Simian Substitute Site for December 2010: Santa Claus' Story (aka Monkey Christmas)
It's Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas

Spank Gold Volumes 1a/2a/3a/4a/5a/6a: The Digital Editions

Note the rare version of Spank's LFF Diaries Volume Two with the badly cropped title panel. It was about a year ago that I announced the publication of my first book, Monkey Round The World, in a desperate attempt to grant some degree of permanence to the nonsense I spout off here on a regular basis. Throughout 2010, I've added more books to the range, so that I now have six of them in total, all available from the good people at lulu.com.

And now, bringing the whole thing full circle, you can also buy them in digital form, so they can be read on the electronic device of your choice. As long as that electronic device supports PDF format, of course.

So. Have you bought someone a Kindle for Christmas, but don't have anything for them to read on it? Or have you left it far too late to buy them anything, unless it was something that could be instantly transferred by email? Or maybe you're looking for a present for someone in a coma who's not likely to wake up till at least the second week of January 2011? In that latter case, maybe you could order them the paper versions of my books, as they still take a couple of weeks to turn around. Otherwise, why not consider a PDF of one of my books, each currently available for a measly four quid? Full details of all six books are below.

Merry Christmas! All major credit cards accepted.

Monkey Round The World: Travel Writing 1993-2009Monkey Round The World: Travel Writing 1993-2009

Since 1998, Spank The Monkey's website has provided a global audience of literally dozens with informed comment and insight into the world of the arts. But he goes on holiday a lot as well. Monkey Round The World is a collection of travel articles from the site, describing his visits to Hong Kong, China, USA, Japan, Australia, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic and Finland, as well as a couple of places back home in the UK. You'll read about the best hotels, the most astonishing tourist attractions, and what it's like to watch a whole bunch of movies in a language you don't understand.
Print edition
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Spank's Edinburgh Diaries Volume One: 1989-1999Spank's Edinburgh Diaries Volume One: 1989-1999

Most people seem to quite enjoy Spank The Monkey’s arts and entertainment reviews. They particularly enjoy those weeks in August when he heads up to Edinburgh for the various Festivals, and battles against tiredness and alcohol poisoning to tell the world what he thinks about the shows he’s seen there. Spank's Edinburgh Diaries Volume One looks at the nine visits he made to Edinburgh between 1989 and 1999. He attempts to document it all as best he can, as he’s assaulted by Spanish female vampires, insulted by former presenters of The Word, and not given a car by Lee and Herring. If you possess a functioning sense of adventure, you may find it all rather amusing.
Print edition
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Spank's Edinburgh Diaries Volume Two: 2001-2008Spank's Edinburgh Diaries Volume Two: 2001-2008

"I have been reading about Edimburgo, this is a great country. I like it festival. It really excited all the carnival and the people too." That was a comment which someone called 'viagra online' left on my website in May 2010. I'm Spank The Monkey, and I write an arts and entertainment review website. My Pals and I go up to Edinburgh for the Festival most summers, and in Spank's Edinburgh Diaries Volume Two you can read about the six visits we made during the Noughties. We saw shows held in venues as huge as the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and as small as the screen of a mobile phone. We watched films that lasted mere minutes, and a comedy show that lasted an entire day. And we saw Mervyn Stutter seven bloody times. You can read about it all in this very book. And if that's not good enough for you, you could possibly also use it to cure erectile dysfunction, if you rolled it up tightly enough.
Print edition
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Spank's LFF Diaries Volume One: 1989-1999Spank's LFF Diaries Volume One: 1989-1999

The 33rd London Film Festival was held in November 1989. It opened with Ron Howard's Parenthood, finished with Ettore Scola's What Time Is It (no, me neither), and tickets for most screenings cost £4.50. Ten years later in November 1999, the 43rd LFF had Ang Lee's Ride With The Devil as its Opening Gala, and Sam Mendes' American Beauty as its Closing Gala. By then, ticket prices had soared to £8.50. Australopithecine arts critic Spank The Monkey attended both of those Festivals, and all the ones in between. (Not to mention the ones after... but that's another book. At least.) Spank's LFF Diaries Volume One: 1989-1999 contains reviews of all the films he saw over those eleven fortnights. From a cursory count of the index, that appears to be over 350, from animations created in the early days of cinema, to drama-documentaries filmed in 1999 but never seen again in the UK after that – yeah, The Protagonists, I'm looking at you. You'll find them all covered in this book, to some degree or another.
Print edition
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Spank's LFF  Diaries Volume Two: 2000-2004Spank's LFF Diaries Volume Two: 2000-2004

It starts in 2000 with a celebrity gala screening of Almost Famous. It ends in 2004 with a celebrity gala screening of I Heart Huckabees. In between are two-hundred-and-thirty-odd feature films, shorts programmes and interviews. And Spank The Monkey was there for all of them. Pray for him, and for his bank account. Spank's LFF Diaries Volume Two is the second published collection of London Film Festival reviews from his popular and frequently spammed website. You'll see the first public appearances of your favourite characters: The Belated Birthday Girl, Suzanne Vega Fanclub and Low Fat Morrissey. You'll marvel at how, during the five year span of the book, the careers of directors both rise (Takashi Miike) and plummet (Lukas Moodysson). And you'll discover which film was so catastrophically bad that an audience member sitting in front of Spank 'gave up watching the film and started reading his LFF programme instead, using the screen as a light'. Enjoy.
Print edition
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Spank's LFF Diaries Volume Three: 2005-2009Spank's LFF Diaries Volume Three: 2005-2009

Only the deranged or compulsively obsessed could possibly make the London Film Festival's overly complex booking system work. Happily, that's where my Pals and I have the advantage... I'm Spank The Monkey: since 1989 I've been seeing a few dozen movies each year at the LFF, and since 1998 I've been reviewing them day by day on my website. Two previous volumes of my reviews have been published, covering the years 1989-1999 and 2000-2004. It therefore shouldn't take you too much effort to work out what Spank's LFF Diaries Volume Three: 2005-2009 is all about. It goes from a 2005 screening of an ancient Australian silent classic, to the movie that the LFF jury voted the best of 2009, with over two hundred other films and events in between. If you bought the first two books, you're going to want to buy this one. And if you didn't buy the first two books, why not purchase the trilogy all in one go? (I'm not listening to your answer to that question, by the way.)
Print edition
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