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Summary

The story of a life built on sand. In the rain.

In this compelling memoir, comedian and actor Alan Davies recalls his boyhood with vivid insight and devastating humour. Shifting between his 1970s upbringing and his life today, Davies moves poignantly from innocence to experience to the clarity of hindsight, always with a keen sense of the absurd.

From sibling dynamics, to his voiceless, misunderstood progression through school, sexuality and humiliating 'accidents', Davies inhabits his younger mind with spectacular accuracy, sharply evoking an era when Green Shield Stamps, Bob-a-Job week and Whizzer & Chips loomed large, a bus fare was 2p - and children had little power in the face of adult motivation. Here, there are often exquisitely tender recollections of the mother he lost at six years old, of a bereaved family struggling to find its way, and the kicks and confusion of adolescence.

Through even the joyous and innocent memories, the pain of Davies' lifelong grief and profound betrayal is unfiltered, searing and beautifully articulated. Just Ignore Him is not only an autobiography, it is a testament to a survivor's resilience and courage.

©2020 Alan Davies (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

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What listeners say about Just Ignore Him

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No syrup, just a breathtaking autobiography

From the intro you know this not a fluffy celeb diary. Then as you head into book the honesty of his story is quite hard to listen to.
The actions of his father, the death of his Mum and the way his family dealt with it make you angry. But then the way he writes about the obvious love and bond he had with his Mum is quite beautiful.
Also his performance in delivering his book is great. It’s utterly balanced and fits the tone of the book perfectly.
One of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read/listened too.
I can’t recommend it highly enough.

28 people found this helpful

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Read superbly by author. Astonishing achievement.

Somewhere above there's a review which describes the audiobook as being read in a bored and disinterested tone.

Just Ignore Him.

I've just listened (via Audible) to Chapter 5 "Ashes", for the fifth and sixth time. Incendiary. Brilliant. Not one unnecessary word or sentence. If you watch Alan on QI, you'd never guess what he's dealt with and how making us laugh so loud and long has come with a hidden price tag.

The reading is as superbly rendered as the content. Alan gives such pleasure to people with his delivery of wit and wisdom on TV and radio that his modesty, humility and pain shock you by the absence of your own laughter. This is harrowing stuff. And Alan's understated anger at the absolute betrayal of his mother and the wickedness of his father strike EXACTLY the right tone. Listen to Alan's reading and then buy the book. Monsters come large (Epstein and Maxwell in September 2020 loom large) and small. But the impact of their evil is not diminished in the eyes of their victims. What's truly incredible is that Alan didn't strangle his abuser and negator and his precious mother's betrayer in the latter's hospital bed in Athens. Alan's victory is in his compassion and the beautiful family he has built around him with his wife. As said above in a far more accurate review ... Well done sir!!! Bloody bloody well done sir!!!

What I failed to mention above is that the bitter-sweet content is bloody hilarious consistently. But you're always close to crying through your laughter or laughing through your tears. It's never cloying or self-pitying. It's simply brilliant.

24 people found this helpful

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wow

What a piece of writing. I was hooked from the first sentence. Alan conjures the landscape of his childhood from a sensory perspective. Well structured, in that he often breaks from a chronological system, to go back and forth linking episodes and thoughts. With some beautiful lines and observations. He does not side step his own unattractive qualities, but makes perceptive links (without 'excuses') between his behaviour and his core loss and abuse.

Clearly, it is a socially important book - In that it will hopefully be commercially successful, opening up discussion and confession, across tables, between men.

14 people found this helpful

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Heartbreakingly honest story of a tragic childhood

This is not the first memoir that former stand up comedian and TV star (including two decades as quirky magician sleuth Jonathan Creek) that Alan Davies has written. In 2010 he wrote Teenage Revolution which has been recently re-published and was an hilarious account of his 1980s childhood.

In this new book, Just Ignore Him, Alan goes back to the 1970s and talks for the first time about the darkest secrets in his life. It must have been difficult to write about the death of his mother when he was just six and a half and his grandmother who was placed in an asylum. It is Alan's relationship which his abusive father though that most heartbreaking, shocking and tragic. This obviously had a deep impact on Alan and he tells of his behavioural difficulties that he has since learnt are characteristic of people who have suffered abuse, and his attempt later in life to confront his past.

This is book is very moving and is written in hope that others who have suffered with speak out.

10 people found this helpful

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A must read

The story is sad, and something I would not normally want to read about. But I like Alan Davies as a person and I was interested to read his book. How this man copes with his childhood scares I don’t know. Bless him I hope his found some peace writing this book. Bless ya Alan Davies.

7 people found this helpful

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What an amazing man

I have always liked Alan both as a comedian and actor but this book has made me see him in a whole new light. His courage to write about his childhood experiences is to be applauded. An incredible read.

6 people found this helpful

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A sad memoir, but a wonderful book!

Hearing this story , read by Alan himself in such a calm way, was totally absorbing. It helps the reader to understand the trauma of the death of a parent, the feelings of not fitting in, and abuse that followed...and to understand how that trauma follows you for the rest of your life.

Although a sad story, it is peppered through with Alan’s humorous quips, offering a little light relief from time to time.

It definitely helps to shine a light into the hidden world of the abuser. It is very graphic and I think he is to be applauded for that.

A great book which I highly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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blown away

Devastating and funny and touching and eloquent and brave. I was already a big fan of comic Alan and of QI side-kick Alan. Author Alan is brilliant. And Alan Alan, the Alan that emanates from his pages now occupies a space in my heart. Blown away by his story.

5 people found this helpful

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Brutally honest and brilliant - Well done Alan!

Alan Davies autobiography is one of the best bits of writing I have read in a while. Brutally honest account of his awfully sad upbringing - pretty tough to get through at times but genuinely brilliant.

To turn this content into a work of art in such a classy and at times humorous way is a hell of a thing. I hope this account helps Alan and others that have common experiences. It moved me and uplifted me that you he through this, thrived and created good stuff around himself. Well done sir.

5 people found this helpful

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Honest, frank and beautifully recounted

Alan Davies has a real talent for storytelling. This is a poignant tale of growing up in a dysfunctional family in the 1970s with no mother and an abusive father. It's painfully honest and I know will resonate with anyone who grew up in that dark era. The story is laced with references to the items and lifestyle which made up the decades of the 70s and 80s, and the detail transports the reader back in time. At times funny, but always honest and humble. Beautifully read. Five stars all round.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kristofer Jarl
  • 18-11-20

This is my five-star this year

Straight up, I don't give many five-star reviews. This year, I haven't given any so far.

Until now.

Alan's story is terrible and gripping. It makes me want to jump into the story and comfort the poor little boy.
The story, horrifying as it is, is beautifully told. Alan's voice is, as usual, soothing and mesmerising at the same time.

I'm truly grateful to Alan for sharing his story, despite how much I wish it never had to be told, or lived.

5 people found this helpful

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  • GP
  • 06-12-20

The Best

...memoir I've ever read. Every reader will be a little kinder towards others. Thank you.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chelsea Monday
  • 12-09-20

One of the most important books I've read

Not what I expected: so much better and gripping. I've admired Alan Davies' work for well over two decades now and this book is absolutely essential if you want to understand him - and other people around you. Perhaps this will make you get insight into your own struggles or better understand that of others.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alison
  • 31-12-20

brilliant, poignant, well written

a superb book, told with candor and simply... I related to his journey (much of mine being very similar) . l appreciate how my compassion and admiration for this amazing man can possibly mean that I can view myself with compassion and admiration too... I have admired Alan Davies's work over the decades, without any knowledge of what lay in his past. I respect him even more. He has an amazing turn of phrase... he could even be accused of literature ( a reference to a Terry Prachett quote)

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chelsea W.
  • 24-12-20

Heart wrenching and heartfelt.

This book was hard to listen to, but well worth it. I have only ever know the Alan Davies we see on tv, have never known the hardships he went through in his life. Knowing them now, I hope to be able better appreciate his laughter. This book is a pointed reminder, that we don’t know what goes on behind the closed doors of others houses. We all need to be ready to listen, and believe.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Frankie
  • 21-12-20

Heart Breakingly Brilliant

I was a little surprised at the content of this book as it’s not typical memoir from a comedian. It is however, a story brilliantly told and narrated - allowing me to understand the events both as an adult and how I might have understood them as a child. Alan Davies has created a achingly sad story that gives courage to other victims and fosters support for those who have loved ones who have similarly suffered. Thank you for sharing your story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kat
  • 29-08-21

This is a very important memoir that needs to be heard

A huge fan of Alan’s for a while now I will admit when I first heard about his story I was skeptical of why a successful person like Alan would want a story like this broadcast to the world. BUT hearing his beautiful and powerful words I now completely understand why it’s critical for Alan and others who experienced abuse to tell their story and not be silenced.

Alan is a beautiful narrator of his story, something that couldn’t have been easy. If you have seen Alan’s stand up you know already he is an expert story teller but in this book he is even more raw & honest in a way many would shy away from.


1 person found this helpful

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  • Cyn
  • 04-06-21

Poignant telling of a difficult story

Poignant telling of a difficult story. Alan Davies narration was superb. Thank you for sharing

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 25-05-21

Excellent

As a devoted Alan Davies fan and as a retired child sexual abuse investigator, I may be considered biased. Nonetheless, I was moved by his stark vulnerability, honesty, balance, and clarity about his life. It is a model of how many children experience abuse and try to accommodate it into an understanding of themselves and the world around them. Kudos to Mr Davies. Excellent!

1 person found this helpful

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  • RennieW
  • 05-11-20

Wonderful and brave book

I never write reviews but this book has moved me more than anything I have read in a very long time. Episodes and incidents resonated so clearly with me and the tragedy of this childhood and the never ceasing ripples that moved through his life were heart aching! Well done for the courage to Nero vulnerable and so strong!

1 person found this helpful