Thursday, 12 November 2015

Book #49

Look Who It Is! My Story by Alan Carr


The brilliantly funny and inimitable Alan Carr tells his life story in his own words, from growing up in a football-mad family in Northampton to his rise to become one of Britain's best-loved comedians.

I don't tend to enjoy non-fiction much, and in particular find autobiographies somewhat stale. I'd bought this one years ago, due to a real love for Alan Carr and his comedy. Being the only comedian who can make me cry real tears of laughter was the motivation for buying it, and my utter lack of enthusiasm for autobiographies was my excuse for putting it off until now.

Alan remains unforgivably himself throughout the pages. Autobiographies I've read in the past paint an entirely unrealistic picture of a celebrity's struggles to get where they are today. There's tears, there's woe, there's self-deprecation. Although Alan successfully describes his struggles, he illuminates them with his relatable wit, not making me cry real tears of laughter, but provoking a giggle nonetheless.

With any other story, I'd be irritated by the author going off on a tangent. Alan does this here, but it's so endearing and true to life that I loved it. He'd be in full flow one minute, before veering off to talk about something else that reminded him of that situation. It was like hearing a story from a friend, and I embraced it. His memories are incredibly personal, and I was pleased to share these with him, much preferring his stories from childhood and his hilarious call centre tales to reading about the ins and outs of the comedy circuit. I must admit, however, he didn't go into heavy detail about what happens behind the scenes; I've read comedy autobiographies before which have totally over-cranked this.

I'm of the opinion now, after reading this and also the autobiography of Scottish national treasure Kevin Bridges, that perhaps books by comedians are best absorbed as audio books. Timing is everything, after all, and with both of these comedians, it's their voice, personality, and sarcasm I love most of all; difficult to convey through the printed word.

I laughed, I liked it, but it's an autobiography. A nice lighthearted read for fans of Alan, or fans of autobiographies. I love you, Alan, it's been great, but I'm diving back into fiction now.

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