A Five Star Review for DULL

One doesn’t like to boast — so tedious! — but that Margery has poked me into confessing that the reviews have already begun to arrive on my little tome. Gratifyingly enough here’s the first:


“It is not accurately possible to convey the full tedium of this book. Obviously, trying to be accurate is dull itself, so I suppose I should make the effort – although that is distinctly not dull, and something that should be discouraged. What would happen if you were to be seen looking like you cared and showing off? Perish the thought.

I shall instead relax here, indolently if you will, and reread some of the funnier sections of the book – of which there are many – whilst enjoying a gin cocktail, which is the height of apathy, I believe.

I really ought to encourage you to read it – but again, I must observe the Maxim of Tedium and let you come to this rather lazy and obvious conclusion yourselves.”

Thank you, kind sir. If this inspires you, buy How to Be Dull here.

Out Now: How to Be Dull

The day has arrived! Click the picture to buy your copy and learn truly How to Be Dull!

Then report back here and tell me how it has changed your life. Glimpse the beauties of the Lady Miss Johnson’s brilliant illustrations.



Executive Dull


An acquaintance of mine — I say acquaintance because this bustling sort of fellow who blusters into rooms, organises everyone according to hat size, forms committees and then boodles out could hardly stand still long enough to be a friend — asked if there were not some ‘executive summary’ of my forthcoming book.

This handbook for life might well be applied to business, I suppose. How to Be Dull, after all, is  as good a guidance for the bland hallways of the modern corporation as it is for my very lovely idle seat here in this leafy cafe near the burbling river.

But this is a short book. One can probably read it with leisure in the course of a day — two days if you really do a lot of napping and martini-drinking in between. Can one offer an ‘executive summary’ of such a short book?

Having perused the art of writing the ‘executive summary’ (by which I mean I watched this video [warning: intemperate language]) I have devised a truthful example:

Always Be Dull.

And that is the answer.

Dull cover - front WEB

Maugham: Dull

“Dying is a dull, dreary affair. my advice is that you have nothing whatever to with it.”
W. Somerset Maugham

I don’t think Maugham could have been dull even in the throes of death. He gave Elliott Templeton such a terrific send off in The Razor’s Edge. He credited his success to this symbol meant to ward off the evil eye. Perhaps I need such a sigil. I shall have to investigate. After this martini though…

maugham symbol razor.jpg

Behn: Dull

A recipe for being dull:

“…that perfect Tranquillity of Life, which is no where to be found, but in retreat, a faithful Friend and a good Library…”

Surely one might add a distinctive beverage as well? My editor informs me that ‘gin’ appears my manuscript no less than 75 times. So, not on every page — though martini fills in at times.


Aphra Behn, popularly seen as one of the first women in Britain to make her living from her pen. Earlier writers were often supported by the court (Marie de France) or the church (Julian of Norwich) or only turned to writing after other careers (Margery Kempe).

Long, and at the vast Expence the industrious Stage
Has strove to please a dull ungrateful Age…

The Emperor of the Moon


Loos: Dull

Tallulah [Bankhead] never bored anyone, and I consider that humanitarianism of a very high order indeed.

~ Anita Loos

anita loos

This sharp-witted woman was quite a peach, too. A born raconteur, best known for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she spent many years as a successful scriptwriter from the silent era through Hollywood’s heyday, with a penchant for spotting talent like Jean Harlow, the Talmadge sisters and Paulette Goddard.

Thackeray: Dull

“Always to be right, always to trample forward, and never to doubt, are not these the great qualities with which dullness takes the lead in the world?”
William Makepeace Thackeray


Apparently Thackeray’s former home in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, is now a restaurant named after the author.

Foote: Dull

He is not only dull in himself, but the cause of dullness in others.
Samuel Foote (January 1720 – 21 October 1777) was a British dramatist, actor and theatre manager from Cornwall. He was known for his comedic acting and writing, and for turning the loss of a leg in a riding accident in 1766 to comedic opportunity.
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