The Familiar

Review of The Familiar

Roddy Phillips’ collection of columns, originally printed in the Press and Journal is a delightful record of the quirky, eccentric and downright bizarre in the day-to-day commonplace.

From the shock of waking up to find a bird not only in his bedroom, but on his head, and an emergency lesson in plumbing as two toilet systems threatened to flood over the beech flooring of his steading, to seeing the ghostly and ghoulish takeover Aberdeen on Halloween, his columns offer a gentle and humorous escape from the daily grind which reminds readers to see the fun in the everyday.

The Familiar is, in essence, a series of short stories about Phillips, his wife Catriona Millar, their children and their life in the countryside. It would be a great addition to the coffee table, fun to delve into and pick one at random for a quick pick-me-up, or read as a whole, offering a comic insight into the life of one family in the north-east of Scotland.

Joanna Skailes – Press and Journal 22.08.09

Excerpt from the foreword to The Familiar

“Insight, humour, an eye for the absurd and the downright ludicrous and an ability to filter the everyday to extract the extraordinary are essential tools of the columnist’s craft. Roddy Phillips has an abundance of these tools at his disposal.”

“The day-to-day banter of family relationships the ups and downs of village life and the vagaries of dealing with shop assistants, tradesmen and the jobsworths we all know and loathe give Roddy a rich source of material.”

“To keep a regular column going over many years, making sure it remains fresh and interesting, is no easy feat and many fall by the wayside. Roddy has stood the test of time and he remains that rare phenomenon, a columnist that readers look forward to with anticipation.”

“Sometimes, his analysis of what he observes seems to stun even himself. It really can be a weird and wonderful world. Enjoy this collection of his work. It will make you laugh, it will make you think, and there might even be a warm glow to be had along the way. “

Tom Forsyth
February 2009

Read a chapter from The Familar, The Gift that Keeps on Shrinking, here

  • The Familiar