Sunday, January 3, 2010


A great 'Sunday afternoon book' presented in a question and answer style that goes well with the afternoon cuppa. The questions centre mostly on Charles Saatchi, the arts patron, but the answers are revealing of the man behind Saatchi and Saatchi claimed 'the largest agency in the world'. I was drawn to the book for like him, I stumbled into the very intense world of advertising where I learnt the meaning of "deadline". It has literal meanings. Advertising, to me, is a world of storytelling: I want to know this master storyteller. The book is generous with its font sizes and wears a fold-over cover that gives it more a coffee-table book feel than a regular paperback.

High appeal factors for me include knowing Charles Saatchi in these areas:

As a misfit
Question: Before you went into advertising, what other career did you consider?
Answer: 'Consider' isn't quite how it was. At 17 and with two 'O' levels to show after a couple of attempts, a career path wasn't realistic, nor a chat with the Christ's College Careers Officer, who wouldn't have regconised me in any event as my absenteeism record was unrivalled.

His indifference to social norms
"I don't buy art to ingratiate myself with artists, or as an entrĂ©e to a social circle." Surprisingly, he's also not the type who enjoys working through a room of strangers at an art opening.

His viewpoint on good manners
Quoting his wife [Nigella Lawson], 'It is better to be charmed than to charm.' The notion that one should oneself be riveting or aim to be quite the most fascinating person in the room was a vulgarity and just sheer, misplaced vanity. Trying to be charming is self-indulgent; allowing oneself to be charmed is simply good manners.

I owned the book after browsing through the above passages.

Where you can get it: S$16.05 PAGE ONE
Level of impact: Delightful companion with my latte
Timing of book: For a great laugh and interesting insight into the mind of a creative genius