Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - Self-Help Guide

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - Self-Help Guide

Article excerpt

P. J. O'Rourke is what happens when America does Grumpy Old Men. Instead of sour-faced curmudgeons bleating that 'politics is just a load of crap', you get a succession of amusing and incisive observations about why politics is a load of crap. And his solution is that we should stop looking for solutions - from politics, that is.

For the real solution, we need to look in the mirror.

In his latest book, Don't Vote! It Ju st Encou rage s th e Ba sta rd s (G rove / Atlantic, £16.99), O'Rourke's humour is used to advance arguments ('the government is taking a third of your pay . . . is the government doing a third of your dishes? ') as well as to satirise: a typical National Public Radio headline, he says, runs: 'World to end. Poor and minorities hardest hit'. Making no apology for rehearsing well-worn philosophies, he bags targets with single shots. …

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