More by Miles Kington
When some people are told they have only a few months to live, they might travel around the world or write their memoirs or put their affairs in order. When it happened at the age of 66 to Miles Kington-one of England's best-loved humorists-he did what he did best, offering sharp, wry, laugh-out-loud observations and ideas about his situation. Following his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Kington proposes crazier and crazier ideas for his next book (what he calls "cashing in on cancer") in a series of letters to his literary agent, Gill.
And what sort of things capture Kington's attention in his waning months? The sudden grimness of those 1,000 Places to See Before You Die books, for example. (What about 100 Things to Do Before You Die, Without Leaving Home?, he suggests. Instead of bungee jumping and whitewater rafting, learn to whistle with two fingers in your mouth, yodel, or steam open envelopes.) The irony that his dog, Berry, will probably outlive him, or the semi-outrageous idea of creating a funeral video:
The answer is quite simple.
Make a video in advance of my farewell speech, to be shown on a monitor, from the pulpit, or on a screen behind the stage, or wherever the best place would be.
I have already visualised the opening shot.
It is of me, smiling ruefully, and saying to camera: "Hello. I'm sorry I couldn't be here in person with you today."
Mischievous and utterly original, Miles Kington's words in the face of death are memorable and surprisingly uplifting.
Welcome back to the absurd yet joyful world of Miles Kington's legendary Franglais guides! C’est une des grande mixtures de l’histoire, comme gin et tonique, oeuf et bacon, ou les deux Ronnies. Cette combinaison de Français et Anglais vous permet une expérience mind-blowing.
MAINTENANT UNE SCRATCH ET SNIFF ÉDITION EBOOK SPECIALE! CHOIX DE TROIS FLAVOURS: GAULOISE/VINAIGRETTE/TARTE TATIN
Si vous comprenez le blurb, essayez l’interieur.
Vous ne serez pas le loser.
Miles Kington was one of Britain’s most renowned and best loved journalists. Born in County Down, he grew up in Wales and was educated in Scotland, which was all a big mistake as he was actually English. A presenter, playwright, polymath and wit, he wrote columns for The Times, the Independent, Punch and The Oldie. His other acclaimed titles include Someone Like Me, How Shall I Tell the Dog? and The Franglais Lieutenant's Woman.
After creating the popular Franglais! series, Miles Kington always had an ambition: to write a book in English as well.
An “endlessly curious and observant hack”, as he described himself, here a gentle wit and wide-ranging intelligence are brought to bear on everything from the curious geography of Jersey to anthropological studies on German prisoners of war; from an interview with the Mona Lisa to why there’s no such thing as a good jazz singer, via an interrogation of Nostradamus.
Originally written for a wide range of publications, these pieces show Kington really letting his hair down, largely on the grounds that he never expected anyone to read them anyway. Together, they form an effervescent collection of light verse, memoir and listicles (yes, he was there first). In Miles and Miles we have a demonstration of a comic master at work, and a testament to the timeless class of one of Britain’s most-loved humorists.
A delicious second helping of the most humorous and indeed essential languages of all, Let's Parler Franglais Again! will save the day when you find yourself 'Dans le Health Food Shop' having to deal with 'Le Porte-à-Porte Salesman'. Never again will you go blank in le job interview, or when ordering une sandwich dans la boulangerie.
So mesdames et messieurs, bienvenue encore à the merveilleux monde of Franglais, the hilarious series that attained first cult and then classic status. C’est a passeport au success social, une garantie of plein de laughter and a heartfelt celebration of des grande union culturelle.
MAINTENANT NOMINÉ POUR LE PRIX NOBEL, VIGNT OSCARS, ET LE PRIX FRANGLAIS FOR BEST BOOK DANS L’HISTOIRE
Miles Kington was one of Britain's most renowned and best loved journalists. Born in County Down, he grew up in Wales and was educated in Scotland, which was all a big mistake as he was actually English. A presenter, playwright, polymath and wit, he wrote columns for The Times, the Independent, Punch and The Oldie. His other acclaimed titles include Someone Like Me, How Shall I Tell the Dog? and The Franglais Lieutenant's Woman.
Essential reading for anyone who loves wine, cheese, Paris and love – which is to say everyone – Franglais is the key to understanding our French cousins (et vice versa, pour le French who love rosbif, warm biere, et Birmingham). Franglais continues its marche de strength à strength. Pour beaucoup de gens c’est maintenant un way de vie.
‘A true comic genius’ Ian Hislop
‘Ridiculously funny’ Joanna Lumley
‘What a truly gifted, consistently funny writer’ Maureen Lipman
‘Utterly charming and extremely funny’ Independent
Miles Kington was one of Britain’s most renowned and best loved journalists. Born in County Down, he grew up in Wales and was educated in Scotland, which was all a big mistake as he was actually English. A presenter, playwright, polymath and wit, he wrote columns for The Times, the Independent, Punch and The Oldie. His other acclaimed titles include Someone Like Me, How Shall I Tell the Dog? and The Franglais Lieutenant’s Woman.
Did you know that Jane Austen wrote a rip-roaring football yarn called Northanger Abbey v Mansfield Park? That Murder in the Cathedral is only one of a series of murder stories featuring Inspector T.S. Eliot?
That all Shakespeare’s plots were combined in one earth-shattering play called The Two Henry V’s of Verona? Or that a missing chapter from the Gideon Bible describes exactly how God came to create the first hotel?
All these classics, and another forty or so like them, are featured in this unique compendium of world literature, compiled under hygienic conditions in our very own laboratories. Miles Kington gave the best years of his life (well, 1985 and 1986) reducing these masterpieces to manageable size, then translating them into Franglais, that fragrant language which combines the poetry of French with the directness of English, plus a touch of garlic on the side.
Books consulted in research for this work: Everything that has ever been written.
Further information: Franglais Advisory Bureaux, on board all good cross-Channel ferries.
No additives or artificial flavourings have been used. No suffering has been caused to any animal. A great deal of wine was consumed. Enjoy the results.
For decades the columns of Miles Kington were a refreshing spot of lunacy in the dull acres of the world's news. From the arguments between gods past and present (as recorded in the minutes of United Deities meetings), to unlikely agony aunts, all-purpose Shakespeare plays, and interviews with ‘sock psychologists’, nothing is too trivial or unlikely to attract Kington’s attention and wit.
Selected here are over a hundred pieces, each a powerful antidote to doom and destruction with their irreverent, absurd and sometimes surreal attitude to life. They are amongst the best journalism and humorous works of the past fifty years. Read on.
‘Every single day over more than two decades, his column [was] witty, topical, erudite, acutely observed...Quite simply, no-one in modern journalism is capable of such an output at such high quality.’ Simon Kelner
‘As with the very best in any sphere of endeavour, Miles’s trick was to make it look easy. His lightness of touch amounted to a kind of genius. But behind the conversational prose lay craftsmanship of the highest order. His standards never wavered.’ Simon O’Hagan
Alphonse Allais has been described as the greatest humorous writer ever. In the words of Lisa Appignanesi, 'Allais was a consummate absurdist. From an ordinary phenomenon, simple sentiment or situation, he would logically deduce the looniest, most macabre and most unexpected result ... His humour kept all Paris, high and low, waiting breathlessly for the paper which would carry his next tale ...'
On first publication, in 1976, Clive James in the Observer said 'Allais has been dead 70 years but his mocking tone ensures him a permanently relevant after-life'.
And John Sturrock in the New Statesman, 'Allais stands, along with Jarry, at the head of the most dazzling and highly educated tradition of French humour, as witty as it is whimsical'.
Faber Finds offers this rare book as a tribute not only to Alphonse Allais but also Miles Kington, two great humorists in tandem.