“South Africa’s Best Humour Columnist”

– SA’s Comedy Awards  2008

“South Africa’s funniest columnist.”

– Financial Mail


The name is Clarke. James Clarke. I have been told by people who know their way around the electronic world with its iPads, USBs, processors, modems, xTb hard drives, Blackberries and microwave ovens, that as a writer I must have a blogsite.

Yet after eight years of having a blogsite I still don’t really understand what it is or how it helps sell my books which is my major concern in life apart from not stepping on cracks when walking on the pavement.

I am also told that on a blogsite it is customary to refer to oneself in the third person. This enables one to grossly exaggerate ones attainments without appearing to boast.

Not being one to buck the system…

London-born James Clarke is your average tall, dark, handsome fellow who writes books – fiction and non-fiction. As a humourist he has been compared with PG Wodehouse and James Thurber. A critic said, “Compared with the works of PG Wodehouse and James Thurber, Clarke writes absolute rub…”. (Due to space constraints this comment had to be shortened.)

As a youth, being a mover and a shaker, it was not possible for Clarke to follow in his father’s footsteps as a packer in a dynamite plant. Hence he turned to journalism.

After three decades as a science writer involved in the green and brown environments, he was invited in 1992 to write a daily humour column in the Johannesburg Star.

This led Clarke to move into the electronic publishing world. It was, he said afterwards, a bit like a non-swimmer diving into a pool without first testing its depth.

In November 2011 he re-issued his South African best seller, Blazing Saddles, as an Amazon Kindle e-book under the title, Blazing Bicycle Saddles. For a mere US$4.99 you can download a copy of this seminal cycling book in a matter of seconds by clicking here .


Blazing Saddles was first published by Jonathan Ball. Its e-version, Blazing Bicycle Saddles, reveals how six retired men – five of them journalists – year after year set out (very intrepidly) from the African continent to explore Darkest Europe and bring back to Africa tales of the funny natives there.

Clarke’s other e-books include:

The Yellow Six (originally published by Penguin in South Africa and Brewin in the UK). This is yet another of Clarke’s action-packed autobiographical works – this time an account of his exploits as L*E*A*D*E*R of the Yellow Six Patrol of the 1st Streetly Boy Scouts in the English Midlands. Under his leadership it achieved things that are hardly credible.

Then came S*x for the Extremely Shy (a series of columns that became a Penguin book) and then an e-book titled S*x for the Terribly Shy. The book claims that s*x articles in magazines fail to understand that a lot of people are terribly shy about, well, you know, about s*x and for magazines to dish out advice on how to find the G spot is pointless when most people can’t even find a decent parking spot.

There’s also a very illuminating book on various aspects of travel – Recalculating!  And a few others. Visit his website for more information about his books.

Clarke, who is widowed, is a travel writer with an abiding interest in natural history.  .


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