The Jam Doughnut That Ruined My Life by Mark Lowery

Mark Lowery* is a funny guy! I should know, I had the hilarious pleasure of sharing a kitchen with him for a year when we were both mature (mature… snort) students at the University of Winchester. You’ve never really laughed until you’ve seen Mark sing Madonna’s Hanky Panky at pub karaoke night.

I loved Mark’s first two books (Socks Are Not Enough and Pants Are Everything-both shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize), so when his latest book was available I ordered my copy straight away.

Jam DoughnutA jam-fuelled week of disaster is set in motion by a single doughnut!

Roman Garstang is obsessed with food – particularly Squidgy Splodge raspberry-jam doughnuts – but he is about to learn that things are not always as sugar-coated as they might seem. Because of his Monday-morning jam doughnut, Roman’s week takes a very sticky turn . . .

By Friday Roman has been banned from eating for 24hrs, narrowly avoided a faceful of warm toddler-wee, accidentally shoplifted, been given a lift in a getaway van, styled his teacher’s guinea pig with a blue mohawk, started an OAP** riot . . . and still barely managed to scoff a crumb – or lick – of a single doughnut.

Who knew jam could be so deadly?

Mark has a real talent for writing the absurd. In the great British tradition of Basil Fawlty and Mr Bean, NOTHING goes right for our hapless hero, fate conspires against him at every turn and all his best intentions go horribly, hilariously wrong.

But more than that, Mark has the best turns of phrase. He writes things that make me laugh out loud as a reader and turn green with envy as a writer. Why didn’t I think to describe school cafeteria chocolate sponge as ‘as dry as a lizard’s underpants’?

I’d recommend this book to readers who like the Captain Underpants books, The Twits, Gangsta Granny and rooting for the underdog.

To find out more about Mark and his books (and read one of the funniest author bios of all time) visit his website:


*Since I know Mark, I can’t promise this review is 100% impartial BUT it is at least 99.99% impartial. If I hadn’t liked Jam Doughnut, I would have slunk away and hidden in the corner and never spoken to Mark again for fear he might ask me what I thought of it.

**For those reading this in America, OAP stands for Old Age Pensioners