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Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  7,998 ratings  ·  1,466 reviews
Critically acclaimed, award-winning British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard details his childhood, his first performances on the streets of London, his ascent to worldwide success on stage and screen, and his comedy shows which have won over audiences around the world.

Over the course of a thirty-year career, Eddie Izzard has proven himself to be a creative chameleon, inhab
Audio CD, 15 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Penguin Audio (first published June 6th 2017)
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Vanessa I would also say it's more fun and interesting to listen to it than to read it - for anyone on the fence about that.…moreI would also say it's more fun and interesting to listen to it than to read it - for anyone on the fence about that.(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  7,998 ratings  ·  1,466 reviews

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Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, audiobook
Don't read this book--LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK! Eddie Izzard reads his book in a very personal way, and while I haven't seen the hard-copy book, I cannot imagine it coming close to his own narration. And, I doubt that Izzard is reading it in a straight-forward manner. So much of it sounds like on-the-spot improvisation.

Is the book humorous? At times it is hilarious, while at other times it is dead serious. Eddie Izzard describes his life, especially his early life in some detail. Half of the boo
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Yeah, I know it says memoir right there in the title, but I somehow thought this was going to be a bunch of rants and clever observations . . . much like Izzard's comedy act. Never did I dream that it was going to be an actual memoir, and never did I dream that it would plod along chronologically, from birth to school days to adulthood . . . and, oh MY GOD, was it ever DULL!

I think Eddie's biggest mistake was starting at the beginning, and spending way too much of the book detailing his younger
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
At the tail end of filming a documentary on his career, Mr. Izzard's director observed with interest that, for all his verbal dexterity, he never really "said" anything. This insight caught his attention. As the cameras began to roll again, up bubbled the hidden suspicion that his drive to succeed was largely fueled by the hope that this might bring his mother back to life. The revelation surprised no one more than he, and served to seed the idea of writing this memoir. In it, he goes to great p ...more
I didn't know much about Eddie Izzard prior to reading this, other than seeing a couple of his stand- up specials & some interviews about the marathons for charity. He's a very funny guy in his shows, but he obviously takes writing his memoir very seriously. This should definitely be shelved in the "memoir/autobiography" category and not in the "humor" section because he talks about some very serious subject matter. I have not seen the documentary he mentions with the same title as this book, bu ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
2017 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

Ramble, ramble, ramble... footnotes galore. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this as much, had I not listened to it.
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

Back when BBC America show actually British shows instead of movies and Star Trek, I saw my first Eddie Izzard show.

He made me laugh so hard.

To call this book a straight forward autobiography or memoir is slightly incorrect. While the progression in the work is somewhat linear, there are digressions, and in some places, you go two steps back after one step forward.

This doesn’t mean the book is bad. It isn’t. In fact, it is like Izzard is there talking just to you
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
I'm not a big fan of memoirs or autobiographies. For the most part, I don't really care about anyone else's childhood memories, but this book is a memoir by one of my favorite comedians, so I had hopes for it. Unfortunately I didn't love it. Mr. Izzard has had a really interesting life and I admire his sincerity and willingness to share, but this book just isn't edited very well. I'm sure the author thinks that it is organized, but it isn't. His rambling works very well in his comedy act, but no ...more
In this book, Eddie Izzard says he was never successfully able to see a counselor.
I sort of feel the audiobook, in all its train-of-thought, rambling glory, is his first therapy visit.
I am not sure whether or not it would be ok to bill him for the session.

Cecily introduced me to Eddie Izzard sometime in the early 2000's, I think. I'd only heard snippets on the radio prior to finding her stack of Izzard DVDs on my desk and a note telling me to watch them. Well, probably suggesting I would enjoy t
SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*
More then likely my fault,but I went into this book with so many expectations and I am afraid they weren't met. I found this book without direction,rambling,slow-moving and I am sorry to say, boring.
Wouldn't recommend.
Apr 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2017, nonfiction, memoir
This is where I exist in society. I am just this guy. I am transgender, and I exist. But I also do comedy, and I do drama, and I run marathons for charity, and I'm an activist in politics. These are the things I do. How you self-identify with your sexuality matters not one wit. What you do in life – what you do to add to the human existence – that is what matters. That is the beautiful thing.

Despite protesting that he's had a basically boring life with moments that were “windswept and intere
Apr 12, 2017 added it
Shelves: read-to-me
I listened to this almost every morning I took my 14 year old son to school. It took us a few months to get through it but the experience was worth it.

Having Eddie read his very personal book to me was amazing. I loved that his humor came through as he read and as he gave us extra long footnotes. The footnotes may be my favorite or the fact that he would google things live while he read to make sure he had information right.

I've been a fan of Eddie Izzard for years and have seen his comedy liv
Bill Lynas
I've been fortunate enough to meet the wonderful Eddie Izzard a couple of times. The first occasion was at a stand up gig in his very early days. He was so unknown that only three people (including myself!) stayed behind to meet him afterwards.
I only went to see him when a friend of mine said "Do you want to come to a gig to see a transvestite comedian ? The first time I saw him he was wearing a taffeta ball gown. He's really funny." And with those unforgettable words I was introduced to the wor
Amy "the book-bat"
I enjoy Eddie Izzard's stand-up comedy and was interested to learn more about him and his art. Listening to this memoir as an audio being read by the author is an interesting journey. He adds a lot of "footnotes" that have a tendency to take him offtrack. A few times I thought a better title for the book would have been Footnotes. I am now curious to see the differences between the print and the audio versions. ...more
Alex in Spades
I loved Eddie since my older brother showed me one of his stand-up sketches on youtube, and from that moment I wanted to know more about this awesome human being. I love his comedy, his crazy/abstract sense of humor is totally up my alley, I also this that he's amazing for his charity work, and just being this great positive person. ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-that-good
Oh my, where do I start? First, I’m a big Eddie fan and I have been for years, but I listened to this on audiobook and it was probably the worst audiobook that I’ve ever experienced. The thoughtless rambling, and constant footnotes were excruciatingly painful. Sometimes he’d start into some weird story and I didn’t even know if it were part of the book anymore, and after 30 seconds of madness, he’d say “oh, that was a footnote there”. I mean, what the??? When he was reading the book and staying ...more
Chris Steeden
I have seen Eddie Izzard many times. The first show though was Definite Article in Oxford so he had been going a while before then. There was one time where the finishing touches were being put to his Glorious DVD and they just needed some more shots of him and the audience. There was a tiny snippet in the London Evening Standard to come along to the Hammersmith Odeon and be part of it one morning. We went along. I was working just round the corner from there at the time. It was fantastic and I ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've always liked Eddie Izzard's rambling style of stand-up and enjoyed movies he has acted in. When I saw this audio book was available I hoped I'd enjoy it, especially as it is read by the author. The audiobook is different to the printed book, Eddie goes off piste a lot, looking things up on the interned, chatting with the listener rather than sticking to the script. There are footnotes galore and it does feel like quite a personal experience as he tells you of his childhood, the sadness of h ...more
Katie Harder-schauer
I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.

I guaranteed my copy of this book because I am a fan of Eddie Izzard's stand-up comedy so I jumped at the chance to get to read his memoir. It mostly didn't let me down. I do think that my experience with the book would have been improved by listening to the audiobook rather than reading the book. While I'm familiar with Izzard's comedy style, I think the humor would have been more effective
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. This book is Eddie doing Eddie. I listened to it on audiobook and enjoyed his rambling but it really is that. A mammoth ramble.
A phenomenal autobiography about and by an absolutely beautiful person. I would definitely/highly recommend to anyone.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ok, so I love Eddie Izzard, my husband and I have watched his stand ups several times over and they just stay funny and entertaining to us.

I wasn't sure what to expect out of the book, sometimes comedians autobiographies read much like their stand ups, other times they read much more like a standard biography.

This one definitely has Eddie's stand up vibe to it. I listened to the audiobook and he went off script on basically every page leaving you with long "never ending" foot notes.

I've read
Aug 22, 2020 rated it liked it
So, first of all I should say that mostly what I knew about Eddie Izzard before reading this book was:
1) "cake or death"
2) "do you have a flag?"
3) cross-dresser
4) my wife wants our book club to read his memoir

It turns out that he has a great conversational style of writing. I am particularly fond of his footnotes. I believe there was also a point when he wrote something like 'I just went downstairs to ask Dad if he popped the question to Mum or the other way around, and he said it was him', whic
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, lgbtq, non-fiction
End of endless footnote. I never thought I would read a book where I enjoyed the footnotes even more than the actual book. And this book has a lot of them, especially the audio version read by Izzard himself. Most of them seem totally improvised and reminded me a lot of his stand-up style. I have seen a number of Izzard’s live shows over the years and have always been a fan of his brand of surreal comedy. This memoir on Izzard’s life was definitely interesting and entertaining, with a couple of ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it

I'm a huge Eddie Izzard fan.  That's a requirement for listening to this audiobook.  If you think he is slightly funny or if you aren't really sure if you know who he is, read the book but don't listen to the audio yet.  I've never experienced an audiobook quite like this.  I think it is an audiobook that only could have been made by Eddie Izzard.

He is reading his book but he keeps getting distracted.  The tape just keeps rolling as he goes off on tangents - things that he remembers about what
Daria Zeoli
I very much enjoyed this memoir by one of the most unique people I've ever heard of. I became familiar with Eddie Izard through his early comedy specials, and I loved learning about his early life, his road to comedy, and his activism. His writing style felt very chatty, and I chuckled when, at the end of the book, he mentioned how it may have been like having a conversation with someone who doesn't let you get a word in edgewise.

Izzard is open about how losing his mother at a young age impacte
@ Everyone giving this book low ratings and saying 'it's just him talking about his childhood' like do know what a memoir is, right? This isn't some extended stand-up routine in book format, it's a book about someone's life and experiences. Granted it was a bit slow at the beginning, but I think it was important to start with his early childhood to really understand some of the things he talked about later and I really thought the book picked up when he started talking about his sexuality ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook and highly recommend those who love Eddie Izzard's stand up to listen as well. The experience was like listening to a 15 hour show. I have even more respect for him/her than I did before and will return to this memoir when I need to be cheered up. ...more
May 23, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
When you get the notification from netgalley that you're approved and you think, "Well it certainly isn't the Eddie Izzard one...what is it?" BUT THEN IT IS.

Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I freaking love Eddie Izzard! So glad I listened to this one on audiobook. A must for Izzard fans, or just anyone that needs to learn to believe in themselves.
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a truly wonderful book, in which Izzard tells not only the story of how his unquenchable determination led him from bedroom performances with stuffed animals to both sold-out comedy shows and parts in major pictures, but also the story of his journey with gender. I listened to the audiobook, which I would highly recommend, since a) he dictated the book, rather than writing it down, so it's the more natural format to consume it, b) he does many wonderful asides and diversions through out ...more
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Edward John "Eddie" Izzard is an English stand-up comedian, actor, writer, activist and aspiring politician. She had popular roles in the television series The Riches and Hannibal and starred in multiple films.

In 2009, she completed 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief despite having no prior history of long-distance running. She has won numerous awards including a Primetime Emmy Award for In

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