An amusing, informative, controversial and utterly irreverent history of the world's favourite word. F, U, C and K - four letters that can cause outrage, scandal, embarrassment or instant relief if you hit your thumb with a hammer.
In this wide-ranging and frequently hilarious history of the F-word, Rufus Lodge searches out the origins of our language's most popular obscenity, and chronicles its dramatic arrival in our everyday lives. As he discovers, the F-word can be heard among aristocrats and astronauts, rock stars and royals, poets and politicians, even in the company of Father Ted and Basil Brush. No-one is safe from the F-word's outrageous progress, as innocent animals, fragrant mothers, and squeaky-clean TV hosts are dragged into the fray.
The cast of characters includes Shakespeare, the Beatles, Andy Murray, T.S. Eliot, Elton, Camilla, and everyone unfortunate enough to live in an Austrian town with a very embarrassing name. F*** is a cavalcade of priceless anecdotes, historical research, filthy jokes and definitions too devious for any decent dictionary - guaranteed to make you laugh, and broaden your vocabulary*.
* The publisher takes no responsibility for any embarrassment caused when listeners drop the F-bomb after hearing this book.
"I love this book. It's guaranteed to be a bestseller." (Richard E Grant)
"No book in history has used the word so often: five, six, seven times per page." (Times Literary Supplement)
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It has its moments
He is a joy to listen to. His timbre, pace and versatilty with numerous accents is absolutely delightful. You can almost hear him grinning at times. In any one else's hands, I may not have stayed the distance. I wish he would spread his wings to include more diverse material, as the titles in his repertoire don't appeal.
His narration of Roald Dahl short stories and Aesop's fables will captivate younger listeners.
So far, there is only one review on Audible's UK site - nothing on the US site - yet. It looks like either the title is too off-putting, or no-one has the courage to admit having written/read/narrated/listened to this book. The author is hiding under the pseudonym of Rufus Lodge and the British narrator, Richard E Grant is actually Richard Esterhuysen from Swaziland (a small land-locked country in Southern Africa). Thank goodness my reviews are also under a nom-de-plume.
It was interesting and informative at times, peppered with amusing anecdotes and a fair amount of historical background. The origins of some of the F-bomb's more embellished cousins as well as how it has become almost commonplace, particularly as part of the 60s counterculture, made it a good filler. Authors such as the elusive JD Salinger, Norman Mailer and notables like Allen Ginsberg and John Lennon were also included, among others. There was also a section on acronyms, some of which elicited a smile. No spoiler, but the title word itself is an acronym.
Where it failed was that it went off topic. In so doing, Rufus Lodge turned it into a tedious swear fest by including almost every other expletive and obscenity. I skimmed these sections.
At 200 pages / 5 1/2 hours this is a quick, undemanding read which will provide a few "I didn't know that!" or "Did you know?" snippets for the useless-trivia junkie.
Overall I am giving it 3 stars - 2 for content and 5 for narration.