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My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up Paperback – May 18, 2010
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“’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.
More About the Author
My Booky Wook has been a huge bestseller in Britain, selling more than 600,000 copies!
Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I could not put it down. I am a huge fan of Russel Brand, his movies, and his beautiful craziness.Published 25 days ago by Euaty
He is so very candid in his book that in some parts very hard to keep reading. I'm not sure if I should admire him for his raw confession's or be disgusted?Published 2 months ago by Bethany Miller
Meh. I like Russell Brand and he's an excellent writer with a vast knowledge of lexicon. He's just so arrogant at times, and I got bored with it.Published 2 months ago by anstone1123
'My life is just a series of embarrassing incidents strung together by telling people about those embarrassing incidents. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amber Gregg
This was a gifted to my fiancé and he didn't like the style of mister Brand's writing.Published 4 months ago by Cindy
I knew I would like this book before I read it. I am somewhat a fan of Russell Brand and only became aware of him through his YouTube show, The Trews which he has just recently... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wade Brabits
This wild and campy memoir certainly fits the likes of Russell Brand. An excellent read!Published 5 months ago by Amanda Hefner