Book Review: Would that be funny? Growing up with John Clarke

Would that be funny? Growing up with John Clarke

by Lorin Clarke

Review by Bel

During some hectic weeks in 2023, this memoir provided me with a beautiful escape. I needed a calm harbour and this understated memoir was perfect. If you’re a fan of John Clarke, you will love this gentle homage to his work, to his charisma, to his generosity of spirit and endless capacity for play. The writing is lovely – Clarke’s daughter Lorin is humble, genuine and cheeky in all the right places. The observations of her late father are so tender; the small moments of family life in New Zealand and Melbourne are a balm. Here is a nice family (mostly) enjoying each other’s company, working hard and doing well – which sounds boring and idealistic, but it’s an utterly charming salve. I highly recommend this book if you’re suffering from trauma fatigue. A lovely complement to his collected works, Tinkering.