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This book became more interesting as it went along. The early part about childhood and schooling could have been the reminiscences of almost anyone growing up in reasonable comfort in England in the 50s and 60s, difficult home life notwithstanding. But Paxman escapes the confines of home and school, pulls out all stops to get to Cambridge, and thereafter does interesting jobs in interesting places and, along the way, collects a lot of stories well worth re-telling. He is an astute observer and a gifted writer, always to the point and uncompromising, whether recounting an anecdote or expressing an opinion. We are treated to interesting glimpses into life behind the scenes at the BBC and University Challenge, as well as reports of his brushes with high-fliers and the various controversies his no-nonsense interviewing style has provoked. The questions referenced in the title are questions he has asked himself as he has progressed through life and career, and questions sent to him by viewers. His answers are always thoughtful, sometimes surprising, and sometimes amusing. The narration is pure Paxman: like the man himself, it is intelligent, elegant and straight-forward. No other narrator could have done it justice. Yes, Mr Paxman, it’s been very useful. I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Jeremy Paxman brings his journalistic and analytical skills to his own life and the world around him as he has seen it so far. This is filled with many wild stories of a man who has travelled to many parts of the world and witnessed key moments in history as they were happening.
To each main story or segment he brings a refreshingly honest portrayal of the event and an analysis of the industry that has made up his life. If you are looking for a life "in the media", this autobiography will debunk any beliefs of the supposed glamour that goes with the job.
Paxman's dry wit and wonderful humour are peppered throughout the book, and many times I was awash with laughter whilst listening on my walk to work. Marks & Spencer's "underwear revenge" is one story that I certainly won't forget in a hurry, amongst others!
I find autobiographies read by the author themselves to be so much more satisfying than ones that get a "voice" in to do it for them. And Paxman has a wonderful voice, and a fantastic style with words... there really is no-one better at reading the book about his life than him.
I would have given the Story 4 stars as I wasn't a fan of the first couple of chapters dealing with his early life... I wanted to get to the "interesting" bit where he entered the media; however these chapters also deal with the environment he grew up in and the relationships he had with his direct relatives - something that he turns back to as a coda to the biography. His analysis of his father, coupled with his life and the lives of so many post-war babies made those first chapters worthwhile.
It is one of those books that seemed to be over all too quickly. Jeremy accompanied me for roughly 25 walks spanning a 12-13 day period, and I'm going to massively miss his company. Brilliant, funny, erudite, insightful, analytical, thoughtful, wonderful, un-put-downable (if you can describe an audiobook in such a way...).
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to Jeremy Paxman tell his own story. Fascinating insight into a journalist' and TV presenter's world. He even manages to make politics interesting. It's not exactly an auto-biography as he once he reaches post-university days he seldom refers to his personal life i.e. marriage etc. (He does explain that he won't be discussing family life at the start of the book.)
It's mainly about his time at the BBC as a journalist and presenter of Newsnight and University Challenge. Riveting stuff, with a fair sprinkling of Paxman brio and at times rather unconvincing dash of humility. The book goes to Post-Brexit and ends on an upbeat note about his life and times. Loved every minute.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up A Life in Questions in three words, what would they be?
Slow down Jeremy
Who was your favorite character and why?
What about Jeremy Paxman’s performance did you like?
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No. I preferred to savour it.
Any additional comments?
What an entertaining speaker and life. So many incidents and anecdotes. Would prefer it if he didn't preach quite as much but maybe it goes with the territory. He keeps telling us how lucky he has been. Perhaps he protests too much. OK he has achieved much more than most of us and likes to give the impression that it is due to hard work and initiative. The public school background, however, may have had something to do with it. Also being rude to people when they are in a vulnerable position must be a good way of getting noticed. Full marks to him for agreeing to narrate his own life story. He can't need the money. Kept waiting for him to give us the where and when on the Ruby Wax comment but he left us dangling with that one.