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Look Back In Hunger
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Look Back In Hunger

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  897 ratings  ·  71 reviews
The candid account of the friendships, the loves, the laughter, the people and the pints that have defined the life of a woman who never takes anything lying down, although she does quite like lying down. One of Britain's funniest, and best-loved comics at her very best. (bio)
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Headline Review
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(showing 1-30 of 1,801)
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I don’t often read non-fiction books and its even more rare for me to read an autobiography. A couple have caught my eye and I’ve thought ‘yes, I’d like to read that’ but not gone any further. I’m not sure why I find them so hard to get in to but then everyone’s interests are different and my taste mainly runs to fiction.

However, Jo Brand is one of my all time favourite comedians, I love her dry sense of humour and honest observations about life, and have been a fan for many years. Look back in
Natalie Bowers
I whizzed through this book in two days flat which is not bad considering I’m surrounded by kids! The main reason for me whizzing through this book is that it’s just so darn readable. I felt as if Jo Brand were sitting next to me, telling me her life story over a coffee and a great big slice of cake. I bought the book simply because I find Jo Brand funny, and I find memoirs interesting, but I didn’t realise I’d be able to relate to so many of her experiences. Even though she’s almost 20 years ol ...more
Dead John Williams
Look Back In Hunger by Jo Brand Imagine being stuck in a lift with Jo Brand. You tell your life story in thirty minutes and then she begins to tell hers.

Six hours later she finishes and you have heard all the details of her life. She has been candid and your head is swimming in details about people, places, dates, items of clothing and various states of inebriation. A kaleidoscopic story like a wash cycle which ends up with the Jo Brand that we all know stepping out of the machine. A story so im
John Humber
My rating for Look Back In Hunger would be between one and two stars. I was never a big fan of Jo Brand’s stand-up routines, not because I found her offensive or because, as a man, I found her in some way threatening—both of which she alludes to here—but just because I didn’t find her particularly funny. So why did I choose to read this book? Well, I quite like Jo in her current role as a more all-round TV celebrity and presenter and I saw the book on the biographies shelf of my local library an ...more
Again, I wish I could give the book three and a half stars. In cases like these I have to ask myself whether I like the book and would recommend it wholeheartedly to someone, or whether I like it but don't really have much to say about it. Since it's the latter for this one, I have to give it only three stars. Reading the other reviews I think I belong to the camp that adores Jo Brand and knows what tricky emotions she's capable of conveying, and am therefore left a little disappointed in this o ...more
I have to say I was disapointed with this. I have read all three of Jo's novels and have loved them all so I was looking forward to this autobiography. I think she is a vey funny comic and her dlivery of stories on stage etc is excellent but reading this is hard work. This is clearly the first book of either two or three as this tells the story up to when she is starting her act fulll time.

The main point is the jumping about from one part of her life to another to make a point which then makes y
I love Jo Brand so was very keen to read this however I was a little disappointed with it. There was too much jumping about in time and I found it hard to keep up with her at times. I also felt it seemed as though she was telling me a series of escapades she had got into as they occurred to her, I really wanted more of the insight she showed in glimpses about human nature and mental illness.
Dave Riley
Much as I love Jo Brand and think 'Getting On' is pure brilliance, this 'memoir' isn't worth the effort.

Who gives a fig for all this indulgent detail about her upbringing?

Well, if you do,I don't.

Brand was brutally normal...up to a point -- and did nothing extraordinary -- up to a point -- before she started telling jokes in public.

You have to wait for the last 50 pages before you get exposed to a fleeting review of her early stand up career.

There's no point to the book aside from meandering t
I’m wondering if I went into reading this book with my expectations too high, as although I did enjoy reading this and found it quite funny in places it was missing just a little something for me.

The book catalogues Jo’s life from childhood to the dawn of her comedy career (in the varying clubs she visited). I found Jo’s years working as a psychiatric nurse very interesting (and indeed it’s something that’s always intrigued me about her) and how her senior staff members had frowned upon her ‘sha
British stand-up comedian, Jo Brand looks back over her life and the influences that made her who she is today. From a nice, well brought up little girl, she morphed into a teenage nightmare, skipping school, staying out all night and socialising (underage) in pubs. She talks with great humour about her early family life, providing many hilarious anecdotes about her childhood escapades with her two brothers. Brand studied towards becoming a psychiatric nurse, (even though she always aspired to d ...more
Lilly de Vries
I love Jo Brand... Thanks to QI I've been introduced to these people I would not have known of otherwise. Some of the stories I can't relate with because my life has been rather easy (I'd like to think) but I love how she tells the stories of her earlier career. All in all a fantastic read!
The one part of Jo Brand that doesn't come across as big in her comedy is her heart. Or rather, didn't, until she did 'Getting On', when her world-weary nurse routine was beautifully tempered by compassion. Thankfully, her big heart does shine through here; this seems to have disappointed a lot of readers, expecting to scream with laughter at her dysfunctional upbringing which quite simply didn't exist.

The only downside is that it has added fuel to the little fire that has been kindling at the b
I thought Jo's experiences where very funny at times and at others terribly tragic, but she overcomes her misfortunes and really does have the last laugh. I can relate to alot of the scenarios she finds herself in, and that makes her very endearing to me. Very illustrative writing style, and warm hearted.

Now this may sound corny to say but I really was understating how well I can relate to Jo's experiences, as I finished reading it I fealt "finally someone else who knows how mental the world is
I like Jo and I didn't expect this to be a laugh a minute romp as a lot of the other reviewers seem to have expected. I thought she could sometimes be a little too clinical but then her humour is very dry. I thought it was interesting but I felt the ending was very poor. I don't know whether she's planning to write another book but it seemed a very odd place to finish and I felt the ending was quite abrupt.

If you're expecting the tale of someone's life then I think you will like it but if you'r
Good book. You can imagine her talking as you read it. Interesting to read her stories of mental health nursing, I can imagine she was very good.
Óli Sóleyjarson
Fyrri ævisaga Jo Brand sem ég þekki aðallega úr QI. Nokkuð skemmtilegt. Áhugaverðustu kaflarnir fjölluðu um starf hennar sem geðhjúkrunarfræðingur.
Katie Donaldson
Funny, Witty a real quick read that is entertaining a shame that the book stops right at the beginning of her stand up career.
Carole Michie
I find her much more entertaining on TV than I did in print - dead pan doesn't translate well to the page. But likeable.
This was an extremely easy read. It's full of humour as you would expect but there is a lot also about her upbringing, her school days, her work in the mental health service and her early relationships.
There's not much about her comedy career the book leaves off at around the time of her appearances on Friday Night Live in the 80's (which was her first TV performance) ... similarly, there's no mention of her marriage or children (or scant mention anyway) .. perhaps that will be for the sequel, b
Polly Tiller
I am a similar age to Jo Brand so I recognised the social history in her book and compared to where I was up to. I was a lot tamer back in those hippy days. She writes some sad stuff but gets the humour in. One of my books I will always read again or read my favourite parts again. If I'm fed up her book is a real pick me up.
Good book, easy read. Abrupt ending to the beginning of her career.
Kay Rodgers
Ended abruptly, mildly entertaining read overall.
Lyssa Mackey
Good book, made me cry, laugh and giggle -
Adam Cawthorn
Sep 15, 2013 Adam Cawthorn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jo Brand Fans
I read through the book along with Jo Brand reading the audiobook.

It is a good book, with it being about her life, it is quite personal and tells of her trials and tribulations in relationships and in daily life, of her working at a hospital whilst trying to eek out a comedy career.

Listening to the audiobook, sadly Jo seemed very bored reading her own words, nothing was thrilling about it and it just seemed very plain.

It is not the most fantastic book out there but neither is it the worst!
Paula Maguire
At first this seemed like a very dull book-her delivey is mundane and she constantly repeats a few stock phrases 'suffice it to say'. She spent too long on her halcyon childhood which was pleasantly dull. however it became much more investing when she got older which was very chaotic considering her stable upbringing. She left home during her a levels, consequently did v bad, college in Brunel sounded a hoot and amazing experiences being a psychiatric nurse, I really adored her in the end
3.5 stars
Apr 05, 2013 Rel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Hard core Jo Bland fans
Shelves: auto-biography
Took some getting into, it was ok. I guess you have to be true groupies of Jo's to like this one.
Because it is all about her life before she took to the stage.
One of those books I wish I borrowed from the library instead of buying.
Lesson learned, read some reviews before impulse book buying.
I also brought the sequel to this. It did pick up at the end of the book so maybe the next one will be better.
Nov 25, 2009 Rachel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teresa Woodruff
Recommended to Rachel by: Waterstones
This book was light hearted, an easy read that touches on the more superficial aspects of jo Brands life. I particularly loved the chapters on her career as a mental health nurse but was dissapointed that she did not go into much detail about her current life i.e her husband and children were not mentioned- but i suppose you have got to support her for keeping her family out of the lime light.
Not bad at all. I don't usually go in for celeb biogs, but I thought this would be a bit different and I wasn't dissapointed This takes us from Brand's early years to her time as a psychiatric nurse. This was the most interesting part of the book and I could've done with a bit more on that period of her life. So yeah an easy read, but at least she has a story to tell.
I quite enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and as with the autobiographies of Stephen Fry , Dawn French & Michael McIntyre that I have also read you can tell there is no ghost author involved as their personalities leap out of every page - not always the case.
I think if I were to meet Jo as a person not a celebrity or comic we would get on.
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Josephine "Jo" Grace Brand is a BAFTA winning English stand-up comedienne, writer and actress.
Commencing her entertainment career with a move from psychiatric nursing to the alternative comedy stand up scene and early performances on Saturday Live, she went on to appearances on The Brain Drain, Channel 4's Jo Brand Through the Cakehole, Getting On and various television appearances including as a
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