? Well yes, most certainly you should! There are more wonderful illustrations, drawn by Sophie herself, in this new issue; the text has been revised and is tighter; and the last chapter, ‘After all that’ has been updated. Whether you’ve got the 1st edition or not, get this second edition, sit in a comfy chair with a glass of what you fancy, and treat yourself to a romp through this hilarious account of what was really a very unpleasant 10 months of the author’s life. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. I just hope that one day there will be a 2nd Edition of the sequel, ‘Ride the Wings of Morning’. Highly and thoroughly recommended.

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