I should start this review by getting one thing out of the way immediately – I have not read this book. I do, however, have a long history with it, so allow me to link your arm with mine and take you for a stroll down memory lane.

The year was 1997. Maybe it was 1998. I don’t really remember. The point is, our story begins in the larval stage of the Internet, when many websites, even professional websites, looked strikingly like Word documents.

I was at work, and using whatever search engine it was at the time to search releases by the velvety-throated Roy Orbison, of whom I have always been a big fan. I started looking through the search results and found “Ulli’s Roy Orbison In Clingfilm Website.” Intrigued, I clicked the link, and a new universe of depravity opened to me like the petals of a flower in springtime.

“Hello, and welcome to my homepage. My name is Ulrich Haarbürste and I like to write stories about Roy Orbison being wrapped up in cling-film. If you have written any stories about Roy being completely wrapped in clingfilm please send them to me and I may put them up on the site. If you have a site with stories about other pop stars being wrapped in cling-film mail me and we can exchange links.”

I sat dazed for a bit, not knowing what the f uck I had just stumbled across. Just beneath that text, there were links to stories with such a diversity of titles as “Roy in Clingfilm Story 1,” “Roy in Clingfilm Story 2,” “Roy in Clingfilm in Space” and many more. Being a methodical individual, I fastened my metaphorical seatbelt and clicked on “Roy in Clingfilm Story 1.”

“It always starts the same way. I am in the garden airing my terrapin Jetta when he walks past my gate, that mysterious man in black.‘Hello Roy,’ I say. ‘What are you doing in Dusseldorf?’

 ‘Attending to certain matters,’ he replies.

 ‘Ah,’ I say.”

Are you getting sweaty yet? Is your pulse racing? Your heartbeat elevated? Well, get in line!

“Roy Orbison walks inside my house and sits down on my couch. We talk urbanely of various issues of the day. Presently I say, ‘Perhaps you would like to see my cling-film?’

‘By all means.’ I cannot see his eyes through his trademark dark glasses and I have no idea if he is merely being polite or if he genuinely has an interest in cling-film. I bring it from the kitchen, all the rolls of it. ‘I have a surprising amount of clingfilm,’ I say with a nervous laugh. Roy merely nods.”

All this foreplay of course is just to set the scene. Then Ulli gets down to business, and it’s boner time.

“I start at the ankles and work up. I am like a spider binding him in my gossamer web. I do it tight with several layers. Soon Roy Orbison stands before me, completely wrapped in cling-film. The pleasure is unexampled.

‘You are completely wrapped in cling-film,’ I say.

‘You win the bet,’ says Roy, muffled. ‘Now unwrap me.’

‘Not for several hours.’


I’ll let you towel yourself off now.

From that day forward, I resolved that any time someone claimed they were bored, needed something interesting to read, in need of distraction, grieving, anything, I would send them the link to this page. Over the span of 20 years, it remained exactly the same, with that same Geocities look that plagued the early internet for years. When Ulli announced that he was looking for a publisher for his collection of Roy Orbison in Clingfilm fan fiction, I dismissed it as a pipe dream. Surely there wouldn’t be any takers.

Well, today I Googled “roy orbison clingfilm,” expecting to be taken directly to the same web page, and Ulrich Haarburste has made good on his threat. He now has a published book containing all of his great works. The links on the Google search page were so voluminous that the original story didn’t even appear on the first page. Rather, the top result was from Goodreads , and it offered a selection from the book’s back cover.

“Hello, and welcome to my book. My name is Ulrich Haarburste and I like to write stories about Roy Orbison being completely wrapped in clingfilm. When I put these stories on my website they proved to be very popular so now I have written this novel. This tome also contains the original tales and some new ones. Not to speak boastfully but it is perhaps the only book you will ever need to own on the subject of wrapping Roy Orbison in clingfilm. So then. If you will proceed to the till in an orderly fashion, you may commence to buy.”

According to the Goodreads page, this book was published in 2006, and it pains me to know that for the past eleven years I could have brought it with me on the subway, on transcontinental flights and to the Starbucks location of my choice. I could have been admired and envied by the people around me, ogling its title with lurid curiosity.

The Goodreads page also says that the book contains other characters not featured in the original website, such as Jim Morrison and Yul Brynner. The real cumshot, however, is in what readers have contributed, such as questions about the book’s content.

“As part of my consideration whether to acquire this ur-book, it would be helpful if a reader could inform me whether the clingfilm is transparent or colored, and if both, whether there is a preponderance of one over the other?”

Then we get to the reviews.

“I do not mean to exaggerate, but I think it is reasonable to say that this is the best book I have ever read about Roy Orbison being wrapped in clingfilm. During the course of the book, Mr. Orbison is wrapped in clingfilm many times, and each time is described so lovingly. Villains also appear in the book, and they attempt to make Roy Orbison’s life go awry, but he is protected by Ulrich Haarburste and his clingfilm. If you are looking for a book about Roy Orbison being wrapped in clingfilm, I would strongly suggest that you purchase this.”

Further reviewers invoke the work of Charles Dickens when drawing a parallel with Haarburste’s prose, while others seemed to believe that this book was written as a joke. One also related an experience with the book so profound that in his feverish state, he included spoilers, a no-no for fans of erotic fiction. But most agree with the five-star review written by “Tim.”

“I am in awe that this book exists. I envy all who read it before me and I envy those yet to read it. I almost want to jealously keep it secret, but even the Guardian has talked about it, so the word is out there. Track it down, read it, feel the same amazement I do. Also.”

In conclusion, “Ulrich Haarburste’s Novel Of Roy Orbison In Clingfilm” is the finest book written in 2006 about this subject, and that I still have yet to read. I recommend it unreservedly, and I urge you to buy two copies, one to read and one to sing “Only the Lonely” to. Select overnight shipping for fastest results.

About Author

Daniel Bukszpan is a freelance writer with over 20 years' experience. He has written for such publications as Fortune, CNBC and The Daily Beast. He is the author of “The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal,” published in 2003 by Barnes and Noble and “The Encyclopedia of New Wave,” published in 2012 by Sterling Publishing.

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