Patrick Neylan's Reviews > My Shit Life So Far

My Shit Life So Far by Frankie Boyle
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's review
Dec 25, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: humour, auto-biography, non-fiction, owned
Read from December 25, 2011 to February 06, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Shit life so far? You're not doing anything to improve it here, pal. A friend of a friend whose dog goes to the same vet as the chinchilla owned by the ex-girlfriend of someone who once worked at the publisher (oh alright, it was (view spoiler)) told me that it took a lot of work to get it up to standard. Yeah? God knows what the original manuscript was like.

Okay, let's be positive. For all his deliberate odiousness (although I'm told that's just a front. In real life he's even worse, according to (view spoiler)), Boyle is a talented comedian. There are a good few laughing moments here and I got my fair share of chuckles while reading it, so it's definitely worth two stars.

But even fans will be disappointed. Boyle doesn't really know how to write an autobiography and he's not a talented enough writer to break the rules. Rather than narrative, we get a set of anecdotes that are only tenuously linked, if at all. They're a bit like stand-up jokes, except most of them don't have punchlines.

When was he born? I'm guessing about 1970, but there are precious few clues. Why did he and his wife split up? Why did they get together in the first place? What's her name? And the woman who's borne him two children probably has a name too and might even have done something significant in her life (getting christened, for example) other than shagging Frankie Boyle. And look at the pictures: crappy polaroids of people who mostly don't appear in the book and were clearly ripped out of a family album at the last moment.

Towards the end, by which time Boyle is clearly losing interest and so are we, the book degenerates into a series of sketches that weren't good enough for telly. So, why do you think they're good enough for book buyers, Frank? On TV or in a theatre, they're here, gone and forgotten. In a book, they sit on my bookshelf like a WMD dossier (yeah, I read the bit about your political consciousness) or a dead mouse behind the bookshelf, giving off a whiff of putrefaction. For the second edition, put them into appendices: the first labelled "Appendix 1: I gave up booze because it made me write cack like this" and the second: "Appendix 2: I gave up drugs because they made me write cack like this".

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Reading Progress

01/11/2012 page 40

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