Stairlift to Heaven (The journal of an OAP.) Although this book is written by an old age pensioner, non-coffin dodgers should not be put off. Everyone will be old someday, and there are valuable lessons in coping with old age to be learned here. Written by Terry Ravenscroft, former scriptwriter to Les Dawson, The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise. Stairlift to Heaven has been likened by one reviewer to be ‘Like Last of the Summer Wine on cocaine’ Review by Pauline R for Readers Favorite. Stairlift to Heaven is an irreverent, hilarious look about one man’s life after retirement. He pokes fun at everything, no one and nothing is spared including how to silence the neighbour’s barking dog, telephone salespeople and Christmas carolers. His long suffering wife, known as ‘The Trouble’, provides a perfect foil of sanity against the mad antics of the author and his friend Atkins. Like a grumpy old man on funny pills Terry punctures the ridiculousness of life. A particular favorite is a visit to a faith healer and an examination of the concept of a Nuclear Free Zone. There is enough in “Stairlift to Heaven” to keep the whole world laughing.
Bodies fall apart when people get old. Eventually they stop working altogether. You can’t stop it, but you sure can laugh while it’s happening!
Mr. Ravenscroft has a incredibly dry, British sense of humour that relies heavily on irony and sarcasm to get his point across. This works particularly well when he’s discussing all of the body parts that have betrayed him over the past few years and what he’s done to attempt to fix them. What I liked most about his take on the world is that he is just as likely to make fun of himself as he was to use other people as ammunition for his anecdotes.
There were a few times when I thought that the author went too far in his descriptions of certain conversations with his wife. Most of their interactions were really funny, but some of his comments about her appearance came across as unnecessarily snide to me. I suspect that I would have had a far different reaction to these scenes had they been part of a stand-up routine or some other form of comedy that also relies on tone of voice and body language. After all, the exact same string of words can be affectionate or snarky depending on how they’re delivered!
By far the best part of this book for me was the discussion about how everyone magically becomes a wonderful person as soon as they die. In this scene Terry attends the funeral of someone who was known to be incorrigibly mean-spirited and prejudiced when he was alive, but who was made out to be a saint at his burial. There is a lot of truth to this observation, and it was thought-provoking and funny to wonder why people do this.
Stairlift to Heaven kept me grinning from beginning to end. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoy British humor.