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I admit, I already went into this book a little prejudiced in its favour, as I became somewhat addicted to watching David Mitchell on various British Panel Shows. This book did not disappoint. I prefer my comedians to be clever, with witty remarks about interesting subjects, current events etc. I am not really a fan of the Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Adam Sandler style of humour and this is so far off that style as to be in a different category altogether.
Mitchell is just so likeable, currently being one of the most popular comedians in Britain. Even when being critical of whatever subject he is currently on a rant about, that you can't help but chuckle, whether you agree or not with his views. I also love his self-mocking admissions of what he sells as his faults, vulnerabilities and weaknesses. He plays up the whole nerd, or dysfunctional loser persona, but in actuality he really isn't at all. He also sometimes pretends to be an arrogant know-it-all, and yet he can't maintain that with a straight face for long, so you know it's all just a funny act. He is such a gentleman, even if he does drop the odd "F" bomb, it comes across more as charming, rather than crass, but even so, you won't find that sort of thing in this book.
If you are undecided on whether his style would suit your taste, check him out on Youtube with some episodes of "Would I Lie to You" or "QI" and that will give you a good idea of the humour in this audiobook. Or check out his podcasts "David Mitchell's Soapbox." He also has a couple of other series, The Mitchell And Webb show, which is a comedy variety type show and another series called Peep Show, which while funny, is a little darker, with ruder language and situations. Those two shows are a little less indicative of the style of this book and might not be to everyone's taste.
This book is a mix of biography and just his ramblings on all manner of subjects, told in a very different style, as we are taken on a walk with him around his neighbourhood. It's narrated as though you are out for a walk and a chat with him.
My only problem with this audiobok was that the few times I listened to it in public on my iphone and headphones, I couldn't help grinning like an idiot, or even laughing out loud, which did cause a few strange looks my way.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
I love the way David Mitchell's mind works. This book is heavily peppered with extremely clever observations, turns of phrase, and all the dry wit that David Mitchell is known for.
I enjoyed every bit of this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of British comedy.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sometimes, just sometimes, you scan the 'New Releases' section on Audible and you see something pop up that you immediately know that you are going to buy, that you are going to love and that you are going to bang on about to your friends.... immediately!
This has happened only twice to me - once with the Alan Partridge autobiography, and again with this title. Both are unabridged readings of an original work that you want to read,, read by the only person that you would allow or trust to read the material out loud to you.
If you like David Mitchell and his style of verbose wit and dry humour, which often manages to be both down to earth and surrealistic at the same time, then you will love this, not least for the fact that he delivers it like he does all of his material - in a natural and fluid monologue.
My only criticism is that you must be fully awake to appreciate it all, because his delivery is so fast and rich, that you will miss a lot if you are either tired or not paying enough attention, but this is the listener's issue really - not David's.
I won't spoil any of the fun by discussing the content because that's why you will buy this book, but I will say that you might want to be careful listening to it on public transport, unless you have no qualms about sounding like and looking like a gibbering idiot to people who happen to either be looking your way or within earshot of you.
I was on a packed commuter train to Leeds when David started talking to me about the vagaries and consistencies of Agatha Christie's characters; Poirot and Hastings, and I had to stop because I was starting to shudder and cry. When he gets your funny bone, he REALLY gets your funny bone.
Personally, I do not care how revealing or non-revealing David Mitchell is about his personal life, I just love listening to him talk and rant, because he is better at it than I am, and I tend to agree with 99% of what he says.
Guilty pleasures? (listen to the book and you will find out.)
43 of 46 people found this review helpful
One of my favourite audiobooks so far. The book has a nice balance - part biography, part comic asides, structured around a wander around London. It's perhaps a little shy in places, and I suspect there are some warts left uncovered, but fair enough. DM is refreshingly candid about his desire for success and his pleasure in enjoying it, and if I ever met him it would be nice to clap him on the back and say "well done you". Except he would find that mortifying, and I would be mortified at having mortified him, and he would feel bad about my feeling bad, etc.
Anyway, the bit about why we should be grateful we don't live in a meritocracy nearly resulted in spittle on the windscreen.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
David has such an amazing command of the English language and reads the book beautifully.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would. He's funny! And although his life isn't filled with struggle and turmoil, he still manages to make an amusing mountain out of a molehill. An endearing story. And very interesting to hear about his life outside of / building up to Peep Show.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Have you listened to any of David Mitchell’s other performances? How does this one compare?
As the title-suggests, it's the backstory.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes. At 9 hours in length, I think I listened to it across four or five sittings.
Any additional comments?
Very good. Particularly if you're a fan of Peep Show and his talk-show appearances.