Brrm! Brrm!

Clive James

06 April 2017
170 pages


A comedy of no manners, Brrm! Brrm! by Clive James is the satirical story of a high-flying Japanese businessman sent to London.

'Brrm! Brrm! is funny, clever and sometimes as delicate and tender as the poetry of its hero, Akira Suzuki' – The Times

Akira Suzuki is in London for the first time. He ponders the litter and the unappealing food, while smiling politely at motorcycle jokes about his name. British humour, he realises, is largely a game of mortal insults.

Breaking into high society and chasing after two different women, he is supposed to be learning about the city's cosmopolitan lifestyle. Instead, Akira manages to make headlines – for all the wrong reasons . . .

'There is not a syllable to excess' – Spectator

There is not a syllable to excess. There is not a reference unworth its weight in resonance. Brrm! Brrm! is taut, meticulous, untrammelled, and as clean as a vultured rib . . . Clive James has done much. Brrm! Brrm! manages in its brief span to be not only a very funny, fresh and perceptive novel, but also a paragon of the referential nature
James is one of those blessed people who are close to being infallibly funny; whose books can be approached in full, sublime confidence that here will be found something on every page to make you laugh
A hilarious account of how English people and customs appear to someone brought up in the orderliness of Japan . . . presented with wit and enjoyment