Naughty_Lola_Featured

On Our Bookshelves:
They Call Me Naughty Lola

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BOOK: They Call Me Naughty Lola

EDITOR: David Rose

YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2006

REVIEW:

In American personal ads, everyone is interesting, fit, attractive, successful, and seeking same for fine dining, travel, pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, the feel of the ocean, and so forth. Personal ads in the London Review of Books are another matter entirely, thanks to the LRB’s erudite and self-deprecating readership, which collectively seems to have rather an absurd sense of humor. This irresistible compendium, assembled and annotated by David Rose (who created this personal column back in 1998), deftly illustrates the difference between two peoples divided by an ocean and a shared language.

Here you will find things like:

“Love is strange—wait ‘till you see my feet. F, 34, wide-fitting Scholl’s.”

Or,

“What’s your favorite soup? Mine is mulligatawny. Mulligatawny-loving gentleman, 50.”

Or this classic:

“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.”

You get the idea. If “Bald, short, fat and ugly male, 53, seeks short-sighted woman with tremendous sexual appetite,” makes you laugh, pick up this book for hundreds more such adverts. Amazingly (or perhaps not), this column has produced several marriages and friendships over the years. If you should fall in love with one of these lonely-hearts, however, I regret to inform you that the ads in this collection are, quite unfortunately, no longer active. Still, there’s hope for us all.  In a world where you can find “lawyers: impotent revenge fantasies,” “polkas,” and “ungrateful turd,” in the index of this remarkably funny book, anything is possible.

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RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 3.5 Whistles

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HOW TO PURCHASE: Amazon

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The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Ed., Lewis Carroll & Martin Gardner (with original illustrations by John Tenniel)

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The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Adelle Waldman

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What If?, Randall Munroe

Up At the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham

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Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.

Laura can be contacted at laura@newswhistle.com

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Scribner