Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Really Bad Titles
If you haven't come across this wonderful radio comedy, seek it out - I think it's on digital BBC7 at present, and will surely be back on Radio 4. Ed Reardon is Grub Street's grubbiest, seediest and most desperate hack (his name and that of his friend Jaz Milvane are adapted from characters in George Gissing's New Grub Street), and one of the most vividly ghastly comedy creations of recent years.. But the detail I want to draw attention to is the name of his sole successful novel, Who Would Fardels Bear? This strikes me as the perfect Really Bad Title. There must surely be competitors out there in the world of real books - they may even be Really Bad Titles attached to Really Good Books... An old favourite of mine is an Alan Paton title (which I've never read) - Too Late The Phalarope. Any more?