Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Christie Malry's Own Double Entry” as Want to Read:
Christie Malry's Own Double Entry
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Christie Malry's Own Double Entry

by
4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  891 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
B.S. Johnson's funniest and most accessible novel, reissued for the first time in 25 years. Christie Malry is a simple person. Born into a family without money, he realised early along in the game that the best way to come by money was to place himself next to it. So he took a job as a very junior bank clerk in a very stuffy bank. It was at the bank that Christie discovere ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published May 25th 2001 by Picador (first published 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Christie Malry's Own Double Entry, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Christie Malry's Own Double Entry

Ice by Anna KavanThe Unfortunates by B.S. JohnsonChristie Malry's Own Double Entry by B.S. JohnsonImpossible Object by Nicholas MosleyThe Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard
British Experimental Novels 1940-1980
3rd out of 89 books — 28 voters
Infinite Jest by David Foster WallaceSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutGravity's Rainbow by Thomas PynchonIf on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo CalvinoThe Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Postmodern Genius
90th out of 440 books — 435 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,949)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mike Puma
This novel’s humorous tone and the author’s suicide will put some readers in mind of John Kennedy Toole and his A Confederacy of Dunces. The protagonists of both novels share a general loathing of their circumstances and the people around them. CMOD-e is, however, much more fun and funnier. Johnson’s metafictional account of Christie Malry’s attempt to balance his life’s accounts is, at first, easy to identify with and creates in the reader a sympathetic reflection.

At one point the intrusive au

...more
Kris
Sep 04, 2012 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kris by: Mark
Shelves: fiction, favorites
I am joining my voice to the chorus of friends who love this book. I read it yesterday, when I was not in the best of moods. Johnson's writing helped to lift that haze. (Many thanks to Mark for recommending and lending the book to me. I have now ordered my own copy - you're correct that I want it for my collection.)

As mentioned in other reviews, this is an experimental novel that combines wicked doses of dark humor with many different, and hilarious, nods to the fact that this is a novel. The na
...more
knig
Jan 17, 2012 knig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keeper, quirky, favourites
Extremely clever rendition of a bored accounts clerk who decides to square it with fate with his very own double entry ‘reckoning’ by going ‘postal worker’ : debit Christie Malry, credit the body count. The ratio seems to work out roughly to several hundred corpses for every time his boss shouts at him. Which is not to say that he’s got double entry right here: what I’ve retained from accountancy 101 makes me cringe at this blatant misuse of credit and debit (done deliberately I believe, as John ...more
Ian Grayjoy
Feb 20, 2013 Ian Grayjoy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ian by: MJ Nicholls
A Novel Epigram

The author, B.S. Johnson:

"The novel should now try simply to be Funny, Brutalist, and Short."

"It does not seem to me possible to take this novel much further. I’m sorry."

Ain’t that the truth.

The Zany Prankster

This novel is Funny, Brutalist, and Short. (Only a little longer than this review actually.)

It takes a simple person, an industrious pilgrim, Christie Malry, and it tells you the truth about him, his place in the world and his progress through it.

Unlike most people, he doesn
...more
MJ Nicholls
Aug 24, 2010 MJ Nicholls rated it it was amazing
This touching and despairing and hilarious and beautiful book demands to be read NOW. B.S. Johnson was painfully aware of the artifice of the novel, fed-up of conventional narrative styles and the failings of the novel as an art form. In a sense he was an anti-novelist, his utterly contrary approach making him one of the most original novelists of his generation.

This book, for those morbid enquirers, can be read as Johnson's suicide note. Despite its cynical, dismissive view of humanity it is al
...more
Mala

3.5 stars.

There are some fantastic top community reviews of this book so why should I work hard? Perhaps I should debit them for depriving me of the opportunity...

There are two ways of approaching this book:

A) Siding with the underdog—don't we just love it? Down with the system, burn everything down, out with the old—our spleen gets a vicarious outlet identifying with Christie Malry. But who is this deluded malcontent? And does he have any alternative plans once the system is really down? At wha
...more
Paul Bryant
Jun 07, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels


This was a really difficult book to read. Because it was quite short, the strong glue the printers used meant that it wouldn’t open fully unless I was going to break the spine, which I was loath to do as it’s a brand new copy (unusually for me - I prefer second hand paperbacks, and if there’s marginalia in them so much the better, it’s like stalking the intimate moments of a previous reader. I believe I am not alone in this secret pleasure). So I was forever peering down a waterfall of text disa
...more
Nate D
Nov 28, 2011 Nate D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: orderly anarchists
Recommended to Nate D by: MJ / Jasmine
I've hit upon a lucky string of pretty excellent books lately, and this is another.

Detailing the life of a petty clerk who begins to tally his accounts with society -- debits incurred by an assortment of modern inconveniences, frustrations, and injustices against his credits, beginning with minor vandalisms and quickly escalating -- this reads like a kind of darker Calvino, seemingly light-handed amusing post-modernism eliding into something much more cynical. As others have observed, this was h
...more
Mark
May 28, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book I have ever read, period. Part V For Vendetta, part Fight Club, part Monty Python, part PoMo comedy/revenge anti-novel that's barely long enough to be called a novel at all (appropriately enough). The characters live and breathe, despite Johnson's repeated reminders that this is indeed a work of fiction.

The Fourth Wall hath been breached and we the readers are all the better for it.
Greg
Apr 08, 2008 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
B.S. Johnson is someone I had never read before, but had been on my radar to read for quite sometime. I think at some point I read that DFW really liked him, and then a few years ago Jonathan Coe wrote a very interesting looking biography on him. I don't know what took me so long to finally try to read him, his books that are still in print aren't too big, this one is only about two hundred pages, and a lot of those pages are filled with lots of white space. Yes his books are kind of expensive, ...more
Carmen
Jan 08, 2013 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Really really really liked this one.

Totally preposterous but totally brilliant, in a Vonnegut sort of way. Johnson is totally aware of the tropes of novel writing and twists them, pokes fun at them, and yet he uses them while he pokes fun.

Sure, it is dark! It's dark in that there's a complete disregard for human life. But the author is actually making a point at how our society undervalues humanity. And once Christie Malry (The King Evilmaker/anti-Christ if you read his name that way) gets out
...more
Jim Elkins
Apr 19, 2013 Jim Elkins rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
This is a hard novel to assess, for two unrelated reasons.

First, it may be the best of the 1970s style postmodern narratives in which the author continuously reminds the reader that it’s only a narrative, not anything real. If it is the best, it’s because of Johnson’s light touch. The first hint of metanarrative is on the first page. The book begins with a one-sentence paragraph:

“Christie Malry was a simple person.”

There then follows a paragraph describing a stupid decision he makes. The third p
...more
Tosh
Oct 27, 2013 Tosh rated it really liked it
A quirky book about the quiet one in an office. B.S. Johnson is a British cult writer who has a rather dry sense of humor (or humour) and this book is funny. It has almost a Goons sense of adventure/funny ha-ha, but it actually has serious overtones.

The experimental aspect of the novel can be border-line pretentious, but the humor saves it from that dreaded area. I will locate more of Johnson's writings/books!
Andrew Schirmer
Aug 05, 2013 Andrew Schirmer rated it really liked it
Shelves: english
A nearly unrelenting romp of great hilarity, the central idea of which is a reductio ad absurdum of a basic accounting tenet. Fantastic authorial insertions a la Gilbert Sorrentino...
Rhys
Mar 21, 2009 Rhys rated it it was amazing
I first read this novel about four years ago and was blown away by it. The story of a young man who applies the principles of Double Entry Bookkeeping to the moral questions of everyday life -- as I'm convinced many of us do -- seemed profound, funny and tragic all at the same time. Almost immediately *Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry* became one of my all-time favourite novels, certainly somewhere in my top 10 best-ever fiction reads.

After this recent re-reading it still holds its position in
...more
Kyle
Oct 18, 2009 Kyle rated it it was amazing
Nominally about some simpleminded clerk in dreariest Hammersmith who takes the soothing certainty of the double-entry method and applies it to the unsettling complexities he encounters inside and outside of the workplace. The narrative includes a number of double-entry sheets with debits and credits assigned to various injuries Malry suffers and the actions he takes to compensate for them- a few hundred in the debit column for the fact that socialism hasn't been given a chance, and a few hundred ...more
Christopher James
Jan 23, 2011 Christopher James rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
This book is very interesting indeed.

Johnson was writing at a time when much of the literati were bemoaning the death of the novel. The introduction tells us that Johnson, in many ways, agreed. If all you wanted to do was tell a story then film or television was a better medium. The saving grace of the novel was it's ability to delve into internal states. All very true.

Yet here's a book that's packed with plot. It fizzes along, casually throwing around some very big ideas, neat po-mo tricks, s
...more
Ben
Aug 10, 2014 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Christie,' I warned him, 'it does not seem to me possible to take this novel much further. I'm sorry.'
'Don't be sorry,' said Christie, in a kindly manner, 'don't be sorry. We don't equate length with importance, do we? And who wants long novels anyway? Why spend all your spare time for a month reading a thousand-page novel when you can have a comparable aesthetic experience in the theatre or cinema in only one evening? The writing of a long novel is in itself an anachronistic act: it was relev
...more
Andrew Robins
Feb 06, 2016 Andrew Robins rated it it was amazing
What a marvellous book.

Very short (150 pages or so), brimming with cynicism, fatalism, nihilism and a general almost sociopathic contrariness that is impossible not to like, this is a very funny, moving book, and unlike anything I've read in a long time.

Christy Malry is a bored clerk who, inspired by the principles of double entry book keeping, decides to seek redress for what he sees as crimes committed against him by modern life, seeking an equal, balancing revenge against society to even thin
...more
Beatrice
Jan 15, 2013 Beatrice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 11books
I like things that are self-aware without taking themselves too seriously and this was exactly that. Definitely not for everyone...but, if you have a sense of humor and fancy yourself clever, you will probably appreciate it as well
Jasmine
May 16, 2009 Jasmine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british
another book I forgot to review. this is fantastic. B.s johnson killed himself because he was angry that he wasn't more famous, if that isn't a reason to read it nothing is.
Jonathan
Apr 04, 2013 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it - perhaps some of the meta-textual play feels a little dated now, but the wit and narrative force more than makes up for it.
J.T. Wilson
May 12, 2016 J.T. Wilson rated it liked it
Slight but often very funny metafictional experiment in which a no-talent teenager in a go-nowhere accountancy job hits upon a sort-of karmic retribution notion, in which he intends to avenge debits inflicted upon him (workplace hostility, childhood traumas) by attaining credits (workplace sabotage, hoax threats). Unfortunately for the public, Christie's perceptions of society's debits drifts further and further away from reality, meaning that his attempts to settle the score go from Operation M ...more
David
Jan 19, 2014 David rated it really liked it
Recommended to David by: Michael Dirda, Washington Post
Shelves: read-fiction
Having read this short novel (about a crazed accountant) and Albert Angelo within the space of two weeks, I have completely exhausted the Washington, D.C., public library system's supply of the works of B.S. Johnson.

To my Goodreads friend who is an accountant (you know who you are): I recommend this book because it is always interesting to see how your chosen profession (whatever it is) is portrayed in fiction. That's why I'm always telling dentists to read Buddenbrooks even though, whenever
...more
Hans Thyssen
Reader, you should read this if you want to be a good reader.

First of all, I want to say thank you to Mister Luke Haines. He mentioned Christie Malry during an interview and concert at the Southbank Centre last summer (which summer I mean you'll have to find out yourself if your interested at all). Later I also read a book by Mister Haynes, called Post Everything: Outsider Rock and Roll. In this book he luckily mentioned Mr. Malry again, because I had forgotten to write it down.

Christie Malry
...more
Grim-Anal King
Feb 22, 2012 Grim-Anal King rated it really liked it
Oh so post-modern in a way that seems fairly fresh when Stewart Lee attempts it in comedy but seems dated in literary form. No worries though, it's set before I was born and the author writing himself in isn't clumsy like Alasdair Gray in Lanark or Iain Sinclair in that Welsh one I can't remember the name of and can't be be bothered to look up. Being postmodern in the distant past is more edgy than being postmodern about the present. Because we are postmodern and they weren't or didn't think the ...more
Roderick Mcgillis
Sep 01, 2015 Roderick Mcgillis rated it really liked it
I have not read Johnson since way back in the 1970s, and I had not read this novel before. I have fond memories of Travelling People and Albert Angelo, books that began Johnson's career as an aspiring Laurence Sterne. He began by trying out the dark and mottled pages Sterne places in Tristram Shandy, but quickly turns to other experiments in books such as Trawl and House Mother Normal, and the one that comes in a box and has no binding. Anyway, I enjoyed Christie Malry, the story of a malcontent ...more
Caroline
May 14, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it
Sharply funny and insidiously postmodern. Johnson was ahead of his time in undercutting the narrative conventions by referring to his own authorship on almost every page.

But his real intent is to suggest the system dooms us to inevitably be on the losing side of life. Even when Christie throws all conventional morality to the wind he cannot come out ahead.

And when Johnson has just 'shown this', he nevertheless chides himself for writing about the battle instead of engaging in it himself.
Adam Dalva
Oct 17, 2014 Adam Dalva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A totally wonderful lean volume of metafiction. Not for everyone, but I've never read a book that relishes its bookiness more, that is more pleasantly self-aware. I hadn't heard of Johnson before reading this (frankly, I don't even remember why I have this one), and I will be going back to the well shortly. Who else gives you paragraphs like:

"Headlam paused to provide a paragraph break for resting the reader's eye in what might otherwise have been a daunting mass of type"

What's special about thi
...more
Kobe Bryant
Aug 11, 2015 Kobe Bryant rated it liked it
This is one of those experimental novels, the good news is that it's a really quick read
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 64 65 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson
  • Tripticks
  • Island People
  • The Plains
  • Mulligan Stew
  • 1982, Janine
  • Recollections of the Golden Triangle
  • In Youth is Pleasure & I Left My Grandfather's House
  • Impossible Object
  • Take Five
  • Textermination
  • Darconville’s Cat
  • Double or Nothing
  • War & War
  • Composition No. 1
  • Bleeding London
  • Glyph
  • While the Women Are Sleeping
52280
B. S. Johnson (Bryan Stanley Johnson) was an English experimental novelist, poet, literary critic and film-maker.

Johnson was born into a working class family, was evacuated from London during World War II and left school at sixteen to work variously as an accounting clerk, bank junior and clerk at Standard Oil Company. However, he taught himself Latin in the evenings, attended a year's pre-univers
...more
More about B.S. Johnson...

Share This Book