The March of Folly


Caitlin Moran


Non Fiction


Date Reviewed:

April 24, 2021

picked up this book because it sounded like it might be funny. I did laugh a few times, but the overall amusement level isn't enough to make me want to read any additional books by her. This book is a collection of newspapers columns from about the 2010 timeframe. Moran is apparently a columnist writing for a British newspaper, and allowed to write on whatever topic enters her mind. Frequently, this means popular culture. Most of her columns fill just two or three pages, but some of the articles go on much longer.

Moran must be quite famous, because she is able to interview celebrities such as Keith Richards, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Gordon Brown, who was prime minister at the time. (The column on the Brown interview never actually describes what was said in the interview, instead the entire content describes her frantic but futile attempt to arrive at the interview on time. Moran is saved by the fact that Gordon Brown arrives even later.) Moran is also late for the Lady Gaga interview, and one of the opening columns describes how she showed up late for her first job interview with a wilted lemon cake.

Moran must be an avid television watcher, because she has columns about Downtown Abbey, Sherlock Holmes on the BBC, and Dr. Who. Moran describes the televised events of the funeral for Michael Jackson and the wedding of William to Kate Middleton. She certainly has enthusiasm for these subjects, I have never seen any of those shows, is it possible that they are actually worth viewing?

Moran claims that "Ghostbusters" is the greatest movie of all time, head and shoulders above Star Wars, because Star Wars only has one quotable line: "Luke, I am your father!" What nonsense - amusingly, in a later column Moran uses the line "These are not the droids you're looking for".

Moran has unique world outlook (Don't we all!) that might stem from the fact that she was raised by her hippie parents who lived in an RV and drove aimlessly around England. Moran had seven siblings, all of them crammed into this vehicle. She says she never received any formal education, nor was even home schooled by her parents. Moran has a dislike of travel, and so vacations at the same spots in England year after year. Apparently, taking one's shoes off at the airport is too great a burden for her, she would rather stay home and watch a documentary. Not a personality that I can relate too!

Moran says that her column that generated the most reader response was one she wrote defending libraries from closure. During the Great Recession of 2009, the British government apparently pondered closing libraries to save money. But Moran knows that if the libraries are closed, the government will never find the funds to reopen them. Moran loves libraries, as a poor child, the library was her pathway to adventure and dreams of bigger things. Clearly, Moran has some good ideas.

I guess Moran is hugely popular in England, but I found the writing just okay. I won't be looking for any of her other material.