Sunday, February 24, 2019


Life offers experiences I can’t refuse. Some of them demand translation into a suitable medium which, for me, often requires humour. Even miserable situations have a funny side and that’s how The Joy of Letting Women Down came about.

I decided to satirise the type of man (I named him the Worshipped Male or WM) who is irresistible to women but I also wanted to make fun of the women (including myself) who, against our better judgement, are irresistibly drawn to him/them. 

After several rejections and nearly-but-not-really finding an agent, the book was taken by Robson Books and published in 2000. I was interviewed on a few radio programmes, which was fun, but apart from a couple of local papers,the book was ignored by the press. Oddly enough, it also didn’t seem to be available in most bookshops where I..ahem..looked for it. I blame the cover though it was my idea and my design. Probably a mistake.

I still think the book is funny and exageratedly accurate but what with MeToo and everything I can’t imagine it being re-issued today. Anyhow it’s available secondhand for practically nothing on Amazon and elsewhere so go for it! Here's a taste.


Hendrik said...

You've persuaded me. I've long hankered after this book, now I've bought it for my birthday. It's a small gesture in defiance of #metoo, which appears to have clipped every man's wings, even retrospectively, killed the office romance, which I never witnessed nor enacted, and created a new range of sins to replace the ten commandments.

Note to my slow-off-the-mark rivals: there are only 3 left now on Amazon.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Hi Vincent. Thanks! Unfortunately I have only my own copy left. But I've seen there's one for sale on ebay for about £2.70 and the secondhand book dealer Abe Books also has some copies, or at least did have about a week ago.

When is your birthday? Sending you very best wishes in advance. Hope you're well.

Hendrik said...

Oh, sorry, my birthday was on 3rd March. And so I have opened my copy of The Joy of Letting Women Down to discover it's in new condition, autographed Took a while as it was sent from Germany.

Your comic-book autobiography looks even better. I'll have to wait a bit till the price comes down to my range, if ever. Perhaps on your 95th?

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Vincent, you mean your copy is autographed by me? How amazing that this is the one sold to you! If it is my signature, does it say who I gave it to? Hm, they can't have liked it much if they sold it to a secondhand store! Please let me know what you think of it whenever you've read it.

Anyway,about 'Double Entendre' (my graphic novel) it's only in very early stage. The LDC Award submissions are for a work-in-progress and only 12 pages were required for the judges to decide on awards. It's going to take me quite a long time to complete this book which will be at least 200 pages. I'll have to find a publisher but it's intended to be mass-market and not limited edition expensive artist's book. The price will be similar to any of the graphic novels currently in bookshops.

Hendrik said...

I shall scan it and ask you to authenticate! There is no dedication. One peculiarity is this. I didn't see it at first because when my copy arrived, three sticky labels obscured the signature! Fortunately I was able to peel them off without causing damage to the page.

Hendrik said...

You can view the scan here and judge for yourself. It's signed in black ballpoint, not much pressure on the page. The book is in mint condition, almost certainly unread. The front of the wrapper is a tiny bit frilled at the bottom, perhaps from a little damp on the shelf.

The world awaits your verdict.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Yes that looks like my signature. Since there's no dedication, I can only guess that it might be someone who was at the book's launch party and asked me to sign it, then just leafed through it and didn't like it. But I don't know!

Anyway, it's an amazing coincidence that a signed copy should land in the hands of a friend, you Vincent.