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Camp David

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It's time to get serious with Britain's favourite funny man - Camp David, by David Walliams.

David Walliams has been the camp aide to the Prime Minister, the rubbish transvestite and the long-suffering wheelchair pusher for an able-bodied man. He was launched to fame with the record-breaking Little Britain, and for a while you couldn't enter a playground without hearing "eh eh eh eh" or "computer says no".

But David Walliams is more than a comedian. He's a fascinating and complex person with a sharp intellect, a sensitive disposition and a refreshing honesty. Often described as 'a bundle of contradictions', he has disarmed people by being camp and a ladykiller, a hedonist and a sportsman, aloof and warm. Like many of our comedic geniuses - Frankie Howerd, John Cleese, Kenneth Williams - he has grappled with depression and remains an enigma.

His autobiography Camp David is a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It will surprise and entertain, and allow fans and newcomers the privilege of entering David Walliams' uniquely brilliant mind.

358 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

David Walliams

144 books2,909 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

David Walliams is an actor and writer best known for his work with Matt Lucas in the multi-award-winning sketch show Little Britain. His debut children's novel, The Boy in the Dress, was published in 2008 to unanimous critical acclaim and he has since developed a reputation as a natural successor to Roald Dahl.

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5 stars
559 (29%)
4 stars
630 (33%)
3 stars
499 (26%)
2 stars
144 (7%)
1 star
57 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 141 reviews
Profile Image for Maria Teresa Zumbo.
24 reviews7 followers
June 21, 2014
Pure honesty.. and a little bit of fun.

There’s a line in the book.

It’s at the very beginning, when you’re still not sure what the mood of the book is, in which David writes about a joke. It’s something fun and light, that inspires a chuckle.
After the joke David writes “Don’t worry, there are jokes in this book, the next one in on page 176”.

That’s as truthful as a warning can be.

This is not a comedy book and I didn’t start his autobiography under the impression that it would have been a fun read.

I’ve watched enough of his interviews lately to know what I was getting into and yet, even after watching the videos and reading the reviews, I wasn’t prepared for what expected me.

There’s such a raw honesty in his tale, that I think many will find upsetting. Often when you love a comedian so much, it is underwhelming to know that his life was not the funny magical ride you imagined it to be and yet I loved it.
Not the sad parts, obviously,( some of it shocked me and others made me think) but the way he exposed himself like never before, showing a part of him that no one would have imagined existed.
I loved the tales of his young life, and the insert of his own journals. I loved how honest he was about his failures as a comedian and as a man struggling with depression. About his love life and his relationships. It’s the absolutely normal life of an incredible man.

David’s book is easy to read, and captivating. It made me laugh and moved me to tears from one page to the next and made me appreciate even more every single laugh he provokes in people.

It makes sense to me that the book should stop with the start of his fame. That’s another story, that should be told another time.

And of course, I’ll always love a reason to read another one of his books.

Profile Image for Mike Jennison.
12 reviews
October 22, 2012
I absolutely loved this book... I've never read a book what made me laugh out loud in one chapter and close to tears in the next. Unlike a lot of celebrity biographies where you already know 50% of the content due to celeb magazines and news... David walliams has had a very interesting life!!! Looking toward to book 2.
Profile Image for Amanda .
92 reviews
February 15, 2013
I love watching David Walliams when he's on TV although I do not watch Britain's Got Talent as I don't like those kind of shows. David makes me laugh, his campness is appealing and now that he is happily married and about to become a father I have warmed to him even more.

If you want a laugh a minute book like the man appears on the TV then you are knocking on the wrong door. There is his trademark humour but a lot of the subjects in this autobiography are serious and on times moving. I never knew of his suicide attempts and his problems with depression, recounted with honesty and with excerpts from his own diary.

This book covers his life right up until the time that Little Britain was first broadcast, we all know who he is now but it is nice to find out a little about him growing up, what he went through and his struggles to make it. Not everyone will enjoy it, but if you like then this will be interesting reading. I have a great deal more respect for him now, he has very much struggled to get where he is today and he has every right to enjoy the fruits of his hard-won success even with the way the press behave towards celebrities at this moment in time.

Really enjoyed this and I do hope that he will, in time cover his life from where this book finishes.
Profile Image for Katherine.
59 reviews9 followers
January 23, 2013
This is the first autobiography I have read. I did enjoy it and it did make me laugh but it wasn't as funny as I anticipated. I found finding out about Walliams' life very interesting for the most part as I knew very little of him, however I felt the book lost its way in the middle. I struggled with his portrayal of his life with comedy partner Matt Lucas, I found it dry and fairly dull, which is odd because I had anticipated this partnership was going to be what interested me most about his life, surprisingly I found his childhood and personal life, far more interesting than the path of his career with Lucas. Having said that, this book was good, I would read it again and I will definitely read any other books by Walliams, fiction or non fiction. I think this book was always going to be difficult for me as I have never been a great non fiction fan but I have to admit, this won me round slightly.
Profile Image for Lissie Balog.
57 reviews
December 20, 2016
Knowing only about him through Little Britain USA, this was super interesting to read. I always feel like whenever I read about comics they have or are dealing with some kind of darkness. I read somewhere that comedians need to know the "darkness" in order to make us laugh. This book was an interesting insight to that. If you like British humor and British comics this is a great read.
Profile Image for Leila.
442 reviews209 followers
December 17, 2015
I loved this book! I have always admired David Walliams. He makes me laugh and is a really likeable character. However I have always felt that there was very much more to David behind the popular image. When I saw he had brought out his autobiography I immediately bought it. I don't regret it either. This is an open, frank and extremely readable book giving his readers an in-depth view of David's true personality.

He writes with incredible honesty and makes no apologies for who he really is. Why should he? We see him warts and all and under the public image there emerges a man who struggles with depression, bullying et al and beats it. He writes of his very different relationships with his father and mother and elder sister; his school days and how he came into show business. He reveals his personal insecurities within relationships and in general and makes light of his courageous achievements. The book like all autobiographies is a mixture of the interesting, the surprising and sometimes the mundane. His close relationship with his mother is lovely and it shows when you see them in public together, In the book it is made clear how this came about. A deeply moving story all about a kind and lovely man.
356 reviews
November 9, 2016
2.5/5 stars.
So as a kid I watched Little Britain, I didn't understand any of the jokes but I still though it was funny. Recently I was watching David Walliams swim the English channel on youtube and I wanted to know more about him, he's a really funny guy but what did I really know about David Walliams?

Well first of all, this book is incredibly honest, in this book Walliams talks about his depression, reading that was hard. Even though he appears as a happy funny guy on screen, during the filming of the first series of Little Britain David was incredibly depressed most of the time and contemplated suicide multiple times throughout his life.
He talks about family, friends and girlfriends he had over time. Learning about how many different jobs/roles he had before Matt and him wrote Little Britain was interesting.

I did skim a lot towards the end as I didn't get all the shows he was talking about and I didn't know who some of the english comedians were. I also spotted a few typos too.

Overall I enjoyed this and the writing was pretty simple and easy to follow, it wasn't an amazing book but it was nice to learn a bit more about how Walliams got to where he is now.
Profile Image for Victoria Leather.
29 reviews6 followers
January 15, 2013
Enjoyable insight into David Walliams but I was left with the distinct feeling he had heavily self-edited to give the best view of himself. I guess all biographies do that to a degree but I came away from this feeling short changed and like I'd been spun the version of himself he'd like the public to have rather than the one which is real. Perhaps its just too early in his career to be really honest with himself, let alone readers. Another biography which could have done with another 10/20 years before being written.
129 reviews1 follower
April 10, 2018
Well worth reading

I love little Britain, often watch the old episodes, still make me laugh as much. David sees himself as the straight one to Matt, but I think they are both equally as funny and talented. David speaks very honestly about his life especially his depression. He comes across as a nice person, I always thought so when he was judging BGT he's never nasty. The book tells of his early life, career and eventual rise to fame. It's often funny but also very sad in places. A good book.
528 reviews1 follower
October 22, 2017
Started out really liking David Walliams, but after reading his autobiography, I felt I was liking him a bit less than I had. I felt there were parts of the book where he came across as a bit of a whinger. Maybe I was reading to much into the way he wrote the book. Glad I read it, but wouldn't go out of my way to read any others by him.
Profile Image for Rachel.
173 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2013
Easy to read, honest account of an interesting and likeable person. I enjoyed this far more than Russell Brands autobiography that I also read recently. Was interesting to read that David's relationship with Matt Lucas was not without problems. Not laugh out loud funny and some quite sad parts.
Profile Image for Stephen Lum.
3 reviews
October 30, 2012
If you love 'Little Britain' you will love reading about David Walliams! The book is raw, funny, sad and a great read. I really enjoyed it. So much that it took me 4 days to read. Highly Recommend.
6 reviews
November 12, 2018
Really torn on how to rate "Camp David".

It is such a diverse book. It incorporates the classic Walliams humour, whilst revealing an unknown more vulnerable side of him.
Whilst his diary entries were insightful, I felt they took up too much of the book with lengthy entries as opposed to relevant references.
It was brave and honourable to open up about his struggles with mental health yet at times came across as resentful towards Lucas which lead to a frustrating read.

For his frank honesty about his battle with depression I would genuinely give him 5 stars but the lengthy diary excerpts and bitter differences with Lucas made for an arduous read and particularly in the latter part of the book, took away the sense of humour and comedy that has become expected of Walliams, which could only rate at 3 stars.

4 star rating is the only way to reflect the mixed feelings that I have come away with after reading "Camp David".
Profile Image for Dillon Harris.
76 reviews
January 30, 2021
‘Cano David’ is so much more than what the authour or cover would lead you to believe. It is far more than just Walliams recounting his life and telling jokes along the way, it’s a story of how someone can be put through the ringer, yet still come out the other side looking untouched.

Maybe I’m reading in to it too much, but I know I’m not exaggerating how this book moved me. David’s impeccable way of telling stories makes you feel like you are right there with him, he was able to leave me in stitches, and at the very next turn have me in tears.

His honesty inspired me beyond belief to offer more of me to the world, no matter the risk. ‘Camp David’ is about how wonderful and cruel the world can be, all at the same time.

I never wanted this book to end. If you’re reading this right now David, write a second part soon. Please. A must read.
Profile Image for Shereen.
24 reviews6 followers
September 29, 2017
Cannot believe this is an autobiography from a celebrity. Even though I liked David Walliams as a comedian, I initially had low expectations for this book. Little by little, I grew to admire the bravery of its content while taking delight in the author’s cheekiness and verve. There were many agonizing moments to read, painfully tugging at the heartstrings for its authenticity and depth of emotions. By the end, most of my misconceptions about the person fell away and I’m left with a better and more open perspective on life and people in general (as cheesy as that sounds, but most good things are nonetheless). Definitely worth reading and completing. And hoping for a continuation...
Profile Image for Philip Hunt.
Author 5 books4 followers
August 17, 2019
I enjoyed this rather more than I expected. I was never a big fan of Little Britain, finding it rather too rude and explicit for my taste. Yet I recognised there was talent aplenty in the show's writing and performances. This autobiography fleshes out the reality behind. Walliams is self-deprecating and generous in his reflections. He is also scrupulously honest and frank about his experiences, and his difficulties. It's a story of triumph and perserverence. Worthy. And the book's title is clever.
Profile Image for Georgia.
218 reviews1 follower
March 1, 2023
I loved this so much. I've acquired a deep found respect for David after reading about his struggles in life (many of which I have first-hand experience with). He's truly inspirational and I think this book was exactly what I needed to read. Unfortunately, we can't all go check into The Priory when we feel suicidal, but the message of 'keep on keeping on' rings true. I really enjoyed his words and read the entire thing in less than a day whilst walking around the beautiful town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kirsty.
302 reviews
November 12, 2019
I'm not sure what I feel about this book. 90% of this book is about his struggle to get where he is today (well where he was up to in 2012). He does discuss his depression but the main details are at the back and that is difficult to read.
I think if I was a big huge comedy person then I would have enjoyed it more but I read it because I liked David Walliams but it's not enough to know all the names dropped in this book.
Profile Image for Rob Van katwijk.
29 reviews11 followers
January 26, 2017
Ik zie dat ik 24 dagen over dit boek gedaan heb. Voor mijn doen is dat snel. Het was dan ook aangenaam om te lezen en het komt op mij over als een eerlijk en open boek. Het enige dat ik me afvroeg of het (negatieve/arrogante) gedrag van de bekende mensen die hij in zijn leven tegen kwam nou ook zo eerlijk beschreven moest worden.
Profile Image for Mona.
29 reviews13 followers
August 23, 2017
I've loved David before and thought he was really funny, but after reading his book I simply adore him. My heart really went out to him. I love how honest he wrote about his struggle with depression and about the long, long way to success. Despite all the set-backs, he never gave up on his dream which is rather inspiring.
Profile Image for Sarah.
22 reviews7 followers
May 6, 2019
I loved watching David on Little Britain and I love watching him as a judge on Britain's got talent so I was very excited to read this book. It was wonderful reading about his younger life and I laughed at the funny parts and cried when he said about the times he felt like he didn't want to live anymore.
Profile Image for Claire.
347 reviews1 follower
May 8, 2020
4.5⭐️ One of the best autobiographies I have read in ages! Funny, sad and brutally honest at the same time. David Williams has gone way up in my estimation after reading this. Only reasons I didn’t give it a 5... some of the diary entries were a bit long winded and it is a shame it stopped when it did (after the airing of the 1st episode of Little Britain), otherwise fantastic!
Profile Image for Louis.
234 reviews3 followers
October 30, 2017
Found this book rather entertaining and much more interesting than I had anticipated, only really knowing him for Little Britain. Well worth a read and for cross overs with other interesting commedians and insights on mental health.
Profile Image for Tracey.
42 reviews
February 6, 2018
I enjoyed finding out about David Walliam's complex life. There is always more to people than meets the eye and his hard work and tenacity and self belief when everything was failing finally paid off for him. A very enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Glenys.
313 reviews2 followers
June 11, 2020
Amazing the struggles he faced to become the man he is today, he battled depression (and still does), he struggled at times with friendships, but it was a great read especially when he mentioned other comedians he met and studied with on his way to fame. It wasn't an easy road, but he got there.
Profile Image for Lisa Ann.
199 reviews4 followers
June 25, 2017
I felt the end was a little rushed, or maybe I just want more of David's happier times ... who was the woman that broke his heart!?!?
Profile Image for Kayleigh Louise.
49 reviews1 follower
April 11, 2018
This book is so well written. it had me laughing out loud & also close to tears at times. brilliant book & was a great insight into the mind & life of David Williams.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 141 reviews

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