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Summary

The Sunday Times Best Seller

James Acaster has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award five times and has appeared on prime-time TV shows like Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Russell Howard's Stand Up Central.

But behind the fame and critical acclaim is a man perpetually getting into trouble. Whether it's disappointing a skydiving instructor mid-flight, hiding from thugs in a bush wearing a bright red dress, or annoying the Kettering Board Games club, a didgeridoo-playing conspiracy theorist and some bemused Christians, James is always finding new ways to embarrass himself.

Appearing on Josh Widdicombe's radio show to recount these stories, the feature was christened 'James Acaster's classic scrapes'. Here, in his first book, James recounts these tales (including never-before-heard stories) in all their glorious stupidity.

©2017 James Acaster (P)2017 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"James Acaster has a brilliant comic mind, crackling with energy every bit as much as his corduroy slacks." (Milton Jones)
"I don't think I've ever read a book that has made me cry with laughter as much as this one. It was very difficult reading it in public as I looked like a madman." (Richard Herring)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliantly funny.

James Acaster is easily my favourite new comedian. As someone the same age as James who also spent his 20's in playing in bands and making terrible decisions I can completely identify with his scrapes. In my opinion there's nothing enjoyable or entertaining about a 'funny story' about things going wrong that are rooted in pure stupidity. However, there is something joyously endearing when blind optimism and oddly logical decision-making lead to undesirable outcomes, particularly when retold by one of the best comedians in the UK. Very very funny and plenty of laugh out loud moments.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Classic Scrapes

Classic scrapes, Brilliant simply brilliant. I have to write fifteen more words, so here they are, oh and cabbage. Brilliant

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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One of the funniest books I have listened too

Heard interview with Richard Herring and thought would give a go. Despite not having listened to the radio show, James does an exceptional job of bringing new readers along with him, and I have to say I haven't laughed so much to a book since Alan Partridge's autobiography. Thoroughly recommended.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Funny as!

Not bad for someone from Kettering 😂😂
Such a funny book with so many tales, it will have you in stitches

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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If you only listen to one audiobook, make it this one.

Had this recommended via several friends. Utter, delightful comedy gold. All the way from a tiny internal smirk (primary school kids and socks) to a full blown belly laugh (Humpty Dumpty) - this has it all. Buy it - now.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Great book, great stories and a great storyteller

I can relate (horribly) to a number of these tales but quite how James gets himself into these situations and then resolves them i am sure is unique on this planet. I had heard some of these on the XFM radio show but there were some beauties in here that were not.
I have loved every cringing moment

Its also a fun insight into the world of a certain number of comedians

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Hysterical

Great book if you fancy a good laugh at someone else's expense. Some top tales and performed very well.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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hilarious

I snorted in mirth several times and am hoping for a spinoff featuring partygator soon.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Hilarious

Really enjoyable and engaging book. well performed with James's signature comic style. Had me laughing out loud at every chapter!

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very good

I believe because he was reading it is the reason I didn't laugh like I do at him on the television. still an overall good listen

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  • Brendan S.
  • 31-01-18

Tales worth listening to.

This is a book that I would argue is better listened to rather than read. Part of what makes James Acaster's scrapes so great to experience is the delivery of his memories. He's a great story teller, and while reading this would still be a true laugh, to hear him recount his awkward situation ridden life thus far is certainly the best way to experience them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Geoff in London
  • 26-01-18

Bright and enjoyable

A pleasure to listen to. James sees the nuances of his goofy predicaments, and delivered a steady stream of smiles for me. His Northamptonshire accent has a rambling and mumbling lack of pretence, the opposite of the superior attitude of some comics who want you to know how clever they are.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A.R.
  • 31-08-18

Amazing Voice, Entertaining Storytelling

A reviewer of the print book mentioned that they watched his TV appearances before reading the book so that they could imagine his voice reading it. The audiobook is the solution!

Completely charming.

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  • kaje
  • 21-08-18

funny

he's hilarious I wish there was a follow-up book you will really enjoy this book if you like to laugh

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  • sean cordi
  • 10-08-18

Such a Great story teller! Funny and transparent<br />

This book is so well written/performed I had a hard time pausing when it was time for work.
I found the stories so entertaining because they were just that, actual real life experiences. Not fairy tales but also surreal! Personally, I think the story where he stayed in a tent for 2 weeks sounded like the worst experience of all, even though admittedly the was a crazy series of scrapes, mishaps and hijinks.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-18

Bubble routine!

Not disappointed!
Boil the jug!
Classic Allister!
Shoulder pads.
Will reflect over this in the kitchen mirror.
Thank you Acaster!

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  • Rhett Christensen
  • 11-07-18

Better than a wet tent

This book is significantly better than sleeping in a tent on wet towels, or spending the night under a bush in a dress.

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  • Julian
  • 31-05-18

Death comes to us all

Everything James Acaster does is either brilliant or chaotic. This was one of those two.

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  • Kevin
  • 15-05-18

hilarious

really funny book, great stories, overall worthwhile purchase
b b b v v v c

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  • Kathryn English
  • 14-05-18

Hilariously Honest and Endearing

I found James’s book after watching his comedy special Repertoire on Netflix and I’m so glad I did. I listened to it over a weekend road trip and was laughing out loud at the situations James found himself in.
As a twenty-something myself, I identified with James at that time in his life when he sought meaning and purpose and decided a good way to find that was by simply saying “yes.” James’s honest telling of his experiences, are framed as mistakes to be avoided. But they clearly shine as endearing examples (however cringe worthy they may be) of someone who isn’t afraid to try, to fail, and to be open to whatever life places in front of them.
There is also a very relatable dichotomy in someone who is too self-conscious to return to a restaurant or use a public toilet, but who will also put themself out there whether it be alone at karaoke, with an egg shaker in hand, or on stage performing comedy.