“ Genre: Biography / Author: Nick Griffiths / Hardcover / 272 Pages / Book is published 2007-04-19 by Gollancz „
I thought this book was very funny, though not being a Doctor Who fan I did skim through the bits about the series. I don't really get the objection that the author's life isn't exciting enough. He writes amusingly about things everyone can relate to, from schooldays to dating to earning a crust and settling down. I seem to remember one Nick Hornby being a publishing sensation with his memories of going to Arsenal games. How exciting is that? I would recommend Dalek I Loved You to baby boomers and Doctor Who fans who have a sense of humour. Equally the criticism of the author's writing style surprised me. I found it conversational and witty with some very funny observational humour (especially the bit about his student union bar being named after Nelson Mandela). Agreed, 'there are large chunks where nothing Doctor Who-related happens'. A bit like life. The clue is in the title: Dalek I Loved You. A Memoir.
Just a quick line, as I am at work, to say I enjoyed Dalek I Loved You.
There are plenty of Doctor Who books on the shelf so I do not really understand IainWear's negative review as it is what is says on the dust jacket and no more.
It certainly isn't a 'cash in' as he suggests.
IainWear even admits that 'a friend said it was very funny'
I would recommend Dalek I Loved You to any fans of a certain age.
Fuller review to follow - some time!
Nick, the author, here. I don't mind people having their opinions or even slagging off my book in a confused review (can I or can't I write?). But I think it's a shame that other people take one view as gospel and are put off buying DILY, when they might actually enjoy it. If you'd like to visit my website at www.nickgriffiths.co.uk you'll find reviews by national publications - Doctor Who Magazine, The Guardian, among many others - by people who loved the book. Bit of balance. Thank you.
A friend of mine, knowing Im a Doctor Who fan, recommended this to me as being very funny. Indeed, its kind of funny that there is even the option to buy a book such as this. The return of Doctor Who has suddenly made it the kind of program that a man in his 30s can admit to liking. In years past, I would never have considered buying a book like this, as I would never have wanted anyone knowing I watched Doctor Who, much less enjoyed it.
That is essentially Nick Griffiths reasoning behind writing this book. Until the return of the series around three years ago, being a Doctor Who fan was something you kept quiet; for fear that people would think you a nerd. Before then, a Doctor Who fan was someone who hung around Outpost Gallifrey and wrote fan fiction and the description would possibly have fitted relatively well.
However, since the return of the series, everything has changed. Its no longer aimed purely at making children hide behind their sofas, but is now family viewing. I can be proud that my claim to fame is a flatmate so involved in the show that his name appears in the credits and it now means that people like Nick Griffiths can proudly admit that, yes; they were Doctor Who fans all along.
This is the whole thought process behind Dalek, I Loved You. Now that he can admit to it without being laughed at, Nick Griffiths takes us through his history as a Doctor Who fan: starting from the age of four when he first remembers seeing the show. We follow his life through his teen years, through girlfriends and friends who couldnt understand the attraction and to whom he never mentioned that he was a fan out of shame.
We see Nick eventually break into journalism and how he fills the dead years after Doctor Who was cancelled by the BBC. We see his ever growing collection of Doctor Who videos (and later, DVDs) and memorabilia. We are invited into every aspect of his life until, finally, his job and his passion coincide and he becomes a journalist for the Radio Times and is able to write about Doctor Who and even meet and interview some of the cast, or both the modern version and of shows gone by.
To be honest, this sounds terribly dull to me. But a friend said it was very funny and theres a quote on the front from David Tennant, who currently plays The Doctor with such enthusiasm and skill saying pretty much the same thing, so I guess it must be quite funny. Unfortunately, I swiftly discover that they were wrong and my first impressions were correct.
The problem isnt that Nick Griffiths cant write. Several years of working as a journalist have given him plenty of practice at writing and hes not too bad at it. Hes also had a fair amount of practice at writing about Doctor Who and hes spent the majority of his life as a fan, so hes perfectly qualified in that regard. His qualifications to write about the rest of his subject matter arent the issue either. After all, hes lived every single minute he recounts here, so hes the best person to be talking about it.
The problem is that Nick Griffiths is a married father of one who went to public school, then to university and ended up working as a journalist. Sure, he can write, but someone should have told him that before you start telling a story, its best to have a story to tell. Nick Griffiths life is so mundane its virtually a non event. This wouldnt be so bad if there was a great deal about Doctor Who in here, as thats why were buying the book and the whole reason it was ever published, but we dont even get that.
Like Tom Bakers autobiography, which I also only read because the title suggested his Doctor Who links would be prominent, there are large chunks where nothing Doctor Who related happens. In any other biography, that wouldnt be too bad, as something else interesting would be happening, but in Nick Griffiths case, if nothing Doctor Who is going on, then nothing of note is really happening. I realise that all the events were important to him, but theyre just not worth telling to anyone else.
I cant see this book really appealing to anyone. I bought it as a fan of the modern Doctor Who, only to discover that the current series was barely mentioned and that it really isnt an interesting life. Fans of the original Doctor Who will probably already know all the Doctor Who bits he puts in and be equally qualified to write their own autobiography on the same grounds. Any fan of autobiographies will soon discover than this one isnt worth reading because it was never really worth writing in the first place.
Another count against Dalek, I Loved You is that the doubtful quality makes it seem even more over priced than books are naturally. The £12.99 cover price would be too expensive for a better book, never mind this one. I wouldnt even suggest paying the Amazon price of £7.78, although if youre a huge fan of either the classic Doctor Who or of autobiographies, the Amazon Marketplace prices from £3.24 may not be too bad. If you have to read this, I would suggest waiting until the paperback is released and available cheaply and pick it up then. My overall recommendation would be to not pick it up at all.
This is a desperate attempt to cash in on the popularity of the new Doctor Who that should have been exterminated before it even started. I dont know who is most to blame; the author for thinking his life was worthy of publication, or the publishers for agreeing to this. One thing is for sure even if they were capable of it, the Daleks wouldnt love Nick Griffiths back.