In this sample, I’m emulating the laddish, jokey style of the magazine FHM. The publishing house on whose behalf this was commissioned wished to encourage young men to read more books, in order to broaden their appeal to women. Viral e-mail quiz for Angel Marketing for Penguin Books.
So you think you’re smart enough to get it on with the kind of chick who’s more interested in what you’ve got between your ears than in what you’ve got between your legs? Take the Good Booking quiz and see how you’re doing. And remember, when it comes to Good Booking IQ, women think size is pretty important.
1) You’re at a party where a horny little redhead with sticky-outy nipples tells you she likes Dickens. Do you:
a) see to it personally she gets one.
b) smirk sheepishly, and tell her you’re having ‘Hard Times’ in your pocket right now.
c) enquire whether she’d like to ‘shake hands with Mr Micawber’.
d) nod thoughtfully, and contrast the author’s social observation with that of Swift or Orwell.
2) On a drunken weekend in Dublin, you get off with a feisty drama student named Candice. When she asks your favourite Shakespearian character you reply:
a) “That Italian bird who’s gagging for it on the balcony.”
b) “Dunno. I really fancied my English teacher, though. She was a fox.”
c) “Lady Macbeth was all right. Bit of a goth but pretty cool.”
d) “Do we have to talk about that now? While I’m giving you one?”
3) The Man Booker Prize should be awarded to the writer who:
a) creates the year’s most original evocation of setting and character.
b) most provocatively challenges the status quo of contemporary fiction.
c) offers the sponsors the most politically acceptable outcome.
d) looks most, in her jacket photo, like a shaggable little minx.
4) You are working in a bookshop at Heathrow when a pretty Swedish girl asks if you have something nice and thick she could enjoy while she’s in England. You:
a) go all intellectual and suggest Hardy.
b) feel really guilty about your sewer-ridden little mind and suggest Trollope.
c) stop looking at her tits for a minute and suggest Lawrence.
d) reach for a big dictionary and use it to beat down your erection.
5) A) Monica Ali B) Susan Elderkin C) Rachel Seiffert D) Zadie Smith
Place these critically acclaimed first time novelists in order of absolute honeyness.
d) Zadie Smith. Sod the rest of ’em.
6) You see brains in a beautiful woman as something to:
d) fuck out.
7) On holiday, you meet up with beautiful triplet sisters. You most fancy:
a) the one reading Proust.
b) the one reading Kathy Lette.
c) the one reading Jane Austen.
e) the horny little waitress on the breakfast buffet.
8) It’s easiest for you to name the last 3:
d) novels you read.
e) hardbacks you bought.
f) books you recommended.
f) women you paid for sex.
9) You see an exhilarating climax as:
a) a sure sign of a skilful storyteller.
b) the reward for plodding through 300 pages.
c) a rarity in contemporary fiction.
d) nice if she has it, but really not your problem.
10) You think that a pretty girl who’s had her head in Emma for a week is
a) a lesbian.
b) rereading a favourite A level text.
c) dead brainy, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t fancy a shag.
d) in need of 8 hours in a decent club followed by a good pounding on your sofa
11) It’s easiest for you to name the most recent person to receive:
a) the Whitbread.
b) the Man Booker.
c) the Pulitzer.
d) your tongue.
12) Here are the names of 6 literary heroines. Score 5 points for each one whose novel you can name, and 5 more each time you’ve nailed a bird with the same name. And don’t lie.
a) Jane Eyre
b) Ursula Brangwen
c) Elizabeth Bennett
d) Becky Sharp
e) Jo March
f) Sally Hayes
13) In an idle moment, you are most likely to pick up your girlfriend’s:
a) airport novel.
b) copy of Cosmopolitan.
c) Wellwoman manual.
14) Reading. You:
a) love it.
b) can take it or leave it.
c) would be interested in trying it.
d) like Slough better.
15) On your bedside table right now we’d find:
a) Andy MacNab
b) Terry Pratchett
c) Nick Hornby
d) Questionable tissues and the December 2003 copy of FHM
16) You would be most likely to read a new title by:
a) Iain Banks.
b) Michael Moore.
c) William Sutcliffe.
d) Kelly Brook.
17) With a girl who was up for it, you’d most like to have sex in:
a) a nice hotel.
b) her luxurious penthouse apartment.
c) the loos in a heaving, sweaty club.
d) the loos in Waterstones.
18) For you, the phrase ‘well thumbed’ brings to mind:
a) a favourite, often reread novel.
b) a faithful dictionary or other work of reference.
c) the December 2003 copy of FHM.
d) the minimum state in which a fox should expect to find herself after slipping into a bedroom with you at a party.
So how Good Booking are you? Add up your score and let’s
1) a) 0 b) 2 c) 5 d) 10
2) a) 5 b) 2 c) 10 d) 0
3) a) 5 b) 10 c) 2 d) 0
4) a)10 b) 5 c) 2 d) 0
5) a) 2 b) 2 c) 2 d) 2
6) a) 2 b) 5 c) 10 d) 0
7) a) 5 b) 2 c) 10 d) 0
8) a) 2 b) 10 c) 5 d) 0
9) a)10 b) 2 c) 5 d) 0
10) a) 2 b) 10 c) 5 d) 0
11) a) 5 b) 5 c) 10 d) 0
12) 5 for each novel. 5 for each shag.
13) a) 10 b) 5 c) 2 d) 0
14) a) 10 b) 2 c) 5 d) 0
15) a) 5 b) 5 c) 5 d) 0
16) a) 5 b) 5 c) 5 d) 0
17) a) 2 b) 5 c) 0 d)10
18) a) 10 b) 5 c) 2 d) 0
So how did you do?
0-39 Dear god. What kind of animal are you? You see every woman you meet as an opportunity to get your end away and the last book you read was Ant and Bee. If you want any chick to be impressed by how Good Booking you are, you better sprint to a book shop now.
40-89 Well it’s not good. Even your Mum wouldn’t really describe you as Good Booking, but you can at least read. More time spent with a book in your hand and less with your…well…let’s not go there…will definitely pay dividends.
90-149 You do like your totty, no getting away from it. But the thing that Good Booking guys know, that you’ll pull more if chicks see you with a good book, isn’t entirely incomprehensible to you. With the help of two or three carefully chosen new volumes, we’d expect you to have a very hot summer!
150-192 You’re there mate! Even with bad acne, you snogged the hottest girl in your GCSE English Set. When you pop into a bookshop, female assistants fight to serve you. Sexy young novelists, slinky publishing babes and even seductive lady critics are queuing up to explore your mind and, pleasingly, your body. You truly are a very Good Booking guy.
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