Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran – Review

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By Sarah Morgan

I’ve been a fan of Caitlin Moran for some time. Not a regular reader of her columns, but if I happen to pick up a copy of The Times, she’s the writer I head to first.

For years she’s been poking fun at the great and the good of the media world, particularly TV, and it’s been hilarious. But her latest book, Moranifesto, sees her get all serious. You see, Moran has been bitten by the politics bug; its dug its teeth in deep and hard and, it seems, it’s not letting go.

To be fair to her, she makes some very sensible points – but it’s the outrageous and unworkable ones that will leave many scratching their heads in despair. Yes, it’s alright to dream, but the idealism often displayed here is frankly mind-boggling.

moranifesto by caitlin moran book review coverHowever, Moran is a writer who can move as well as amuse, so there are moments of breath-taking emotion, including her recollection involving the loss of a baby (she went home and listened to the song ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ – think of that without wiping away a tear, I dare you), as well as wider issues such as feminism. She’s no militant thrusting it down throats; instead, she delivers heartfelt words to inspire and empower the next generation as well as her own.

“Never less than entertaining”

Much of the book was written as she approached her 40th birthday, and you do wonder if, perhaps, that milestone was looming large on the horizon as she battered away at her keyboard. Maybe thoughts of her own mortality, ageing and the impending womanhood of her own two daughters focused certain issues in her mind. Whatever the answer, she is never less than entertaining, no matter what the subject.

But is there enough here to keep those of us who love her showbiz musings happy? Absolutely. There’s a delightful chapter in which Moran visits Benedict Cumberbatch for Sunday lunch with his parents that offers up a whole new side of the Sherlock star, while her musings on Tom Jones and his appreciation of the female contestants on The Voice UK has me laughing out loud.

So while there’s a little too much seriousness for my personal tastes here, the gags and anecdotes interspersed between the politics means it’s still worth trawling through. And if you’ve ever wondered why she always appears to be gurning in publicity photographs, all is revealed within this mighty tome’s pages.

‘Moranifesto’, by Caitlin Moran is published by Ebury Press, £20 hardback


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