The Wrong Knickers by Bryony Gordon

by Amy Pirt


Oh Bryony…….did you step into the Tardis or the Bill and Ted phonebox and take a trip back into my tiny university room, record the number of empty wine bottles and overflowing ashtrays?  Go on, tell my 30 year old self: she doesn’t mind, sitting as she does in a tidy house with sensible furniture, credit card bills and Playdoh-covered cars. 

Bryony Gordon comes from a privileged Chiswick family; nonetheless, there are times in The Wrong Knickers where this privilege seems aeons away. Quitting university and the grotty flat near Euston she inhabits, she moves into journalism seemingly effortlessly, landing a job on a national newspaper. That said, the job is distinctly unglamorous initially: indeed there is mention of donning fancy dress in the name of getting a story.

Outside of work, Bryony’s life is a riot of fags, booze, coke-laced nights out and unsuitable men. There is Lurpakman, there is Guitarman, there is the long-term boyfriend who moves to Edinburgh. There is Breastsman, there is Marriedman, and indeed there is the Knickersman of the title, perhaps the worst of the lot. You will cringe in recognition; you will positively NOT recollect in tranquility (sorry, Wordsworth).

However, Bryony’s colleagues soon realise that her hedonistic lifestyle is the great basis for a weekly column. And you know you’ve made it when you have a weekly column! Trouble is, one has to maintain one’s wild partying in order to have something to write about. It’s all getting a bit Sex and the City, isn’t it?

I loved, loved, loved The Wrong Knickers, but the hangovers, horrendous men and total lack of financial sense made me want to tell at my younger self.  Where are these people who want to be 20 again?  I’d rather work and nurture: you can keep your boozing and bad clubs, thanks!

That said, what a fantastic book! Think Girls meets Withnail & I. Please, please, read it (preferably with a gin and tonic, and a Marlboro Red).

P.S. All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well….