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Summary

Comedy, Tragedy, Therapy

Simon Amstell did his first stand-up gig at the age of 13. His parents had just divorced, and puberty was confusing. Trying to be funny solved everything.

Read by Simon Amstell, and interspersed with footage from his stand-up tours, HELP is the hilarious and heartbreaking account of Simon's ongoing compulsion to reveal his entire self onstage. To tell the truth so it can't hurt him anymore. Loneliness, anxiety, depression - this book has it all. And more.

From a complicated childhood in Essex to an Ayahuasca-led epiphany in the Amazon rainforest, this story will make you laugh, cry and then feel happier than you've ever been.

©2017 Simon Amstell (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"A beautiful and clever book about being human. All the warmth of his comedy without the inconvenience of his face." (Russell Brand)
"Hard to imagine anyone not loving this... go Simon Amstell!" (Stephen Fry)
"Amstell is a likeable, self-deprecating guide to his own flaws, and has spent enough time in therapy to dissect his own navel-gazing with a nicely dry self-awareness." ( Observer)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great stuff but just so little thats new.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would have loved it to be much longer, I pre ordered the book as I love Simons stand up not knowing anything else about the book. I kinda wanted to go in blind. The book is expansions and comment on previous stand up routines he has done with exerts of the performances performed live thrown in. This would probably be great for someone new to his stuff but I did find myself wanting more. At only three hours long I was kinda disapointed.

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

His performance and energy are why I bought this book in the first place.

Any additional comments?

Really good performance and writing but very slim on content.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellently told story climb to "normal"

Enjoyed Simons take on his ascent to "normal" though I have to say he seemed normal enough in the first place. Thanks for the honesty Simon...and the laughter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Touching, funny, honest book

Really enjoyed listening to this. Simon has managed to speak so honestly about difficult subjects but also often making me laugh as he describes his struggle with coming to twrms with who he was. Brilliant and insightful

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perceptive, real and connected.

Although knowing Simon Amstell primarily through his comedy. I thought this book unravelled much more about his character in a touching narrative. It feels incredibly honest and connected whilst discussing his past with the comic flair he does so well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

people stared as I listened and laughed

Ah, the human condition laid bare. Our inner anxiety of not being good enough for anyone or even ourselves with so many more laughs and insight than a self help book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A little intense at times

This audio book reminded me off my favourite tv show, Bojack Horseman. I've been a fan off Simon for quite a while, I've seen his stand up and most of his tv shows. This audio book is very funny, mostly from the excerpts of stand up through out, but it also has moments that encourage you to access feelings other than happiness. I agree with Simon that sometimes it's okay to have a little cry. Wonderful audio book, will recommend others to listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Em
  • 01-05-18

I loved every minute of this reading

Absolutely loved this reading, the book is brilliant sensitive and funny Love Love Love is the key

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

3 hours of unfunny self analysis

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Better material, more observational and less about Simon's not very interesting life. Some of his previous comedy work I liked, but 3 hours of him non stop obsessing on his personal life just jarred with me.

Would you ever listen to anything by Simon Amstell again?

no

What didn’t you like about Simon Amstell’s performance?

Amstell's voice and delivery not great. The live comedy inserts are also badly recorded, and at a different sound level to the narration

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

no

Any additional comments?

couldn't wait for this to end and get to something more interesting

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Would thoroughly recommend

Beautifully insightful and reassuring! A total delight from start to finish. Hope he writes more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Too Short

This was brilliant. Enlightening, hilarious, meaningful and utterly charming. I even cried once.

It just felt far too short. He now needs to go away and live more life so I can read all about it in his follow up biography ten years from now.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-05-18

Funny and moving

Simon Amstell opens up, allowing the reader/listener insight into his personal life, insecurities, fears ... even his vanity. Rather than seeming self indulgent, his discourse provides a bond, a direct connection of his self doubts to our own. And, of course, he's funny. Very funny.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • lauren
  • 26-11-17

Super Enjoyable

A great mix of background and stand up comedy clips. Great insight into depression, anxiety, and coming to terms with yourself. Very enjoyable. Definitely will relisten.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stacey Robinson
  • 05-11-17

thank you, Simon

Loved this book.
Full of humour and grace.
Highly relatable, insightful, and inspiring.
Thank you, Simon Amstel, for writing it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew Azzopardi
  • 17-10-17

Simon Amstell is my personal god

there's a comfort knowing I'm not alone in the gay experience. I wish more people thought like him

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leo
  • 07-10-17

Wonderful!

I am normally a bit reticent about autobiographies but thoughtI’d give this a go as it has had such wonderful reviews. They are all deserved. This is a lovely book and beautifully read with extracts from live shows cut in.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Shrimp Ramen
  • 01-10-17

Mind Expanding Fun

Amstell takes us on a journey of soul searching and maturation via his career trajectory, dating, travels, psychotherapy, and some illegal psychedelic drugs. I wished it was a bit longer, but laughed heartily throughout. I liked how he clarified through his experiences that no earthly person could possibly have the road map for your individual life when they themselves struggle enough knowing their own proper life path. Also, Amstell highlights the enduring value of stories to transmit wisdom and knowledge. His interesting voice narration easily held my attention.