One of the many moments which added up to turn The OC from a quite-good teen soap to a Work of Blimmin' Genius was when Summer, one of the less-bright characters, made a joke about Michael Chabon's 'Kavalier and Clay' and the makers of the the show didn't try and explain it to the audience, unlike ITV's The Fixer, the first episode of which I watched on the recommendation of a television critic I spat fish on once.
In it, an otherwise exemplary joke resting on the confusion between a hardback book called 'Genome' and the small porcelein homonculi that live in auntie's gardens and generally arse about in a static sort of way, was horribly messed up by The Amusing Idiot Character leaving the perfect space for the joke to sink in, then saying 'gnomes', while spangly-dressed women danced past holding placards saying 'DO YOU SEE, IT WAS A PLAY ON WORDS!!!!!'. I will watch the second episode, but only because the critic I spat fish on once still likes it, and the main character, a ruthless killer, reminds me amusingly of my deeply Christian, and very nice ex-landlord.
But to return to the start (collect two hundred pounds), I am three chapters into Michael Chabon's new one, 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union', which I started reading in Pizza Express with a fine glass of red, and almost immediately started composing a list of people to email with a sort of 'bloody hell you HAVE to read this it is REALLY REALLY good' and then I thought oh yeah, I have a blog, so I thought I'd put it here instead.
I could have linked various titles and stuff to Amazon, but in the spirit of The OC I will do you the respect of assuming you are not unfamiliar with Mister Google.
UPDATE: oooh ooh, by a weird coincidence, I've just realised that the subject of 'not apologising for jokes which need a bit of work' is also raised in the post in which I spat fish on a critic! (click on the 'critics' tag). I AM ON FIRE (not literally).