Review: Ayoade on Ayoade

We’re halfway through the year, and I’m halfway through my Reading Challenge; with Ayoade on Ayoade I’ve met a book that I’m not sure how to describe, much less review. Is it biography? Is it comedy? Is it, in fact, a love letter to the noble art of the Appendix?

Ostensibly, Director, Writer, and Comedian Richard Ayoade interviews himself over the course of this book (and really who else could do him justice?). Ayoade attempts to reveal the true Ayoade to the world through this interview, supplemented by assorted transcripts of emails, texts, reviews and other correspondence which document his working life, and thoughts on the film industry. Readers looking for an actual biography of Richard Ayoade should look elsewhere – this is fiction, and we’re deep in satire country.

I enjoyed this book very much, but then I generally enjoy Richard Ayoade’s humour – especially on panel shows where he’s playing Richard Ayoade, rather than a character such as Maurice Moss, or the Mighty Boosh’s Saboo. I also appreciate the grammatical pedantry, and extensive use of appendices, which is probably an offshoot of many hours spent reading academic treatises. Nonetheless I would hesitate to recommend this to others unless I knew them to already be a fan of Ayoade’s work. It’s just too surreal an introduction.