Always one to branch out in to new areas and topics I decided to contact one of the biggest book publishing agencies in the world and put myself at their mercy. I asked for a forthcoming book and lo and behold they send me Banana Skins by Donough O’Brien. It’s a collection of short articles on the events that have led to the downfalls of some of the most powerful men and women in the world.
The first thing that struck me about the book is its fantastic visual quality, from the glossy front cover to the hundreds of illustrations and photos inside, it’s a feast for the eyes. Each story is brilliantly told out with accompanying shots of the person in question as well as their unique downfall. There’s also a handy banana skin icon on each article at the exact point that person’s world crumbled around them, so you can jump straight to the disasters if that’s your kind of thing. Honestly before it arrived I didn’t have a clue how I would photograph the book but thanks to the brilliant design throughout there was no end of photos I could take to show it in all its glory.
As for the articles themselves they’re brief and straight to the point. Usually around 2 pages each they don’t waste time blabbering on about each persons childhood, they establish that person’s role in the world and then the events that destroyed their world. Whilst that may sound a bit dark this book isn’t there to act as a warning to others, it’s merely a humorous bit of satire, ideal for readers of Private Eye and the like.
I mean how many books can you find that have Paris Hilton just a page across from Bill Clinton? How many books tell the downfall of Richard Nixon in just 2 and a half pages? Gone are the days where you have to read a persons biography just to get to the juicy bits. Donough O’Brien lays everything out as it happened and lets you eat it all up.
Depending on your personal preference the book also splits up each person’s downfall in to different categories such as Love and Lust (Pamela Anderson), Lies & Treachery (Jeffrey Archer) and Envy & Jealousy (The Leaning Tower of Pisa). That’ll also give you some idea as to the diversity of the events included, there’s everything from celebrities, politicians, war heroes & villains and even towns & cities for you to laugh at.
Banana Skins is a great read through and through. With over 370 pages of slip-ups and beautifully coloured pages it’s essential pick up and put down material for night time reading, train journeys, or just whenever you’ve got 5 minutes free.
Banana Skins will be released on 1st of October 2006 and comes in both hardback and paperback editions. You can pre order it using the handy links below: