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Summary

A memoir from national treasure Brian Blessed.

There is no one quite like Brian Blessed. He's an actor, film star, trained undertaker, unlikely diplomat, secret romantic, martial artist and mountaineer. He's also a brilliant storyteller who will - and you must brace yourself - simply leap out of the story at you.

Ready? Then listen to Absolute Pandemonium, and you'll be taken on a riotous journey from his childhood, growing up the son of a miner in Goldthorpe, to finding fame in Z-Cars. You'll see Brian falling for Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Trojan Women, suffering wires strapped round his wotsits as he was hoisted into the heavens on Flash Gordon, almost causing an international incident when meeting the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and winning round George Lucas to get the role of Boss Nass on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Along the way he takes secret revenge on headmistress Mrs. Jarman and her very big bottom; punches Harold Pinter; loves and hates Peter O'Toole; woos his beautiful wife, Hildegard Neil; and braves the shocking death toll on cosy TV drama My Family and Other Animals.

Crammed with anecdotes from his illustrious career, this is a funny, warmhearted, life-affirming, LOUD, and unique memoir from a much-loved figure.

©2015 Brian Blessed (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Critic reviews

"After reading Blessed’s just-published autobiography, Absolute Pandemonium, CW thought that all bets were off for the book of the decade." "Caitlin Moran’s Celebrity Watch." ( Times2)
"The pages of Absolute Pandemonium reverberate with the sound of that inimitable voice and his appetite for life." (Andy Miller, S Magazine)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A joyful, irreverent, nine hours of fun!

I suffer from depression frequently but still have to go to work like everybody else - but I kid you not, listening to Brian recanting stories covering everything from handling corpses at 15 to handing Hong Kong back over to China with Prince Charles - well, it pulled me out of a nasty bout of the blues as effectively as having the man himself grab me by the scruff of the neck and drag me onto a bouncy castle whilst growling " Gordon's alive! Did you hear me, man? GORDON'S ALIVE!!!!
The two hour drive to work was transformed into an unorthodox therapy session. I laughed throughout - but Brians description of revenge on a cruel headteacher by means of a homemade catapult had me choking. Highly recommended - like getting a big, sweary bear hug off the man himself!

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Forget who you think the author is...this is incredible.

Brian Blessed delivers an incredible story, his incredible story with honour wit and passion...mesmerising, funny and in turns shocking.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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The cheek muscles on my face ache

What a brilliant book. Better than anything I've ever heard or read.
Read with gusto & aplomb, of course !
So interesting and matter of fact. Even the 'misery ' parts aren't so.
Be wary that during your every day life while listening you will be smiling and spontaneous laugher may make some people think you a little odd !
For goodness sake, just listen it's superb !

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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a great first listen.

I have been toying with the idea of joining audible for a while. I have stated a job that has me driving long distances and after listening to lots of radio, I thought audio books might be a good change. Absolute Pandemonium has been a good start, I've always been a fan of Brian and he did not disappoint with stories from his early life in Yorkshire moving on to elements of his later life and relationships with Peter OToole and other famous names. Brian has fabulous anecdotes from his life on stage and screen, some will have you in stitches.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Sheer hilarity will ensue

What did you like most about Absolute Pandemonium: The Autobiography?

This is an excellent audiobook made even better by the author Brian Blessed reading it himself and he is gregarious and over the top as ever yet this book is chock full of great anecdotes and wry observations and also some very touching monents too
it is also very very funny so beware if driving and also he doesn't hold back on his anglo saxon either
above all it is an most excellent tale

What other book might you compare Absolute Pandemonium: The Autobiography to, and why?

The book tells you lots of his early life and career and is very interesting

What about Brian Blessed’s performance did you like?

I liked the passion he brought to each section - his love of pugilism is very enlightening too as is his deep abiding love for his wife that is so very evident throughout

Brian has packed a lot into his life and he comes across as a very gracious and grateful person indeed

The part where he speaks of his father in Hong Kong is priceless and his interaction with the Japanese prime minister is also most amusing too

Any additional comments?

just get it for yourself and laugh 13 hours away

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A brilliant autobiography.

Brian reads this book with so much enthusiasm. Fantastic audio book from start to finish.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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From the horses mouth

If you could sum up Absolute Pandemonium: The Autobiography in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining Insightful Madness

Who was your favorite character and why?

Brian's Gran because she so needed taking to task.

What does Brian Blessed bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Ony Brian Blessed can do Justice to Brian Blessed. I could listen to Brian read from a corn flake packet so to listen to him telling tales of theatre and the luvvies therein was an absolute joy

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Brians description of his early encounter with Peter O'toole, what an eye opener!

Any additional comments?

If you have never listened to an audiobook before there could be few places better to start

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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GORDON'S ALIVE

This is a brilliant book made epic by being read by the legend himself. I've never met the bloke I'm sad to say, but after listening to his life story from his own lips I feel I know what makes the great man tick.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great listen

Really enjoyable listen and excellent performance from Brian. His character shines through. The only person that I could believe could get up to all these escapades.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Bloody marvellous!!!

Wonderful stories told by an amazing chap. You can't help but be swept up by the infectious enthusiasm of Mr Blessed. He tells stories of his rich history that will have you laughing along and shouting out 'Gordon's Alive!' at any given opportunity.

The man is an absolute legend and a national treasure. The informal and very personal style of this feels like he is there having a conversation with you about his exploits. Best audiobook I have ever listened to. Highly recommended!

Warning: If you listen in public there is a high risk of being thought a lunatic as you may spontaneously burst into fits of uncontrolled laughter.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Augenezum
  • 17-10-15

The Riveting Tales Of The Blessed Mr. Blessed!

What did you love best about Absolute Pandemonium: The Autobiography?

The authors enthusiasm and heartfelt authenticity, make this, one of my favorite listens, from my library of over 200 audio books.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Absolute Pandemonium: The Autobiography?

This gentleman's life is one of the most interesting and riveting tales I have ever heard. Every chapter is memorable.

Have you listened to any of Brian Blessed’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have seen many of his film and television appearances and the narration of this book is up there with his best performances.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Riveting Tales of the Blessed Mr. Blessed!

Any additional comments?

I would like to thank the author and publisher for this wonderful autobiography.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Noel
  • 24-10-15

thoroughly enjoyable experience. loved it

absorbing story narrated perfectly! it felt as if I were there in Brian's minds eye as he recounted events.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher Cashell
  • 07-08-18

Absolutely brilliant performance!

I am a fan of Brian Blessed. When I found out he had written an autobiography, I was of course a little curious. However, I thought it was such a shame to read without hearing Brian's amazing, booming voice. Then I thought, just in case, I should check audible real quick. How great would it be if he'd actual narrated it?!?

To my joy and amazement, I found the book, and with him as the narrator! Now anyone who is familiar with Brian Blessed will know that his voice is a true treasure. He comes from that great class of Shakespearean actors, in the same vein as Patrick Stewart (interestingly, they actually went to the same drama school). The style, the power, the emotion... It truly is remarkable. I believe I would even listen to Brian narrate the phone book; he's just that good.

Now I will acknowledge, some people may find a few parts of the book a little slow. Brian goes into some detail through his life, including shows and experiences that are not going to be familiar to most modern readers or listeners. Personally, I still enjoyed them and I found his anecdotes thoroughly entertaining to listen to.

I've listen to this book in its entirety straight through twice, and I've listened to various chapters many more times. As narrators go, Brian is on another level. Absolutely top-notch.

I highly recommend you take a chance, and give "uncle Brian" a listen. This book is like sitting in front of the fire with your favorite uncle , listening to him regale you with wonderful and amusing stories of his life.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-04-18

Rob WI USA

Great audio book, love Mr Blessed fascinating life story. I could spend hours with this man with his stories he must have another book in him until then “Gordon s ALIVE!”

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-08-17

Yes Brian, You've Got That Right

This book is a hodge-podge of tales by the booming hulk of a teddy bear, Brian Blessed. Although I enjoyed the stories and Brian's amazing melodic narration, this book is a collection of stories rather than a comprehensive autobiography. I feel like the author holds back the more relevant facts that do not evoke interest of mythological proportion. A solid and entertaining book - but leaves me wanting more substance.

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  • Aniekan Akai
  • 18-04-17

God's own narrator

Loved it. Brian's voice is so beautiful.
I could listen to this daily forever and ever

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Count B
  • 20-01-17

GORDON IS ALIVE BUT BLESSED IS VERY EXCITED INDEED

Any additional comments?

I swear he narrated this book without having to read from the actual book, & also did it in a single breath!

The book is exceptional. Imagine you have Brian to yourself in a pub, he has had a few beers & you ask, so Brian what is life all about, & off he goes.
A proper laugh out loud one moment then gets you deep in thought the next. From his days of poverty as a young Blessed in a coal mining community all the way through his fantastical life as an actor, writer & explorer. I just loved this book, it will keep you amazed, amused & wanting so much to have his attitude to life. A true treasure of all that is British.

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  • Gudmundur
  • 10-10-16

A real journey and experience.

This book was an absolutely a heart warming journey into the life of one of my heroes and idols Brian Blessed. Thank you for an amazing experience and, GORDON'S ALIVE!!!!

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  • kaflooey
  • 20-04-16

absolute brilliance

this audio, read by the man himself, has to be the best way to enjoy this book. Gordon' alive!!!

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  • Unreal Name
  • 21-02-16

shouted at you by the man himself

If you could sum up Absolute Pandemonium: The Autobiography in three words, what would they be?

Absolute Pandemonium in person

Who was your favorite character and why?

Whichever chapter we were on at the moment. Brian brings wonderful enthusiasm to every story he tells.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Why read the book when you can have it shouted at you by the man himself?