I think the best way I can recommend this book is to say it is unlike any celebrity autobiography I have encountered thus far.
You all know the ones II think the best way I can recommend this book is to say it is unlike any celebrity autobiography I have encountered thus far.
You all know the ones I'm on about and I'm a sucker for them, I am. I freely admit that when Cheryl Cole brought out a book I was reading it within 2 days.Trashy books are my complete guilty pleasure. So I found this, picked it up and began.
But trash I did not find.
It was about Clare Balding the Person, not Clare Balding the Celebrity and the animals that shaped her life. I believe the chapter that I found most enthralling is at the start where her dog is her protector and throws herself out of a high window because she suspects Clare's mother of kidnapping her.
I want a dog who throws themselves out of a window in case I'm kidnapped. I have a strong suspicion that my brother would give the ever familiar teenage excuse "I'll be there in a minute!"
Talking of which her family and their portrayal definitely needs a mention. It seems that they were a competitive family, so competitive that anything outside that world was just not necessary to know about. Clare herself I believe does not see this as a failing more just an observation which sometimes really sucked balls for her.
There's resentment there I feel and that's why it's the tiniest bit bitter but she focuses more on the pleasures of her life than this.
What I did miss was how she discovered her sexuality, it can't have been easy in that environment and there is no mention of it whatsoever.
Celebrity autobiographies are becoming somewhat of a weak spot for me now. This one however is not what I expected or really wanted I guess. I'm not tCelebrity autobiographies are becoming somewhat of a weak spot for me now. This one however is not what I expected or really wanted I guess. I'm not talking about the serious tone because I was aware of his depression and other issues before hand. It was more the description of his work, either the work swallowed up his life ooorrrr his life didn't make the final cut because I felt constantly that I was hearing of his never-ending failures.
Now I realise that it being an autobiography he cannot make those failures successes but it was the style in which they were told. Very reminiscent of a list, like this happened and it failed so we moved on to this and it failed and then this and it failed. Every so often though it was interspersed with a part of his life, like his friendship with Matt Lucas or his relationships which was so honest and open that it was a pleasure to read. These interspersions made the book readable but just.
I trudged through this which was such a let down to me since I was looking forward to it so much. The writing style itself was not the problem, on that score I have nothing to complain about. It has the conversational style which I enjoy in an autobiography and yet keeps an informative tone which keeps the whole book grounded. Which was important in this book especially as it could have easily escalated in madness.
All in all I would recommend this for only die hard Walliams fans, otherwise maybe give this one a miss....
I didn't know that this was part of a series when I got it and perhaps that has biased my thoughts on it but here they are anyway, for now.
I was excitI didn't know that this was part of a series when I got it and perhaps that has biased my thoughts on it but here they are anyway, for now.
I was excited to read this because strangely enough I have always been fascinated by the high-class prostitute. Their reasons, lifestyle, sacrifice and ability to cope with the stigma of their job is endlessly interesting. Belle De Jour is the top of her tree and her series of books really lets you into the life of a london call girl.
The only problem was that in this book, SHE RETIRES! Understandable and everything but not the book I was looking for! I didn't care about her life after until I'd heard of her life before which my own fault I admit and not the book, however why market the book as "Further Adventure of a London Call Girl" if she is not a call girl after about 3 chapters!
Her complicated love life and her diffficulty trying to establish a normal life is an interesting read and has a different style which I haven't read anything like before. It makes the series interesting to me and makes me feel like I really should give the other books a chance, well the first at least.
This book kept itself interesting by including letters from people to Miss Belle and her advice. These were really amusing and her shamelessness was hilarious to read. Such as this one:
Dear Belle I'm going out with a pair of best friends: one knows, the other does not. I'm having lots of sex but it does chafe rather. Any tricks of the trade to help me out?
Dear Double-Booked Sorry, but has the message to lube well and often missed your household? Lube well. And often. If the front entry wears out, use the back for a bit. But for goodness' sake, girl, are you mad? You're missing the oppurtunity for a threesome if you don't tell the other gent what's going on!
The primary concern of Miss Belle being that Double-Booked is missing out on a threesome where many would be in moral uproar is brilliant and aan excellent example of why I respect this woman. She has whatever sex in whatever way she wishes because she wants to and refuses to be ashamed of that fact, I wish wholeheartedly that this would be the opinion of more women. Really the only thing they can gain is great sex and who doesn't want that?
So all in all, interesting style wise but I would a) read the first book first (who woulda guessed?) b)Really question whether you want to read someones diary in which they date someone you really really hate. Trust me, you will hate the Boy. If you don't you are the Boy.
You have to respect the determination to be famous he had I just don't think it read that well.
Let's be honest if you're going to read a celebrity'sYou have to respect the determination to be famous he had I just don't think it read that well.
Let's be honest if you're going to read a celebrity's autobiography you want to know things we have no access or way of knowing. E.g. Dominic Cooper sounds like a loon, a lovable loon, Russell Brand has a sex problem(all very shocking) So the raptures of Shelley and Sheridan and every other person he met/dates/worked with was disappointing in the scoop stakes.
He admitted he was a dick. This was something I was looking for because we all knew it, I was just waiting for him to admit to it. Fair enough you believed the hype everyone has at some stage been brought back down to earth. It's only when you have contact with so many people like in this case that it's pretty savage. That being said though he did apologize to EVERYONE. ALL. THE. TIME.
I'd say 57% of the book was an apology, 5% anecdotes, 30% rattling off his imdb page, and 8% girlfriend talk (non-juicy bits)
He is by far not the worst author and this is by far not the worst celebrity autobiography (that particular crown is still worn by Katie Price) but still not especially great either....more
I know, I know a celebrity autobiography. I succumbed! Even I was half expecting a 368 page long monologue about how tough his life was in drama schooI know, I know a celebrity autobiography. I succumbed! Even I was half expecting a 368 page long monologue about how tough his life was in drama school with no money and then one day BAM they're talent is realised that was there all along. BUT NO. This was not at all like that, heart-wrenching tale yes, but completely justified.
His start in life as a quite pudgy Chinese kid who was adored by his family quickly turned into a petrified obese teenager who felt terribly alone and petrified after some idiot threatens him. Drama unsurprisingly is the way he turns, psychologically it makes perfect sense. He develops an emotional rush and dependance on the positive reaction to his humour which is most brought out in Drama whilst simultaneously helping him forget his own failure by laying it at his characters door and not his true self.
Once he has earned a place a drama school however it all goes terribly wrong, his fear of failure goes into overdrive and he turns anorexic. But instead of using this horrific tale of food abuse to get as much sympathy as possible Gok uses a factual, light-hearted style that states his thoughts, feelings and actions without wringing you out. This, for me at least, made me truly feel for him and care for him as a person. Hope the best for his future, which slowly develops and is truly joyful to read.
I was so happy for him when things started to go right and he found a direction that I just couldn't stop reading. I was hooked! I found every excuse possible to keep reading to see how he got from the lowest self confidence I have ever heard of in a person to turning womens confidence from nothing to a healthy amount.
Even if you don't watch Gok or have any idea who he is his book is absolutely worth reading from a human interest perspective. I recommend to all, even people who hate autobiographies...