by Joe Bennett
“George Orwell said that every writer was both vain and lazy. Assuming a columnist counts as a writer, then I’m with him. Every word I write is a victory for vanity over laziness. Every unwritten word’s a defeat. Orwell also said that every writer was to some degree an aesthete. I’m with him on that too. Sweet language tempts me to believe things I don’t believe and to say things I don’t mean. He was a wise fellow, old George, but he was terribly serious. I’m not with him on that.”
Bill Bryson called him brilliant. Dave Barry called him excellent. The Daily Mail in London called him deadly accurate and absurdly funny. The Southland Times called him a national treasure. Barking is Joe Bennett’s sixth collection of columns, written in language so sharp you could stick pigs with it. If you don’t like laughing, thinking or seeing the world afresh, don’t buy it.
As well as writing columns that are syndicated to newspapers throughout New Zealand, Joe Bennett makes regular television appearances. He has twice been voted columnist of the year and has had two collections published worldwide by Simon & Schuster. He lives in Lyttelton, where he sleeps the deep sleep of a man without vices, alongside a mongrel called Jess.