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Because I Don't Know What You Mean and What You Don't

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Please include what you were doing when this page came up and the Cloudflare Ray ID found at the bottom of this page. There’s also recurring mentions of drug use in a number of the stories which I personally don’t like reading about. I’m not a hardcore fan, but I’ve often enjoyed the comedy work of Long, and really enjoyed Bookshambles, so this was an interesting concept. Please Note: By their very nature, all signed books will have been handled several times before they get to you. Long’s comedy always seemed more crafted than off the cuff, but that exchange between supposed friends has an iciness that is markedly different from her stage persona.

She won the Best Newcomer award at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has been nominated three times for Best Show. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.

But over sixteen stories I wanted her to break away from the minimalist Carver style, and hoped for more variety of tone. Josie Long’s first collection reveals a natural gift with a frank and poignant tale; teenage experience, community WhatsApp groups and broken family units are picked apart with a wry cynicism at the weirdness and cruelty of life. I really hope this isn't the end of Josie Long's writing career and that there's more where this came from!

This being her first book of stories, and her best being known mainly for her award-winning comedy and activism, Long can be forgiven.It's definitely a different read compared with almost anything else out there, but I rather like that. I think that’s where it’s like standup because in a show I try and note little details to make it richer. We zoom into someone's life, stay with them for a short period and then fly off to see someone else's life.

It's hard to pick a favourite - 'We decided to leave London', which is about life during lockdown and 'Poets Rise', which explores authoritarian surveillance, both really stood out for me. And between gigging, she’s also spent a decade presenting BBC’s award-winning mini documentary series Short Cuts, hosted a parenting podcast with her partner and fellow comedian Johnny Donahoe, and co-founded Arts Emergency, a vital charity helping young people into creative careers. That’s the best thing, just to keep trying different things, having a taste of everything and trying to enjoy it. Also I’m somebody who didn’t have a strong connection with nature growing up and discovering it has been life changing. Long showcases these heightened feelings almost to an extreme point, and while they can be exciting, deranged and cringey to read about, you do have to ask yourself - What would happen if we did let the intrusive thoughts win?What connects Dawn French, Joanna Lumley, AL Kennedy, Frankie Boyle, James Acaster and Monica Heisey?

I struggled with this - some of the stories were just perfect, such as the story of the women on an estate in lockdown and the story of the grandpa trying to compensate for a relationship between a son and his father. Similarly haunted by the pandemic is “Poets Rise”, a Black Mirror-esque tale of surveillance and loneliness. It also added an extra dimension to my guessing game of how autobiographical some of the stories were. It’s the kind of speech that could easily have come from a media-trained left-wing politician rather than a comedian. I got one done in 2016 - I was at a friend’s house and sat down one evening and wrote a story really quickly and was like ‘oh this is going to be easy, I can get it all done in a week’ then didn’t do another one for four years.Added to that has been a rising political consciousness that’s made her one of the UK’s loudest left-wing voices – alongside Stewart Lee, who was an early champion of her work – in a comedy scene that often ducks away from controversy.

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