Little Guide to Unhip


By KJ Rigby

Publisher : Night Publishing


KJ Rigby
I was born in Crosby, Liverpool and now live in Devon. 

My punk novel, 'Fall Of The Flamingo Circus' (1990), was first published by Allison & Busby and by Villard (American hardback).

Skrev Press published my novels 'Seaview Terrace' (2003), 'Sucka!' (2004) a More...


When we are young, we all hope that even if we are not totally hip, we are not completely unhip.

With age, we begin to realise that we have had more than a few embarrassing moments and tastes and, maybe more to our surprise, we don't really care.

There are days when we are unhip and proud of it.

Part social commentary, part autobiography, here are some of KJ Rigby's confessions of some of her less hip moments.

And what about you?

The initial inspiration arose from reflecting on Gilbert O’Sullivan, a songwriter up there with the big names in the 70s, but had never enjoyed a revival as had his contemporaries – dead or alive, Marc Bolan & T Rex, David Bowie, Slade, Abba. I wondered why that might be and why it was people didn’t ‘nostalge’ or celebrate him in the way they did other pop idols of yore. This got me thinking of other embarrassing paraphernalia and events from my own past – umbrellas, Austria, underwear, personal attributes - and before long the list was growing. Here was something that could come out and be aired, nay flaunted even. If I dared to be first, others might fess up too ....

Janine Crowley Haynes, author of ‘My Kind Of Crazy’: Utterly enjoyable. I found myself giggling immediately and, sorry to report, fitting into the category of ‘unhip’. Not only is it an entertaining read, but your quirky sense of humor shines through.

George Fripley, author of ‘Wurzel of Clutton & Other People History Rightfully Forgot’: Hahahahahaha....this has made me laugh. What a great concept this book is. It's quirky, it's written in nice 'bite-sized' pieces and it is genuinely funny in a gentle way.

Raven Dane, author of ‘The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire’ and ‘Cyrus Darian and The Technomicron’: I am reading every word with a broad grin and many giggles. I am so relieved I am not too unhip as I loathe beige, and I’m a horse-owning, Yule-celebrating pagan.... Always disliked Gilbert O'Sullivan...phew!

Vanessa Musson, author of ‘Banana in The Briefcase’: In the umbrella family are also foldable rain hats and pac-a-macs. Generally a few more examples of unhip which spring to mind might be Daddies Sauce and salad cream, net curtains, Bruce Forsyth, boxes of tissues kept in cars and bedding plants. Oh, and Vauxhall Corsas. Your book has some interesting crossover with Nancy Mitford and her philosophy of "U" and "non-U". Love it.

L Anne Carrington, author of ‘The Cruiserweight’: ‘Little Guide To Unhip’ is a romp, witty, and full of fun from the very first chapter, with splendid writing, well put together, and makes readers wonder "What was I thinking back in the day?”

Frank Kusy, author of ‘Sparky the Very Nervous Cat’: I didn't realise how unhip and uncool I was until I got to chapter 3 and read that bit about flab hanging out … you've inspired me to get back to the gym!

Ben Hardy, author of ‘Who Needs Grapes?’: This had me nodding along, thinking “umbrellas - check, recorders - check, beige - check, no accent – check”. I fall into many of your unhip categories, and am proud of doing so.

James McPherson, author of ‘Lucifer And Auld Lang Syne’: Awwww, Gilbert - I let myself down badly here I'm afraid - was singing away very unhipply to myself. I'd forgotten most of the words though, so I suppose that counts for something..... Uncooperative umbrellas - dodgy coach trips to the land of Edelweiss and Adolf - the humble recorder - sanitary... you-know-whats - and many, many more… and I shall be forever in your debt for planting “ooh wacka doo” in my head again. (Can't get the damned thing out now).

Tim Roux, author of  Dance of The Pheasodile’ and ‘Missio’, Managing Editor of Night Publishing: This is hilarious -  extremely funny without being nasty and oh-so true. I always thought Gilbert O'Sullivan was a right twerp, I think recorders have to be the most absurd instrument ever (even the Jew's harp has its Leonard Cohen moments), I hate umbrellas (at 6'5", sharing an umbrella is like an elephant sharing an ice-cream), and Austria is very low on my list of holiday destinations. This is right up with my favourite columnists like Alice Thomas Ellis and Barbara Ellen.