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What Just Happened?! cover art

What Just Happened?!

By: Marina Hyde
Narrated by: Colleen Prendergast,Marina Hyde
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Summary

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Relive the delusional fever-dream of the modern era.

No other writer is more suited to chronicling the absurd times in which we live.
In What Just Happened?! Marina Hyde slashes her way through the hellscape of post-referendum politics, where the chaos never stops. Clamber aboard as we relive every inspirational moment of magic, from David Cameron to Theresa May to Boris Johnson. Marvel at the sights, from Trumpian WTF-ery to celebrity twattery. And boggle at the cast of characters: Hollywood sex offenders, populists, sporting heroes (and villains), dastardly dukes, media barons, movie stars, reality TV monsters, billionaires, police officers, various princes and princesses, wicked advisers, philanthropists, fauxlanthropists, telly chefs, and (naturally) Gwyneth Paltrow. It's the full state banquet of crazy - and you're most cordially invited.
Drawn from her spectacularly funny Guardian columns, What Just Happened?! is a welcome blast of humour and sanity in a world where reality has become stranger than fiction.

©2022 Marina Hyde (P)2022 Guardian Faber Publishing

Critic reviews

"The most lethal, vital, screamingly funny truth-teller of our time." (Phoebe Waller-Bridge)

"A joyous rallying voice in British journalism." (Grayson Perry)

"It's a scientific FACT: Marina Hyde is Britain's funniest writer." (Caitlin Moran)

What listeners say about What Just Happened?!

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    5 out of 5 stars

Sublime!

I wondered if this would work as an audio book. I had no doubt as to the content: Marina is a genius and a fair amount of the material was stuff I at least partly remembered from her columns over the past few years. But a collection of columns usually needs to be in ‘actual book’ form, and dipped into. But this totally worked as a continuous narrative…I don’t know how she did it, but it kept me hooked all the way through.

Secondly, I was a bit disappointed, initially, that Marina wasn’t reading it herself…however, the reader chosen, someone I haven’t encountered before, was more than up to the job. She, too, was brilliant, I thought.

Finally: the content. It showed what acres of top class, well informed and witty writing MH produces, week by month by year. Nothing in it, IMHO, was anything near sub par, and I can think of few other writers who seem to unable to write a bad paragraph. As well as being informative, it all contains at least wry amusement and, more often than not, just reduces me to helpless laughter.

And, given that MH doesn’t shrink from serious, sad or enraging subject matter, how does she manage not to come across as bitter and twisted? I don’t know, but she somehow manages it. In the interview with Caitlin Moran at the end, and elsewhere, I’ve heard MH describe her approach as, ‘are you thinking what I’m thinking? That’s ok and there are plenty of others who feel the same.’ Maybe that’s the trick. There was also some discussion of its being good for one’s mental health to write things down; something I do, anyway, but Caitlin ( I think, or else Richard Osman, who has also interviewed MH recently) suggested also that reading the writing of someone like minded helps, too. So I think MH’s columns have genuinely helped to keep a lot of us sane during the last few insane years (not over yet…)

Ok, it’s well past time I stopped, but I will also just say that this kind of writing usually dates very quickly: predictions turn out wrong, events font turn out as expected. MH herself says she tries to avoid prediction, for obvious reasons. She mostly does, but, spookily, such occasional, and often whimsical, predictions as she does make, seem to have a remarkable accuracy rate.

Spoiler alert, which I should have put at the beginning: I thought this was quite good…

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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A collection of Guardian columns - smug and unreflective then?

Yes, indeed. This is a collection of columns written for The Guardian, a publication written for, and almost exclusively read by, champagne socialists and illiberal 'liberals' who live in London. It is, inevitably, filled with moral outrage at the moral inferiority of morally reprehensible people who don't agree with the author. I detect no trace of genuine self-awareness or self-reflection here.

Apart from that, if you agree with the author then it'll make you feel smug, which is probably the purpose for which you exist, and if you disagree with her then you can enjoy it on the level of irony.

It's entertainingly written, at least, and the narrator does a good job of conveying that certainty of superiority and self-satisfaction which is the genius of the Guardian itself. I enjoyed it, even though I may be one of those morally inferior, bad and wrong people who it bangs-on about at such length.

The virulent criticism of a rival columnist who she dislikes does get a bit grating at times, mind you. Who is Katie Hopkins anyway? Should I buy one of her books too?

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terrible narration

The female equivalent of Microsoft Sam is narrating this. Shame as the content is great.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dreadful narrator

Bear in mind that the preview you listen to is the introduction, narrated by Marina Hyde herself. She’s great, a joy to listen to. Sadly the rest of the book is narrated by someone else and it’s just not good to listen to, in fact it’s awful. It’s monotone at times, there’s no life or joy in anything she says. I wouldn’t recommend this audiobook, but I would highly recommend the book itself. What a shame.

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8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not read by the author

I listened to the sample and loved the engaging voice and bright style of presentation of the author only to find after buying the book that she only reads the intro which is very disappointing. The rest of the book is a let down due to the narration which would be perfect for a historical romance but not for this bright punchy witty writing. The author really should have narrated this book herself!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 09-10-22

Another great book let down by the narrator

I’m confused as to why MH didn’t just record this herself? The person doing it makes her sound smug - She’s a poor choice. I’m about 25% of the way through and her voice and performance is already irritating.

Shame, as MH’s stuff is fantastic.

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8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Much better than some reviews!

The performance improves after like 5 mins! Keep listening - much better than some of the reviews

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5 people found this helpful

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If it were possible to give it 6 stars

Wonderful writing. Funny, insightful, cathartic.

I read all these columns as they came out and have loved re-reading them. I’ve often asked the question: have you read the new Marina Hyde? And looked forward to reading them myself.

6/5 stars

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Not Enjoying This

Enough said. It’s just not my style of book. That’s all .Not her fault but mine probably

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Love her

Originally I thought this book would be different,maybe more about Marina's life lessons and I dreaded the fact that I had to revisit all Brexit drama years again. However it is well written as always and witty and historical points are considered with the benefit of hindsight so it wasn's as painfull as I assumed. Marina is a great political comentator and although I am biased as we both share left leaning beliefs she is fair and critical of both sides equally and that I apreciate the most in today's polarised world of politics. We need more journalists like her in these crazy times of lies and deceates of political classes to keep them on their toes.

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