Book review: Pu Pu Hot Pot

Pu Pu Hot PotPu Pu Hot Pot by Ben Brusey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Given the length of this book, this’ll be a short review. There’s a real chance that if I rabbit on to my usual length, I’ll end up with something wiht a higher word-count than the thing I’m reviewing.

(Though it’d also probably be more enjoyable. BOOM!)

Well, not entirely. This is one of those books that’s generally bought at bargain basement bookstores as stocking filler. It could be the result of a blog, or just a spur-of-the-moment “I could write a book!” thought process. War and Peace it ain’t.

The book consists of about 100 pictures, each prefaced by a woeful/unnecessary caption. (Seriously, these things are almost universally not funny.) The pictures could’ve stood on their own, for the most part. Broadly speaking, there’s three types: Engrish, witty and WTF/scatological. Engrish ones are understandable (if a bit tired) and yes, it’s a book called Pu Pu Hot Pot so it was likely the travails of the arse would come in at some point. But I still contend that dining establishments such as Fishcotheque or Jason Donervan will always be funny.

There’s also some kind of cheap shots in the book. The most obvious one is a shot, apparently of an Indian restaurant called Vagina. So far, so funny. Except that Blind Freddy can see that it’s only apparently called that because of the obscuring of the first leg of the first letter: it’s clearly called Nagina. Yeah, I know, maybe it was a submission and maybe it’s funny and that’s why it’s running but surely there’s more humourous names out there that would ensure one didn’t need to resort to this kind of flim-flammery.

You know from the title and cover what you’ll get: about 20 minutes of occasional laughs, and more dad-joke/unfunny groans that seem right in one publication. It’s fine for what it is, but really, you’ll get the same effect next time someone cobbles together a Buzzfeed listicle of this kind of thing.

My Goodreads profile is here.

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