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Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye of Chris Morris

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  36 reviews
An insight into the life and work of one of Britain's most celebrated and vilified satirists, Chris Morris. ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published July 6th 2009)
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Aug 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievably tedious Virgin Megastore fodder and an insult to the brilliance of the subject. This is not only a massively dull procession of biographical trivia, but it is also written in a ridiculously earnest style, exactly the kind of unintelligent engagement with media that Chris Morris has satirised throughout his career. Honestly, some of it could have been lifted straight from the Alan Partridge autobiography: 'Coogan, a great mimic from his childhood days' or 'It seemed a rather pointles ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. Not so much a biography of Chris Morris as an overview of the team of comedians and writers who made The Day Today, Brass Eye and much more -- all of whom went on to become very successful in their own right.

As far as Chris Morris is concerned, what comes across is a picture of someone who is generous, fiercely intelligent and obsessively professional. We need more people like this.
Mark Love
May 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a long time Chris Morris fan (On The Hour, Day Today, Brass Eye, etc) I would have bought and digested this book regardless, so thankfully it was actually quite good - well researched, but not brilliantly written. Morris himself is absent from the book, but he unusually consented for others to talk openly.

Lucian Randall provides a roughly chronological walk through Morris' various projects and personas, and the difficult and sometime dangerous work that went on to bring them to screen (trying
Matthew Revert
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a Chris Morris obsessive, so I would have picked up this book even if it was written by me. This is about as close as any of us will ever get learning about Morris. Randall has done an admirable job of collating a wealth of information taken from interviews, newspapers and just about anywhere else.

It's not written perfectly, but the power of Morris does come through. If you like Morris half as much as I do, you should pick this up.
Mark Barrett
A middle-class boy, who has all of the head-starts and opportunities which that brings, grows up to use his position to rail against the very system that helped to make him.
Sorry, but this doesn’t resonate with council estate, working-class me.

Not just that, though. Randall never truly gets anywhere near telling us anything original or insightful about Chris Morris. He cites one interview near the start where Morris doesn’t reveal anything about himself, but doesn’t stop Randall from writing the
Sep 08, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not really worth having been written as biographies go -- can't say I learned much interesting about Chris Morris, though supposedly the great bit in Brass Eye where he calls a man a series of bizarre fake insults for 'paedo' is actually with a self-confessed small bean regarder. Weird. Casual read got me listening to some Blue Jam on youtube though. ...more
Ross Maclean
Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A good overview and insight into the working practices of Chris Morris. Of course it misses direct input from the man himself but that’s part of the charm of the jigsaw being assembled in spite of the missing pieces. It rushes a bit too carelessly towards its conclusion and it would have been nice to hear more about the narrative work (My Wrongs #8245-8249 & 117 and Nathan Barley are both given short shrift and the book was written before the release of Four Lions, so that’s at least understanda ...more
Matthew Ogborn
If you are looking for a series of revelatory insights about how iconic comedy is made, then this book might not be for you nevertheless it works well as a forensic examination of the lengths one person will go to in order to fully realise their vision. Chris Morris, along with Armando Iannucci, have paved the way for generations of brilliant British comedy writers with their relentless comic genius. It has made me reexamine my own approach to comedy writing. Push boundaries, then push even more ...more
Jordan Phizacklea-Cullen
Despite suffering from Morris (unsurprisingly) declining to be interviewed at length and glossing almost entirely over 'Nathan Barley', this meticulously researched study of one of the UK's premier satirists has contributions from all the major and minor players and suggests that the man may just be one of those true one-offs, leaving you eager for his next project. ...more
'There is a profoundly emotional resonance to be found in Chris Morris's work, in the way in which he relentlessly mines his material for tangible proof that there need not be any part of human experience that is out of bounds for exploration.' ...more
Paul Dargan
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fist-headed Man Destroys Church...

Very well put together review of the actual genius which is Christopher Morris. Interesting, entertaining, informative. Excellent work.

I was facted until I jolly well farted!
Lee Threlkeld
Disappointing, but what did I really expect. The material is all that matters. Horse carnage.x
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It took 83 pages before I felt engaged. The first four chapters are frustratingly leaden. I began to wonder what the point of the book was, and why I was reading it. Chris Morris is elusive. There might be a good reason for that. The bare facts of his early days don't really make for an engaging narrative. There is a sense that Randall needed to stretch the material to justify its inclusion. I Googled Randall at one point to check he was real, and not Chris Morris in disguise. Randall has writte ...more
Graham Clark
The first few chapters are quite boring - you'll never guess but he went to SCHOOL and grew up in a FAMILY. Later discussions of The Day Today and Brass Eye are much better, but a lot of amounts to describing what anyone could just watch, with a tiny glimpse behind the scenes in places. ...more
Feb 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Chris Morris is an elusive and reclusive figure, who almost never gives interviews, or explains what he was trying to achieve. Oddly, Randall is able to explicitly note this is because Morris doesn't want to be the story himself, whilst simultaneously making this book just that, being unwilling or unable to push it anywhere beyond the dull recitation of mundane minutiae.

The book notes several times that the UK media never adequately engaged suitably with Brass Eye or Morris: “There was a debate
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just feel like I have to say it: every other page reads like a fifty shades knock off... It is very bizarre and an extremely 'fan-boy' account of Chris Morris's life and work. It is now my ultimate guilty pleasure read, I think even if I wasn't using it for my undergrad dissertation I would still have bits highlighted for the absolute insanity of it all, (the part where the Kray twins colleague bursts in with cricket bat would make you wonder the validity of some of the claims but you know wha ...more
Another pick up on a whim, I was certainly no fanboy of Chris Morris, but had enjoyed Brass Eye and his other work.

The book is a strange amalgam of short biography and then almost a "videography" of his work, and how he developed his style and approach.

Unusually for this sort of book, the main subject contributed little to the process, other than allowing the author access to his friends and colleagues.

This is the weak point of the book for me - there is a lots of supposition around his motives
Nic Margett
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've been a big fan of Chris Morris for quite a while now and this is a pretty interesting account of his life-so-far. I distinctly remember discovering The Day Today when quite young and almost changing channels automatically thinking it was just the news, before realising how strange some of the stories were. I was a little more of an age to appreciate Brass Eye when it appeared and I've been a fan of Morris' ever since.

This book is a good account of British comedy in general. The rise of Chr
Steve Duffy
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
There's an off-putting whiff of the sixth-form common room about this biography. Unfortunately for Randall, hero-worshipping someone who isn't at all interested in your adoration tends to come across as gauche and awkward, especially if you aren't bringing fresh insights or an original writing style to the party. The total non-compliance of the subject of your biography needn't be an insuperable barrier to writing a good book: see, for instance, John Higgs' exemplary "The KLF: Chaos, Magic and t ...more
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, comedy
This book provides a backstory to 1990s and 2000s comedy history, showing a dense tapestry of comedy writers invovled throughout Morris' work. Contains a large amount of mundance facts about his childhood

As a bon viveur, Morris should be admired as a multitalented individual who can block out the outside world when necessary to focus on creating work that's pure genius.

He's an inspiring figure, and this book is probably the closest he'll get to a biography, but there's way too much filler and i
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Firstly, it's all we have bar a few historical newspaper interviews, but anything on Chris Morris is welcome and this bio is very welcome.
As with most biographies of subjects still currently producing work there is bound to be a (sort of) rushed feel towards the end, finishing straight after the Brass Eye Special only hinting in passing at the majesty of Nathan Barley and Four Lions.
So, over to you Mr Randall, time for an updated edition I think.
Kealan O'ver
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Probably about as close as a tell-all biography of Chris Morris that one is likely to get which isn't saying all that much. Reads pretty well and the only place I've seen that has given me some amount of back story behind Brasseye but for some reason, despite having been written in 2010 it finishes with the Brasseye 2001 Special with barely a paragraph for each of the things he's done since then. ...more
Paul Mais

A sympathetic insight into the comedy and driving principles of Chris Morris. Some interesting insights into how tv programmes get made and powerful or not the media can be.

If you loved The Day Today or Brass Eye you'll like this. Newcomers to Chris Morris may not be so impressed.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reminder of just how fundamental Chris Morris and his thinking has been to how I have thought about the world. The Day Today was on when I was fifteen, and comedy and news has been in its shadow ever since. I would hate to meet Chris Morris. He is the ubermensch.
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A little overly defensive, and in places relying on anecdote and hyperbole, but overall a fairly detailed and informative chronology of Chris Morris' media work, including some obscure journalism I'd not heard of previously.
Christoff Youngman
Pretty interesting discussion of CM's life. Although it's hampered by lack of input from the man himself, so it becomes largely a bunch of his mates talking about how great a genius he is. Made me realise how much of his work I'd never even heard of though. ...more
Simon Sweetman
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great survey of Morris' work - engaging, particularly given that the subject is hiding in the shadows. It's nice to feel Morris as some sort of spiritual guidance with regard to this book rather than a puppet-master/control-freak. ...more
Reza Mills
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant insight into the mind of comic genius. A must read for Morris fans.
Mads Harpsøe
Chris Morris is brilliant :-)
Phil Speakman
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome, this is full account of his life and work, highly recommended for any Morris fan.
Let's you in on a few secrets that you would never have know.
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