Title: Lies My Mother Never Told Me
Publisher: Burning Eye Books
The front cover of Lies My Mother Never Told Me suggests serious poetry. It almost looks like a Faber Faber cover. However I suspect that this in itself is an intentional joke- if you expect sincere poetry on opening Harrold’s book, you thought wrong.
For any reader Harrold’s style takes some getting used to. Yet slowly his style blooms and his odd sense of humour grows on you. His poetry is childish, but it thankfully never pretends to be “fun”. If Harrold were a clown he would be Twisty from American Horror Story. Instead his writing has the same child-like yet fascinating, brutal quality as so-called “primitive” art does. A prime example of this is the opening poem of the collection “My Mother”, which runs: “My mother/always encouraged me to talk/ to strangers//’You never know’ she said/ ‘When one of them might have some sweets'”
However it must be said that although Harrold’s obscure jokes are frequently funny, they also often aren’t. His rhymes are also occasionally pedantic rather than effortless. Still this doesn’t effect the humour of the collection overall.
I would recommend this book to anyone with time for some light and humorous reading (perhaps over the Christmas holiday!).