We conversed a few short sentences via Twitter as I unashamedly promoted your new book last week. I just read the book in its entirety and I wanted to convey my admiration not only for the words you have written but for a few other things too. Apologies in advance if the words that follow are feverish in their praise. Probably the best way to describe the effect your writing has on me is with one short statement: you are my Bob Ellis. Having said that I’m not sure I will ever name a dog after you.
I followed RYWHM since its inception right through to its conclusion. I always loved your mix of humour and honesty within your writing (Yes Christopher Pyne is a wanker!). Since then I have read everything else you have written. Although the bits of your life that you choose to share through your writing are vastly different to mine I identify with you strongly. Not least because rather than regretting your mistakes, you seem to revel in them.
I could list several reasons why my praise should carry more weight that than the other admirers. I am not a writer by trade, but by hobby. I live a unique life relying upon a quick wit, a sharp intelligence that probably cuts far too many people than it should, and a seat with four wheels. What I like to do most is to share my outlook with the rest of the world. So it is only natural when people ask whom my favourite writer is that your name comes up.
I have been waiting for several years for your first book to be published. Then it finally arrived. I was half expecting it to be like a long awaited birthday present where the expectation of acquiring it far outmatched the prospect of its consumption. Thankfully, this was not the case. The book is the perfect embodiment of your writing: never forced, beautiful prose that is equal parts humourous and heartfelt. ‘The Bubble’ of which you refer to particularly resonated with me as you recalled hedonistic adventures and then turned the power of essay on a dime to explore what it means to transition between one phase of your life into another. It is a masterful piece of writing and it was everything I had come to expect from you and more.
Tangentially we share the employ of the National Broadcaster, but if ever I were lucky enough to travel or occupy the same circle as you, I would probably fawn over you an insane amount. At times I fantasized about being a contributing panelist on the FTBC, perhaps discussing the wonderful work of Bob. Alas, it will probably never happen. If you do however devise ‘A Men of Letters: The Crippled Edition’ feel free to contact me, I’ll be there in a heartbeat.
With much appreciation and respect,