The Thursday Night Letters by PK Munroe
Munroe's letters are the best part of the book
Books using hoax letter writing are hard to do; the trick is to make your initial letter funny, but somehow also convince your target to write back in an amusing manner. PK Munroe gets this half right here – a self described 'ideas man', he writes a series of letters to people and companies, seeking support for his outlandish inventions. Munroe's letters are the best part of the book – Airlines for declared Atheists only, to avoid religious fanatics, a celebrity flanning agency and hunter-gatherer supermarkets are all pitched. However, the replies are largely disappointing. In the age of cut and paste, it's too easy to send standard dismissal letters to such suggestions, and most of the reply letters here are very standard. Strangely, some of Munroe's ideas seem to have merit, such as the feedback volume on a phone to show how loud the user is. But this still elicits the same dull corporate-type reply. This tells us that large companies aren't very open to ideas, but this is hardly the point. The best replies are from those people who seem to get the joke, but in these cases, the initial joke is spoiled because they've seen through it. Nonetheless, there are ideas aplenty here, and that's not something you can say of most books these days. [Gary Tennant]
Out Now. New Holland Publishers Ltd. Cover price £7.99 hardback.