Paper View by AA Gill

I picked up a signed copy of this book for £1, whilst browsing in a charity show and it’s probably the best £1 I’ve spent this year.

I always enjoyed reading AA Gill’s newspaper columns, whether TV reviews, restaurant reviews or more serious topics. He had a great dexterity with words and even when you didn’t agree with his opinions you could enjoy the writing.

This book is a gathering of his TV reviews from the early 2000s up to 2008. I can’t remember half of the programmes reviewed but that didn’t stop me laughing out loud at the reviews.

The articles are generally pithy, witty and scathing about people who either work in or are sniffy about television.

The subjects covered include cop shows, costume drama, the Waltons, sport, reality TV and Trooping the Colour. Whether you religiously watch these genres, tolerate them or avoid them completely you will identify with some of Gill’s opinions and be outraged by others.

You are also likely to become an annoying companion as you laugh out loud, just at a key moment during a programme your partner or family are watching.

I’m sad that there will be no more new AA Gill columns to read but the sadness is tempered by knowing there are books like this one to be discovered in forgotten corners of bookshelves.

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