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My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up Hardcover – March 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A child’s garden of vices, My Booky Wook is also a relentless ride with a comic mind clearly at the wheel. . . . The bloke can write. He rhapsodizes about heroin better than anyone since Jim Carroll. . . . Compelling. (New York Times Book Review)

“’The most talented stand-up comedian to emerge in Britain this decade.” (Daily Telegraph (London))

“A scandalous, libidinous memoir. . . . There is nothing [Brand] won’t reveal in search of a laugh and nothing he hasn’t done in search of love or experience or oblivion. . . . . An exceptional combination of candor, ardor, and humor. (The Guardian)

“I laughed out loud at least a dozen times. . . . To my shame, I’ll admit I sort of liked My Booky Wook.” (New York Times)

“Hilarious. . . . A richly detailed memoir that’s peppered with both evocative descriptions of the author’s homeland and memorable lines... Brand promises here another tome ‘about how it feels to be famous.’ To my shame, I can’t wait.” (Entertainment Weekly)

From the Back Cover

Russell Brand learned early on to make a joke of fear and failure. From a troubled childhood in industrial Essex, England, to his descent into addictions to alcohol, drugs, and sex in the seamy underbelly of London, Brand has seen his share of both and miraculously lived to tell the tale. In My Booky Wook he leads readers on a rollicking journey through his disastrous school career, his infamous antics on MTV, and his multifarious sexual adventures. But this irreverent memoir is a story not simply of struggle but also of redemption, a testament to the difficulty of discovering what you want from life and the remarkable power of a bloody-minded determination to get it. My Booky Wook is a giddy trip through the brilliant mind of one of Britain's most valuable exports.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061730416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061730412
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Russell Brand is a well-known actor, radio host, and comedian in the U.K., and his star is on the rise here in the United States--he appears as Kristen Bell's new boyfriend in the recent Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and he is slated for another Judd Apatow (40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) movie early next year.

My Booky Wook has been a huge bestseller in Britain, selling more than 600,000 copies!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 144 people found the following review helpful By risatrix on March 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found *My Booky Wook* laugh-out-loud funny, but not for the faint of heart. Brand's honesty is almost child-like at times, except that he's dealing with very adult topics like depression, sex addiction, and drug use.

That honesty was precisely what made the read so compelling for me. Brand has a unique gift for non-pompous self-reflection, and refuses to bowdlerize his life just because it might offend some. His description of what it's like to take heroin deserves a place right up there with The Velvet Underground's song. It's loving and funny and unapologetic, while still acknowledging the horrific damage that addiction brings.

Brand's prose, like his personality, is deliberately flamboyant. I found myself feeling that, by all logical reasoning, I should be put off by his deliberately Dickensian flourishes. But self-knowledge saves all, and Brand combines his rococo prose with colloquial diction, self-mockery, and traces of his real, non-elite accent. In this regard, I kept thinking that Brand's style was akin to that of a very dirty P.G. Wodehouse.

The result was (dare I say it) addictive. I couldn't put the damned book down, and after finishing it I had to immediately lend it out so I wouldn't re-read it a million times.

Like all great comedians, Russell Brand turns his personal pain into comedy. Given the variety of individual senses of humor, it's impossible to guarantee that you'll find this book funny. But if you're not easily offended, you'll probably be laughing. Even if you are easily offended, you can treat this as a very honest memoir of sex and drug addiction, and be shocked that Brand tells it as a funny story.

[...] -- a site about humor and society
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 29, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Russel and I just flew across country together. I giggled the whole way, although he was certainly frustrating at times. Unfortunately, he was only in my kindle. (It was a bit embarrassing when the flight attendant wanted to see what I was reading, and it was a pretty raunchy part for a silver haired woman to have exposed on her lap, so to speak.)

Russel, I love you! You're a mess, but damn can you write! So far this is the only book on my Kindle requiring me to look up the meaning of words. YAY! I thought I knew what avuncular meant, but I was wrong. He made my flight fly by and increased my vocabulary! I hardly even noticed the seat in front of me grazing my forehead and the guy next to me taking up half my seat. Be well, Russell. My love to your Mum.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By S. Hawk on January 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I did not know who Russell Brand was (no...I never watched "Big Brother") till I checked into a London hotel for the holidays and saw him on a holiday talk show. He is hysterically funny in a sharp, no-nonsense, "no sacred cows" manner. This book is a memoir written in a rather disorderly manner but nontheless extremey funny. His recollections and comments are fresh and at time tear jerking. A fast read, it kept me up all night. Even Americans who do not know who he is will enjoy his recollections of experiences growing up, his several stints in rehab (for various causes) and show-biz trials. Really enjoyable, I can't wait for him to write something new!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By SaraphinaR on September 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've liked Russell Brand after seeing him in Forgetting Sarah Marshall - I thought he was the best player in what was already a pretty excellent ensemble cast. So when I found out he had a memoir, I was really excited to read it.

However, it turned out not to be what I expected. If you're looking for a voyeuristic trip into his any of his many demons (sex addiction, drug addiction) you will be disappointed. While he touches on those things, they are not by any means the meat of the book. What narrative actually does have the most substance is the trajectory of his career. The drug and sex addictions were mere layovers in his tale of evolving as a performer and comic.

While I enjoyed his writing style, which is flourishing, effusive, flamboyant, witty and also full of many literary references I'd never expect from a former junkie and multiple school expelee, the narrative was annoyingly non-linear. He'd go on tangents that would take you back decades from whatever point in his life he was describing, for no good reason. It would have been less jarring if the anecdotes were better aligned with the subject matter at hand, but instead they came across as non-sequiturs.

This book is also particularly challenging for the non-British reader. I had no idea there was so much about British pop culture I know nothing about! There are footnotes every now and again to describe certain TV shows, British television personalities or candies, but definitely not enough to help out this clueless American reader. I definitely think there was a lot I missed out on by not being able to recognize many of the cultural references.

Though this book was not what I expected, it felt purely "Russell," and as a fan of his, I'd definitely read another book of his should he choose to follow this one up.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pastor of Disaster on December 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
..is probably how Russell himself would describe this book, and he would be right. Its hard to read this book without having seen him, as they way the book is written, you have to imagine him talking it, much like Huckleberry Finn for example. You know, its written in the style in which the narrator talks? Well, without the references to slavery and the Mississippi. Anyway.

You will have seen him in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" in which he plays himself, no great stretch but as he is hilarious, so is the character.

Russell is a mentalist of the highest order, those 18th and 19th century mentalists like them geysers in the Hellfire Club, or them Frenchies, all smoking opium and getting off their tits on absinthe were mere auteurs compared to our Russ. He dresses like a regency dandy and pulls no punches, he says what he thinks, and his mind is a quick as a steel trap. He would make a brilliant barrister, I am sure. And a hilarious one.

Autobiographies tend generally to be of the "I am great" and "I remember when I rescued the puppies from the burning building" type. Russell Brand would probably rescue the puppies, he would also probably have set fire to the building in the first place, then attempted to have sex with the puppies after rescuing them.

Are you getting the picture? Nothing is sacred to him, he just sets down every little indiscression and some fairly large ones in amusing yet frank detail. He has recently been in the news (and sacked from his job on BBC Radio 2) for ringing actor Andrew Sachs (Manuel in Fawlty Towers) on air and boasting of his sexual adventures with his granddaughter. He was also sacked form his MTV job for going to work dressed as Osama Bin-Laden on September 12th 2001. That's the sort of character he is. And it is all there in amusing Technicolor for you to enjoy. Get it, but try and see him on DVD or the TV if you don't know his work yet, or else you wouldn't believe the book.
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