Book Review: Klopp Actually by Laura Lexx

klopp actually laura lexx indexLaura Lexx is one of the finest new comedians around, as anyone who’s been fortunate to have seen her live or has watched her two stand up shows on NextUp will tell you, and now she’s an author as well. It’s quite a unique book too, as it only exists due to the current pandemic as just before the lockdown began she was impressed by the extremely reasonable words of the Liverpool football manager Jürgen Klopp.

For when Klopp was asked his opinion about the pandemic he mocked the idea that his thoughts or beliefs were in any important, stressing that he was only a football manager and people should ask those with knowledge about the situation rather than him. Which was enough for Lexx to become fascinated by the man, and she posted a selection of tweets where she imagined she was in a relationship with him, and extremely in love with his logical and sensible way of thinking. The tweets (which are reprinted here) were a big success, and given that Lexx had just lost her income due to no longer being able to perform live, a book imagining what there relationship might be like understandably followed.

Of course it’s (reasonably) easy to write a funny tweet about an imaginary situation, but can an entire book be mined from such an idea? Unfortunately Lexx doesn’t quite pull it off, which is frustrating as for about half the book it works effectively as Klopp’s logical and rational way of thinking solves her problems and arouses her no end, and she expands upon the idea by introducing their offspring Klipp (which she acknowledges is quite the poor gag early on) and that gives her a chance to make some very funny observations about the nature of parenthood, those who try to suggest what a perfect parent should be like, and childhood as well.

Klopp’s character is expanded upon too so it’s not just him being ultra serious that generates laughter, the way he applies football strategies to every day life, like choosing the best supermarket checkout to queue for, for instance, is pretty funny material, and it also allows Lexx to make shrewd commentary on the nature of every day life in Britain. Alas it’s just too repetitive though, with the second half of the book pretty much never deviating from the formula that Laura worries about something, Klopp says something extremely sensible, and an innuendo follows.

The innuendo’s become increasingly tiresome after a while as well, and are stretched painfully thin, to the extent that I found myself getting a little annoyed at how weak they were. It’s a shame as Lexx has a great comedic mind, and a fair amount of the book is very funny indeed, but by the end it’s an idea that’s been done to death and just isn’t amusing anymore. Perhaps that’s partially due to the fact that I read it over the course of two (short) evenings, and this might work better as a toilet book, one that you pick up and read a couple of pages at a time, but anyone approaching it in any other way will probably walk away a little disappointed.

★★★

Alex Finch.
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