The first book I finished this year was Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade. And it was magical.
Ayoade on Ayoade is pitched as a book where Richard Ayoade interviews
himself. Richard Ayoade is an English actor and film director. He has directed
Submarine and the Double. He also appears every now and then on panel shows,
and he’s very odd. He’s often described as brooding and genius and brilliant.
The book satirises the interview of directors and books that discuss directors.
It is also about Ayoade’s love of film, but in a really weird way. It’s more
about joking about movies and interviews.
I don’t think people who have seen Richard Ayoade randomly on a panel
show and thought he’s funny, will like this book. I thought it was brilliant,
because I’m weird. I think you need to really like him, and really enjoy his
humour. He’s very clever, and his humour is very clever and very out there.
He’s often worked with Noel Fielding and Russell Brand and Julian Barrett and
if you really like their kind of humour you might also appreciate Ayoade.
I loved the interviews. They’re conducted by a very normal, sensible
Ayoade, and he’s interviewing a very weird, out there, temperamental, angry,
passionate, argumentative Ayoade. It feels like he really doesn’t like to be
interviewed, so he deliberately ruins the interviews or steers them off course.
Richard Ayoade, in real life, doesn’t like being interviewed, so he also quite
often ruins interviews just by being odd. An example would be this interview
with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy, where he just deliberately acts like a
difficult interviewee. And it’s amazing.
The book is also full of footnotes, which are brilliant. He has like
arguments with himself. He goes into why he likes a certain director. There is
one footnote where he defines what a script is, by defining is as a
book/manuscript, and then defining The Script as a band, and then he writes a script
about The Script, because why not. At the end of the book there are also a
whole bunch of appendices where he writes essays or mocked-up emails from his
agent, or diary entries from when he did Submarine or the Double. They are all incredible. And I don't know why I love them exactly, I just know that I laughed out loud.
I really loved it. It was exactly what I wanted it to be. And I laughed
out loud, and I love Richard Ayoade. I think it’s kind of specific, but I
really love it.