The personals column in the London Review of Books has long been at work uniting "naughty Lola" and her fellow scholars "ploughing the loneliness furrow". Now a must-read for Britain’s literary bigwigs, David Rose’s hilarious compilation of advertisements reads as a shrine to bizarre romantic aspirations.
To pluck an example from the chapter "Love is strange – wait 'til you see my feet", one gentleman bids for twilight companionship: "Geriatric brainiac and compulsive NHS malingering fool (M, 81), looking for rich, older sex-starved woman on the brink of death."
Indeed, the column welcomes those of all inclinations – heterosexual, homosexual, trisexual, transsexual, not to forget bestial: "Boanthropist (M, 34) seeks bovine woman with udders and bell. Box no 7986." Sadly, we shall never know if "Boanthropist (M, 34)" succeeded in his quest for love.
Even the more enlightened contributors are somewhat lacking in finesse: "I like my women the way I like my kebab. Found by surprise after a drunken night out and covered in too much tahini." A riot of suspenders, wit and self-deprecation – this is chortlingly good fun.