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Summary

As far back as he can remember James Corden has only ever wanted to be in one place: in front of you, doing something to make you laugh, cry, shout, or giggle uncontrollably. At the age of 4, he grandstanded throughout his baby sister’s christening, standing on a chair in front of the whole congregation, pulling faces and cracking everyone up. Despite himself, the vicar was impressed. And from then on he couldn’t get enough of the spotlight, even when it always seemed to avoid him. Throughout his teens, he and his Dad trudged up and down towards London, getting closer and closer to landing a gig, only to be told ‘No’ at the last stage. But he never gave up and soon found his whole life turned upside down and inside out by his experience as one Alan Bennett’s History Boys. From that moment forth, he’s never looked back.

May I Have Your Attention Please? is the warm, cheeky, surprisingly honest and hilarious story of one of our most popular comedy talents. From his antics as one of the founding players of his high-school’s first ever rugby team to gaining recognition in the West End, to nationwide fame as the loveably loud Smithy in the award-winning Gavin and Stacey, this is a tenderly told story of what it’s like to try, try and try again and - happily - get there in the end.

©2011 James Corden (P)2011 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"A funny, interesting & genuine account’ 5 stars." ( Daily Express)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    643
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    211
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    77
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    28
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Axe grinding

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

I had a lot of time for this actor but his bitter rant about one of his teachers (who was named by the way) made him seem like a petulant child. Superficially written, it seemed to be a cash cow. Real pity as I loved Gavin and Stacey

What did you like best about this story?

When he talks of his time at the National Theatre and working with Mike Leigh

What about James Corden’s performance did you like?

Not much

What character would you cut from May I Have Your Attention Please??

I would edit his sulky description of his education

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Funny But

A very funny read James Corden tells his story so far in his own humorous way but I found the book a bit of a struggle towards the end and a bit boring

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Narration declination

I love James Corden from his many shows especially Fat Friends. This is a frank and open autobiography of his early life looking for purpose until his eventual acceptance into the world of theatre and films. An slightly enjoyable listen until around half way. Gradually but perceptibly the tone of narration becomes rhythmic to the point of annoyance until around the second half it becomes almost unbearable. I've never heard an author do this before, and I've listened to many on Audible. Every sentence from thereafter starts in monotone and ends in a slight increase in pitch followed by an almost sigh at the end. Forgivable for one or two odd sentences but almost the entire second half of the reading is like this. It ends up really grating. Coupled with the less frequent funny stories (and there aren't many funny stories in this book, even Corden himself freely admits he is no comedian) makes this a rather depressing and excruciating listen towards the end. If Corden had a more interesting life to fill with interesting stories ( eating coco pops in his pants lets face it isn't that interesting or funny ) and a better narration style then I would be more enthusiastic about this book. I would recommend instead many more laugh out loud books -Jason Manford, Jack Dee, and Michael McIntyre. Im sure James in his own painfully and embarrassing self loathing way would agree.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Liked him on TV but knowing more liked him less

He came across as lazy and disappointing. Realise he's turned things around. But this book and its delivery lacked something for me and I found it a drag. He is a good guy now but came across as what he cared about most is himself. Hope his life since the baby continues to go from strength to strength and he can continue to fight for a better world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Self Indulgent but funny in places

What did you like best about May I Have Your Attention Please?? What did you like least?

Best: His funny anecdotes
Least: The fact that everyone he name-drops, he idolizes to a sickening degree.

What was most disappointing about James Corden’s story?

It appeared very self indulgent. A book he will, I think, regret writing.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Not particularly. James' narration was, at times, exhausting. He always appears to be running out of breath!

Do you think May I Have Your Attention Please? needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, not at all.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 28-02-14

A little disappointing.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

A little disappointing, but you feel compelled to keep on listening after paying for it. Some parts of his life were interesting, but he really paints a picture of himself being a bit lad'ish or as a funny man and not an actor/writer/comic etc.

What will your next listen be?

The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins

What didn’t you like about James Corden’s performance?

It's always good to have the Author red the book.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

no

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JUDITH
  • lytham, United Kingdom
  • 09-11-11

Absolutely EXCELLENT ***

James does not disappoint in this WONDERFUL piece of work. He writes from his heart narrating his story with real warmth and whilst listening I felt he was reading just to me. I listened avidly to his exploits at school, his early adventures securing parts in the plays or films. It was hysterically funny in places and brought tears to my eyes in others. James takes time to describe the characters he has encountered throughout the book he acknowledges all those who have made an impression upon him. I learned a lot about the ways of a thespian and I discovered a side to his personality I had not previously seen. He is not just a very clever very funny man able to hold an audience in the palm of his hand, he is humble , a serious family man warm and loveable. He is keen to please, rather like a labrador puppy who keeps coming back for more opportunities to play. Well done Mr Corden , you certainly had my attention for the whole book. This is an excellent book, buy the download you will not be disapointed.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A lovely book on a very talented chap

I’ve always been a fan of James, and this book read by him had me in stitches most the way but also close to tears on others, written very well and explaining how different his life could of been at many times. Glad he works areas out

Highly recommend

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

very enjoyable

I got this book based on watching a youtube video of James Corden doing a send to all with Michael MCIntyre, i loved his laugh its so cheery. I found the book very interesting seeing how James has grown up and learned allot. I think he's a lovely guy and this is a very easy and funny tearful book to listen too. It felt so personal and that James was just reading it for me, just sitting at his kitchen table with a cup of tea and some chocolate biscuits. a good read.

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

funny and insightfull

great book very funny and insightfull. great story teller. all in all a very good book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachael Skinner
  • 29-06-16

Absolutely brilliant

I really only knew James Corden from presenting the Late Late Show, I knew he was funny and thought this book might be interesting... I was wrong it was fantastic!
Not only does James have an incredible reading voice (I believe he could read the telephone directory and make it interesting... If we had them anymore).
He is honest throughout the book and you truly feel as though you have gone on this incredible journey with him.
I'm now watching everything he has ever done and falling more in love with him with each passing moment.
I recommend this book to James's fans... You will adore this...And to people like myself who have only just discovered him... You will become an instant fan!
I didn't want the book to end, thank you James.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carissa Johnson
  • 08-07-16

Charming, honest, and insightful

What other book might you compare May I Have Your Attention Please? to and why?

I know what books I would not compare it to. I was expecting a book in the vein of the humorous memoirs/autobiographies of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, etc. However, this book was much more serious, thoughtful, and autobiographical, which was refreshing. James Corden provides a complete narrative of this point in his life, messes and all. I only hope that he adds a few chapters or writes another book in light of his increasing fame.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Pippa
  • 28-01-17

Loved it so much.

As an English girl living abroad I could relate to all the school scenes.
I feel he poured his heart and soul into this autobiography and was very honest .
Well done James xx

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nigel
  • 27-01-17

Can I Have Your Forgiveness Please!

That's what it should be titled James! Haha
In all seriousness, it's a great read (Listen). Having the Author tell their own story is the way it should be. Yes, admittedly he'd have more to tell now and more to tell in 10years from now.
It is always a constant reminder that "over night successes" in showbiz are a 10 to 20 year slog. I'm reminded of Malcolm Gladwell's 10000 hour proclamation... It always rings true!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BDixon
  • 08-01-17

💕Corden 💕Honest, Funny, & Intimate

Loved hearing James tell his life story through such an honest portrayal. I only became a fan of his around the time he came to the States, and he provided an intimate tale of his journey with lots of laughs and entertaining stories and antidotes about how he became the man and bright star he is today. If you are a Corden fan, this is a must listen or read. I want to watch everything he's ever done. Excellent!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • TNgal
  • 02-02-17

Just ok

I think the author should have waited a few years - it doesn't cover any of his American success - mostly just childhood and his drinking 20s.
I'll be much more interested iin the sequel iif there is one!

6 of 8 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
  • Michael
  • 07-02-18

Not laugh out loud funny, but pretty funny still.

James is great. it's interesting to hear how he came up in the English entertainment scene before blowing up in the states.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • 08-12-17

Who is James Corden?

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The story is amusing at times, funny at others, and sometimes even a little informative. But there really isn't a plot or an overarching idea that hold the entire narrative like the spine on a book. I think James's narrative needs a lot more cohesion and comedy to really be the work of art that he imagined would be published.

What was most disappointing about James Corden’s story?

His story has no single unifying narrative. I felt that the entire book was really similar to a collection of short stories from James's life rather than an autobiography. I expected the narrative to be as funny as I expect his late night TV show to be.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. Although James had a lot of good scenes and stories from the book and his life, it would make for a pretty sloppy movie plot.

Any additional comments?

I thought listening to the book about James Corden would give me a real good sense of who he is and get me more interested in his various works and other acting experiences. However, the book fell a little bit short of those goals. He's a very funny guy and sometimes too self-deprecating but the book didn't quite meet the goals I set at before I started this reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lacey Kae
  • 08-02-16

Great Backstory of a Fun Talkshow Host

I lived in England for a bit, so I "knew" James from various TV programs. I didn't know about his history in theater. He is a true inspiration for people who have ever been told they don't look "right". I'm glad I got to know him better through this book.
That said... I got the Audible version, and his voice drove me nuts. There is a British habit in customer service to speak in a soft, high pitched voice when working with customers. In America this would be reserved for children and dogs. He uses this voice all through the book. Soft, slightly high pitched, often ending on a high note (like a potential question. ) It is my lone complaint. He's a cool dude, and I would love to buy another work of his in the future.

5 of 8 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
  • Spoorthy
  • 14-01-16

What a great book!

Learnt so much more about him and life in general. I am definitely recommend it!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful