Shortlisted for: Biography/Autobiography of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
David Mitchell, who you may know for his inappropriate anger on every TV panel show except Never Mind the Buzzcocks, his look of permanent discomfort on C4 sex comedy Peep Show, his online commenter-baiting in The Observer or just for wearing a stick-on moustache in That Mitchell and Webb Look, has written a book about his life.
As well as giving a specific account of every single time he's scored some smack, this disgusting memoir also details:
©2012 David Mitchell (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"A Total Joy"
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.)
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.
Mitchell is an incredibly witty man, his misery cheers me up. His book is narrated by himself and is very well read.
"I loved this!!"
I have never seen Peep Show, but have enjoyed David Mitchell's dry wit on lots of panel shows. I was so glad that he was reading this as you cannot imagine anyone else. I listen in the car and he cheered me on my journeys. Also his paean of love to Victoria Coren was so touching. They seem to be a perfect match. Thank you David.
"superb read / listen"
an insight into the world of a comedy genius and his odd goings on. He's not so different to you and me, apparently
"This Man Has Issues!"
Yes he has issues, but frankly who doesn't! This is a very witty, incisive and elegantly written account / rant of events and related thoughts from childhood through to his professional success. It gets 5 stars on the basis of the excellence of the recounting, including amusing tangental perspectives of the more mundane aspects. Very good!
"A funny and honest listen."
This is another example I think where listening to an audiobook being read, particularly by the author, is far superior than reading it from a book.
David Mitchell is both very funny and very self-efacing. Not a hint of smugness that some may have expected. He is certainly not complacement and is very quick to say how lucky he is to be where he is.
However it is the chapter on his now wife Victoria that is particularly poignant. He is so much in love and it is very nice to hear how two very well-suited people got together.
Oh, and have a streetmap of London handy if you can.
Another great listen from a funny man.
This is a good book, as you would expect from a famous author, I was hoping for more details about all the books that David Mitchell writes. Anyway it entertained me on my commute to Swindon, and much better than the Economics book I had listened to the week before.
"Likeable celeb bio"
David Mitchell is a likeable, middle-class, small c conservative British comedian. I enjoyed his book, in no small part because it's read by the author and I find his voice reassuring (I usually find middle class British accents reassuring, a fact that I find strangely disconcerting.)
Mitchell grows up the eldest son of two former hoteliers turned polytech lecturers, goes to a small independent school, is accepted to Cambridge, joins footlights, puts in some hard work and becomes a moderately successful and well know comedian. That's the story. It's not very interesting. Mitchell tells it well and I've spent a pleasant weekend listening to it. There.
The second to last chapter concerns his relationship with Victoria Coren (his then fiancée, now wife). This chapter it has to be said is quite lovely and occasionally adorable.
I cannot imagine that anyone who doesn't already like David Mitchell would read this book. But if you do, and haven't got anything else on, your expectations will probably be pleasantly met.(
"Funny funny funny"
A thoroughly entertaining book and a great insight into the making of a top comedian.
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