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He Used Thought as a Wife: An Anthology of Poems & Conversations (From Inside)

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It's semi-autobiographical meaning it's not entirely clear what he's invented with his own imagination (I mean, did he have a cow on his balcony? Was there even a mouse?!) but I feel like this just highlights the chaos of the pandemic and the stuff we all had to do to cope. Ever since I made an account on the book-centered social medium, I rated every book from 1 to 5 stars. Thoughtless, because it was an option, and because it felt complete. I rarely gave 1 star (who am to think a book is so shite?), same story with 5 stars (it’s gotta stay special). 2 only when highly irritated, and I found 3 all but easy. 4 stars. I only really gave 4 stars. Because I think giving stars is awkward. A book can speak to you because of so many reasons, and that doesn’t fit inside a small symbol. And mainly, I don’t want to rate my books. Why does everything have to be judged? And why the hell do I have to judge it?

He Used Thought as a Wife. An Anthology of Poems and

Juniper designed the beautiful Megadate printed script, and then his playing cards (which also have conversations with her on some of them) and in this book her role as TK's foil is thrust even further into the spotlight (although how much (if any) of it is real is for the reader to guess). At his most self-consciously pompous, Key fancies himself a latter-day Samuel Pepys, chronicling the modern bubonic plague for posterity. With some justification, even as his febrile imagination conjures bleak erotica, featuring an out-of-his-depth, depressed Boris Johnson, “Bohnson”, as he sinks further into his own hellish quagmire.

The collection, beautifully designed by Emily Juniper, may draw on such tropes as clapping for the NHS or obsessing about sourdough starter without ever seeming trite or overfamiliar.

He Used Thought As A Wife by Tim Key : Book reviews 2021 He Used Thought As A Wife by Tim Key : Book reviews 2021

It's SO good?? Wtf Tim, your brain is a wonder and I'm in awe. The book is very funny, joyful, perfectly odd, sad, relatable and... cozy? I felt snuggled up reading this book. It took care of me. Almost a theatre performance in its dialogues, a novella in its narrative and it’s also the worst possible phrase: ‘a character study’. Not only of Key, but all of us across 2020. Slow, plodding & frequently in a daytime bath - ‘Thought as a Wife’ harrows and entertains in equal measure.Alone in this intersection of spoken waffle and poetry, there’s nothing else like Tim’s writing and it’s in top form here. Moreso than the books 2021 Sequel ‘Mulberry’ that loses much of this books charm by changing setting to outdoors. Tim’s Flat, complete with floor plan provided, does claustrophobia like a fart in a lift. Well humoured, but dense and suffocating.

He Used Thought as a Wife: An Anthology of Poems

Anyone familiar with Key’s passive-aggressive but vulnerable, needy, beer-swigging onstage persona will doubtless be able to conjure a picture of the poet-comic gone to seed. An over-indulging artist imprisoned in his garret, he clung to sanity by scribbling his abrupt, off-beat verse on to Post-it notes and making testy phone calls to friends and family. Is comedy more important than kindness? Is meanness towards those closest to you necessary for quality humour? Is a poem about a Jacob Reece Mogg-like character masturbating a cat really that funny? I think the answer to each of those questions is no. As a historical document, it’s Pepys. It does what it seeks out to achieve. As a work by a comic, it’s tremendously funny and makes me punch the air at its wit, foresight and genius. As a novella it has an embedded friendship love story between author and graphic designer that is untouchable. I kill for a well written sort of flirty friendship. I need to show my friend Grayce this as a benchmark to the appeal of non-romance. Never will a book be written in such a way. And playing with form makes me want to play with myself it’s fantastic.All the while, Key’s intensifying mental degradation belies the volume’s deceptive density and rigorous chronological timeline of major pandemic moments. Despite alighting on obvious touchstones such as the NHS clapping, Johnson’s brush with Covid, banana bread and Dominic “Cumdawg” Cummings’ trip to Barnard Castle, it is the specific oddity of Key’s existence that best captures the general experience of lonely, inward-looking, disconnected life. Having a knowledge of Key and his actual life/friends helps contextualise the conversations, and it is easy to work out who some of the veiled characters are - but beyond that the character that TK paints is fascinating, and the reader is left wondering to what extent the actual Tim Key resembles his self portrait. [Something that his Megadate show also left the audience wondering, I suspect].

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