Book Review: The Best of Enough Rope

I was forced to spend some time in an airport recently and after perusing the bookshop I picked up The Best of Enough Rope excitedly. Cheekily subtitled "1001 interviews you must read before you die", I was expecting great things.

In the last few years, sadly, I've watched virtually no Enough Rope (Monday nights, ABC) but not by choice: until our most recent move, we weren't able to pick up ABC well enough to tune in :-(

What little I have seen on TV and reading the book confirms that Andrew Denton is one of the best interviewers going around. His manner makes his guests feel at ease and he knows when to respond with humour or inquisitiveness, when to change the subject or when to dig a little deeper. I got the feeling while reading The Best of Enough Rope that he really was interested in the many diverse guests whose interviews are in the book. The amount of research he and his team do allows his guests to open up and get past the surface-level, which makes for a more revealing interview.

There are celebrities and ordinary people in the collection of interviews. Bill Clinton, Bono, Dave Grohl, Mark Latham, Rene Rivkin, Cate Blanchett, Jane & Glenn McGrath, Chopper, Rolf Harris and more all open up and of course cover diverse topics (I even got some respect back for Bono when he admits that "celebrity...is a currency and I want to spend mine well"). Alongside these people are interviews with cabbies, homeless people, a woman who lost limbs to the London bombings, a schizophrenic and his Mum, members of a "living library", and so on.

The book is entertaining and informative, sensitive and "real". I especially like the little intros where Andrew recounts some of the circumstances around each interview. I eagerly anticipate a volume 2 of The Best of Enough Rope coming in future years.

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