Books & Literature

Book Review: Well Hello, by Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales

HUMOUR: From the hit podcast “Chat 10 Looks 3” comes a smart, hilarious and heartfelt book about friendship, the vagaries of life and culture, and everything in between.

An unmitigated delight.

Journalism powerhouses Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales have been pals and colleagues for many a year. Encouraged (possibly drunkenly) by some of their friends to record their hilarious conversations, they sat down in 2014 with a cheap microphone in front of them, thus giving birth to the first episode of Chat 10 Looks 3.

Despite an irregular (they say ‘peripatetic’) broadcast schedule, crappy sound quality, and a complete lack of script, this quirky podcast has become a huge hit, winning awards and an army of devoted followers.

Well Hello is the book-of-the-podcast.

Written in the same lively, chatty, intelligent style of the podcast, this beautiful-looking book tells the tale of the coming together of these two fabulous women (and they disagree even on that!). It also gives the back stories to many of the podcast’s leitmotifs: the fairy-wren, smug bundt, medieval contraception device, and Kenny Family Christmas Day Organisational Chart. The show’s odd name is also explained: it’s a reference to a song from A Chorus Line: “Dance 10 Looks 3”.

A collation of some of the best bits of the show, Well Hello also manages to be something more than a mere artefact (or a fancy piece of merch). Within these pages you can find Sales’s top 10 films and Crabb’s favourite cookbooks “in no particular order because she does not crave order like that raging list-slave Sales.” There are even recipes, including Crabb’s Pea and Mint Tarts, which Sales improves by “omitting the peas and mint.”

Well Hello is intelligent, silly, important, and trivial. It is hilarious and wise, as one would expect from these two. A delight to dip in and out of, and full of surprises.

Perfect for fans of the show (obvs!) but also sure to introduce the show to a regiment of new followers. And despite what Crabb herself says on the back cover—This [book] is exactly the sort of thing I’d hate to get for Christmas—everyone else would undoubtedly be delighted.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

Distributed by: Penguin Books
Released: 28 September 2021
RRP: $39.99

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