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They Call Me Naughty Lola: Personal Ads from the London Review of Books

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  503 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Monty Python meets in this collection of howlingly funny personals from the lonely hearts section of the London Review of Books. Conceived by LRB advertising director David Rose as a legitimate forum for literate, lovelorn Brits, the column has morphed over the years into an entertaining and conspicuously bizarre bulletin board for the romantically dysfunctional. ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 15th 2010 by Scribner (first published 2006)
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Sep 20, 2007 Nathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lonely, cynical book lovers who need to get out.
Shelves: humor
This is a perfect read for lonely English majors to read between actual books. It's a collection of personal ads from the London Review of Books. It would have been the funniest book I read all year if it weren't for the fact that I got one too many of the Star Trek references in the chapter about X-Files sub-plot character rejects, which, in all honesty, pretty much sums up why I was reading the book in the first place.

What does it say about me that this is one of my comfort books?

Well, there's humanity for you.
One of the funniest books I've ever read. It's a strange thing to read - not like list books, or general ephemera, but really as a snap-shot of a very particular demographic of people. However you read it, it is genuinely hilarious - very literary, very bizarre, often dark but always very very funny. If you like Flann O'Brien's journalism, or Thomas Bernhard, you get a much better sense of where this book is coming from. Buy this book as a gift to cheer up a friend and you will instantly see the ...more
"A girlfriend isn't a girlfriend unless she makes my mother cry with grief every time she visits. For two years now she's sat, contented, in front of the TV with not a care in the world. That's where you come in. Professional M, 38, seeks, heartless common slut with no small knowledge of sheltered-housing application procedures."

Perhaps 2.5 stars. Some of these were really quite amusing, and this would probably be a good book to keep on a shelf in a guest bedroom for desultory browsing. The cumu
Apr 10, 2007 Angie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for love in all the wrong placees
this book is just down right hilarious. My personal favorite.

"Gynotikolobomassphile (M, 43) seeks neanimorphic F to 60 to share euneirophrenia. Must enjoy pissing off librarians (and be able to provide the correct term for same)."

Julie - Book Hooked Blog
I have had this book on my TBR list for basically forever and finally remembered to add it to my wishlist for Christmas this year. Luke won all sorts of prizes for the books he gave this year and this one was included. It's a collection of personal ads from the London Review of Books, where the ads themselves are seen as a form of art as much as a solicitation of romance. For example:

I've divorced better men than you. And worn more expensive shoes than these. So don't think placing this ad is th
Patrick Neylan
Tired of dating sites where liars and charlatans make ridiculous claims of perfection? Welcome to the bizarre world of the London Review of Books' personal ads, possibly the most surreal and brutally honest in the world:

"Beneath this hostile museum curator's exterior lies a hostile museum curator's interior. F, 38"

"Blah, blah, whatever. Indifferent woman. Go ahead and write. Box no. 3253. Like I care."

"List your ten favourite albums. I don't want to compare notes, I just want to know if there's
Eva Leger
May 16, 2009 Eva Leger rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ???
Recommended to Eva by: found on BM
Shelves: b-non-fiction, humor
This really isn't my type of humor or my type of book. It's a slim book but still too long in a way. How many personal ads can one read before wanting to puke?
Some of them were kind of funny- "My ideal woman is a man. Sorry mother."
Others were just plain stupid and still others tried so hard to be witty and funny and fell short. By a long shot.
It made me wonder, because with a lot of these ads you could really just tell so much thought went into them, what do these people do? Do they really h
If you're looking for a quick read & love British humor, this might be the book for you. It would be perfect to have on hand if you're waiting in line somewhere. It doesn't take much concentration to read & most entries are just a few lines each.

Quite a few of these were funny, so I found it an amusing volume overall. I also enjoyed some of the footnotes, especially the ones about Herve Jean-Pierre Villechaize ("de plane, de plane"), Yoda ('Jedi Master'), and the extensive appendix of Ev
I have just found my true love. Unfortunately, he lives in England and wrote a personal ad at least five years ago (and is thus probably now married).

"If John Sutherland were a soul disco diva, would he sing Barry White? Hopeful author of new OUP modern philosophy series (read my pilot, 'Who would win in a fight between Proust and Marvin Gaye?). Man, 37, WLTM woman to 40 who would be Wuthering Heights read by Rose Royce if she were a 19th-century novel given to a '70s supergroup."

I loved readin
This book takes pride of place as my favourite toilet read, next to Letterbox by Viz. A quintessential selection of British humour, intelligence and wit, combined with quiet desperation and understated sexual frenzy, you just know that more than half these submissions are written to entertain instead of attract a mate. Let’s face it, if you were as half as funny as these personal ads are, you wouldn’t be crying yourself to sleep every night in your lonely bed-sit or mansion. Buy it, and find you ...more
I'm not sure what I expected this to be, but it was just bare personal ads. Somehow I thought there would be more context - interviews with people, or stories of people who met that way. But, no.

There were some annotations, but they were clearly not aimed at me - for example they explained what Doritos were but left some (primarily British, I think) things obscure.

It would have been fun to read these to someone else, but as a book to pick up and read? It was sort of....just...weird and not tha
Oh dear lord, I'm amazed the Brits manage to mate at all if this is what is out there. These real, honest and often completely horrifying ads have appeared in the LRoB.

It takes a real man to wear a dress. It takes a revolutionary to wear those shoes with that blusher. Box no. 3194

Slut in the kitchen, chef in the bedroom. Woman with mixed priories (37) seeks man who can toss a good salad. Box no. 7421

Whatever you're looking for, you won't find it in any of these other ads. But if you like earl
Everybody should read this compilation of personal ads from the London Review of Books. Hell, everybody should own it - we all need a good laugh now and then. (By the way, I debated whether to categorize this as "fluff" - it certainly is quick and light reading, but then again it does give a view into the soul - souls - and you could think about it for quite a while if you wanted to. IF you wanted to ...)
You: a small book of overly literate personal ads, absolutely hilarious in their sheer dryness (titular example: "They call me naughty Lola. Typical beardy physicist.) My friends love you and want us to stay together always. All those that glance at you are overcome with appreciative laughter; you're popular, and good-looking to boot.

Me: impressed.
Personal ads from the London Review of Books written by witty, depressed and extremely odd Brits; about 80% of them seem to be cross-dressing history lecturers with severe mother issues. The perfect nightstand book, except that it's impossible to stop reading and go to sleep. I also loved the new sequel, "Sexually, I'm More of Switzerland."
Sounds more funny than it is. A few great ones but not enough for even this slim little book.
Truly hilarious. I love British humor, especially self-effacing intellectual British humor. Win.
Tippy Jackson
As expected, a little hit or miss. Here are a few gems:

"Emmdee-Emmay: to you it means nothing but to me it opens the door to wealth beyond your wildest imaginings in the form of a herbal tablet found in my son's wallet that transforms an aging, withered man (64) into an Asian dancing beauty with tremendous breasts! Patent (and bail) pending. Look at my fingers! They're moving like wondrous vipers!"

"I have a recipe for space cakes. My theory is that, when they're eaten, the human body no longer n

I suscribed to the London Review of Books for several years. It gave me a little thrill to tell my hubby that I was reading "my literary magazine." (A little joke to counter all his financial magazines.) I loved the reviews. But the first thing I read in every issue? The personals. The LRB attracts its own brand of lonely hearts ads and they are usually hilarious. They Call Me Naughty Lola by David Rose (ed) is a tribute book to those ads--chock full of some the best personals 1998-2005. It is a
Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, and just what I needed to read tonight. Fast, funny and fascinating, and more than that I came away with an obsession with the idiosyncratic approach to footnoting. I think I may have a footnote issue. And I'm not sure what it says about me that I totally would have replied to a good portion of these, if that were the sort of thing I actually did.
Did you know that things can be "[adjective] as teeth"? Such as "cute as teeth" or "queer as teeth"? This is news to me!

Some excerpts from my favorite ads:

"When you do that voodoo that you do so well, I invoke 16th-century witchcraft laws and have you burned at the stake."

"Eager-to-please woman (36) seeks domineering man to take advantage of her flagging confidence. Tell me I'm pretty, then watch me cling."

"Look at my fingers! They're moving like wondrous vipers!"

"During intercourse, I can lis
Miranda Davis
Personal ads from the London Review of Books. I cried laughing.

For example: "I'd like to dedicate this advert to my mother (difficult cow, 65) who is responsible for me still being single at 36. Man. 36. Single. Held at home by years of subtle emotional abuse and at least 19 fake heart attacks."


"These ads try too hard to be funny. Not me. I'm a natural, juggling, monkey-faced idiot. (M, 34)"


"TIred of feeling patronized by the ads in this column? Then I'm not the woman for you, little man. T
Angie Lee
This is truly funny at times but wears thin as you wonder if everyone is just trying a bit too hard. I gave it three stars because in this day and age of false hype and exaggeration these sometimes biting ads for love are great at their refreshing honesty
My aunt highly recommended this book if you are someone seeking laughter. Some of her favorites included "“Blah, blah, whatever. Indifferent woman. Go ahead and write. Box no. 3253. Like I care.” and "I’d like to dedicate this advert to my mother (difficult cow, 65) who is responsible for me still being single at 36. Man. 36. Single. Held at home by years of subtle emotional abuse and at least 19 fake heart attacks. "

Even though I love my aunt and value her opinion, I found most of the book tedi
They Call Me Naughty Lola: Personal Ads from the London Review of Books, edited by David Rose

"They Call Me Naughty Lola" was recommended to me by a friend, and I normally enjoy British humor, so I thought I'd like it. But something about the book was off for me.

It just wasn't that funny.

The book is nicely put together, with some footnotes for references to British pop culture, but there were some missing references. The acronym WTLM is used in almost every ad, but is never explained. The ads th
If you are looking for an amusing read that can be put down and picked up at any time, this fits the bill. The puzzle is whether anyone who wrote these supposed personal ads ever receives a response. They are funny, quirky, and literate, but the people who write them do not truly seem to want to meet a mate. My favorite: gynotikolobomassophile (M, 43) sees neanimorphic F to 60 to share euneirophrenia. Must enjoy pissing off librarians (and be able to provide the correct term for same). Box no. 4 ...more
Brigitte Novak
Weird humor. Try-hard. In snippets it's okay but don't try to read it in one sitting: you might go crazy. Inexplicable footnote reasoning. Oh, the reader probably knows what a sherbet dib dab [also we don't even know how to spell dip dab correctly] is, but a DORITO? No fucking way; explain it. UK size 34 converts to what, now? Random Evel Knievel history of accidents at the end? I'd love to send the no poetry guy some poetry, but that's about it.
I guess I won't be moving to London if there are s
Whenever I read a book of epic proportions (in this case, Team of Rivals) I like to have something to break up the reading experience. Naughty Lola is kind of the perfect example of this. It's a book full of random personal ads, and while they're not all pure gold, there are some great ones. And I really liked the footnotes; apparently, the British need to be told what Dorritos and "Battlestar Galactica" are. Plus, it ends with an Evil Kneivel timeline and that's FTW.

Reading a couple pages at a
Elisabeth W.  Rauch
Some of these were delightfully fun and made me laugh. Most of these were too clever for their own good. They all did, however, make me feel less alone in this world. I'm so glad I own this book. My love of personals/missed connections continues. ♡
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Sexually, I'm More of a Switzerland: More Personal Ads from the London Review of Books

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