MJ Nicholls's Reviews > A Life in Pictures

A Life in Pictures by Alasdair Gray
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's review
May 03, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: art-or-illustrated, non-fiction, hoots-mon
Read from May 02 to 04, 2012

Hello, I am Colin Pie, managing director of the MJ Nicholls & Affiliated Pseudonyms Reviewing Experience (MJNAAPRE). Due to a decrease in market share of the MJ Nicholls review (dropping from nine million page views to four) and the reduced volume of likes within the last three months, for a trial period all MJ Nicholls reviews will be written from an entirely fiscal perspective. I will be reviewing this particular item to save on the labour required in sourcing original MJ Nicholls non sequiturs and irrelevant MJ Nicholls wisecracks. The MJ Nicholls reviewing style of large block paragraphs with no spaces will be replaced with a more reader-friendly spacing policy.

1) GENERAL MARKET. This hardcover book of artwork and autobiographical gloss, from an artist known largely for his novel Lanark, will sell mainly to those familiar with his fiction. It will sell to devoted readers of his novels and stories, his semi-popular stage plays, and perhaps to occupants of Glasgow familiar with his distinctive images hewn into the city’s cultural landscape. Its market price, £35, makes it a luxury item among the middle-class Scottish audience in boroughs like Dowanhill and Kelvinbridge. Wealthy overseas patrons of his work might also purchase copies.

2) ASSORTED COMMENTARY. The book is—to use a cliché the reviewing masses will appreciate—a labour of love, covering Gray’s early paintings inspired by Hieronymus Bosch and William Blake, to his most famous mural Cowcaddens Streetscape in the Fifties. It offers a complete retrospective of his large religious murals, his hundreds of portraits, his chunky nudes and his exquisite book covers. The text often interrupts the visual feast of the images, but provides an exhaustive commentary on the work and the context in which it was created.

3) WHO IS COLIN PIE? I don’t know what MJ Nicholls has said about me, but I do not imbibe too much on the weekends. I also did not set fire to my sister’s Renault Espace after a four-week vodka and Sprite binge.

4) PURCHASIBILITY. This is a beautiful collection of artwork from one of the biggest talents of 20thC (and beyond) Scottish art. The work in here is erotic, melancholy, foreboding . . . I’m sorry, but the present budget only extends to three descriptives at present. I also did not eat my nephew’s pubic hair after losing a bet in a pub. I would think, as Leader of the MJ Nicholls & Affiliated Pseudonyms Reviewing Experience, MJ Nicholls would have more responsibility than to spread such scurrilous rumours. So: in brief, if you have an extremely large budget for lavish coffeetable art books, I recommend this pristine hardcover immensely. I am Colin Pie, thank you for skim-reading this MJNAAPRE review. Send any donations direct to my house, please.
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Heh. Skim-reading. Ok.

message 2: by Mike (new)

Mike Puma Skim-reading? I hang on your every word.

message 3: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls Colin Pie thanks you for your participation in this comments box. He encourages all kinds of conviviality and amusement, provided it complies with our revised company policy.

message 4: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie While skim-reading this review, I wondered what a co-feetable art book is.

message 5: by Traveller (last edited May 04, 2012 03:33PM) (new)

Traveller If you were trying to catch us out with the "skim-reading" snuck into the end there, let me tell you that I read the headings and the end, finis.

Then I comment on the last two sentences, to make the reviewer think I had read the review from start to end.

message 6: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls I know for a fact MJ Nicholls does not read every word of the long reviews. He says he "has a life," which is a laugh and a half.

message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant I understand the real Colin Pie will be contacting you privately about this review. Note to the gullible : Colin Pie did not write the above review.

message 8: by Manny (last edited May 07, 2012 08:23AM) (new)

Manny Dear Mr. Pie,

You are much better than the overrated MJ Nichols, and with your steady hand on the wheel I am sure that MJNAAPRE will soon be back in the black. I never believed any of those stories, not even the one about you raping your Border Collie after chug-a-lugging a bottle of Drambuie. Evidently a fabrication. And I am not naive enough either to fall for "Paul Bryant"'s transparent smear campaign.

Keep up the good work, Colin!


message 9: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls I believe Mr. Bryant's account has been taken over by his manager Nigel Pasty, from Cornwall. And Manuel, thank you for your support. Your agreed fee is currently being processed.

message 10: by Manny (new)

Manny Remember that it's in Swiss Francs. If I'm going to prostitute myself in print, I insist on being paid in a hard currency.

message 11: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls (view spoiler)

message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard @ Mike: I second that.

@ Manuel: Don't you mean "proustitute"? Oh, sorry, I forgot. That name has already been taken.

@ Colin: Does the MJNAAPRE have a North American branch? If they are looking for desperate and penniless hacks inspired reviewers, I would like to offer my services in return for adequate remuneration of course.

message 13: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls @Richard: The MJNAAPRE is at present only hiring interns that bear a striking resemblance to Anna Kendrick. All other applications will be pulped and turned into soup for the homeless.

message 14: by Richard (new)

Richard MJ wrote: "@Richard: The MJNAAPRE is at present only hiring interns that bear a striking resemblance to Anna Kendrick. All other applications will be pulped and turned into soup for the homeless."

What has Anna Kendrick got that I don't? Wait... don't answer that.

So you're telling me you don't need any Jason Alexander (George Costanza) lookalikes with more wit and pizzazz than you can shake a stick at? Rats!

message 15: by Ian (new) - added it

Ian "Marvin" Graye I saw this book in a shop yesterday and it is beautiful.

I am thinking about becoming a wealthy overseas patron of his work.

I regret that he dropped the "e" from his surname. Otherwise he's a credit to the family.

Anna Kendrick is pencilled in to star in Colin Pie vs. the World.

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