I have been to many a book talk at Waterstones in Leeds in the past: from journalist Owen Jones to comedian Russell Kane, I have even seen Dave Gorman talk about another of his books, ‘Dave Gorman Vs. The World’ back in 2011. His new book, however, and the coinciding talk is one of my favourites.
Comedian Dave Gorman is probably most well known for his books about investigating things, like tracking down all the other Dave Gormans in the world, and his television appearances such as ‘America Unchained’: an attempt to travel across America without buying any branded products. His new book, ‘Too Much Information’ however, is a series of short “essays” about different things in modern life and technology that annoy him. For viewers of his Dave series ‘Modern Life Is Goodish’, which is currently amidst a new series, the book will read in a similar way.
Before the talk started, people were busy discussing their favourite things he’d done, or praising his most recent ‘found poem’. For those unaware of the ‘found poem’, Gorman collates comments about certain issues (such as the horsemeat scandal) from news websites and social networks into a satirical poem.
During the talk, Gorman read out various sections of ‘Too Much Information’ to give us a feel for it. Topics in the book include – why purchasing a song to prevent something from getting to number one in the charts is a bad idea, not trusting everything you read on the internet, and what makes a fun fact ‘fun’. Some of the subject matters can be found in ‘Modern Life Is Goodish’ but, as Gorman stated, via a different platform: television and live stand-up (including his latest show Powerpoint Presentation) can explore subject matters in different ways. Similarly, topics can be explored in more depth in a book.
After discussing the book and reading out extracts, he opened the floor to questions. He talked about his writing process and how parts of the book informed ‘Modern Life Is Goodish’ and vice versa.
As a broadcast journalism student with a passion for comedy, I really enjoyed the talk as Gorman discussed an array of media-related subject matters, using his unique comedic style pick faults in aspects of daily life. Media is something that is often passively absorbed and many people don’t realise its power. Gorman tells it how it is: unpacking some issues and annoyances in the media that made everyone think, and maybe realise things they perhaps didn’t before.
In reading the book since, I cannot read it without his voice in my head. He has a very entertaining and readable style of writing and the subject matters in this book are things that so many people can acknowledge and relate to.
The evening was a great insight into Gorman’s new book and how he came to write it. The connections between the book and his television series were really interesting. ‘Too Much Information’ is now out in bookshops around the country, including Leeds’ Waterstones.
The television programme, ‘Modern Life is Goodish’ can be seen Wednesday evenings on Dave (or Dave on Demand) and really give a great taste of Gorman’s comedic style. He is also on tour in the coming months with latest show Powerpoint Presentation.
Watch Dave Gorman’s Found Poem on the ‘Horse Meat Scandal’ on Modern Life is Goodish:
Filed under: Written & Spoken Word