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Absolute Pandemonium: My Louder Than Life Story

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,217 ratings  ·  164 reviews

There is no one quite like Brian Blessed. He's an actor, film star, trained undertaker, unlikely diplomat, secret romantic, martial artist and mountaineer. He's also a brilliant storyteller who will - and you must brace yourself - simply leap out of the pages at you.

Ready? Then open Absolute Pandemonium and you'll be taken on a riotous journey from his childhood, growing

Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Published October 8th 2015 by Sidgwick & Jackson (first published October 1st 2015)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  1,217 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Adam Waldron
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that needs to be listened to as it's read by Brian himself. I listen to a lot of audio books and this is definately up there as one of the all time greats.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brian Blessed is a national treasure: actor, trained undertaker, romantic, martial artist, boxer, mountaineer, and a man with a lifetime of anecdotes which are variously hilarious, tragic, wise, interesting, life reaffirming, touching, and insightful.

As with many biographies, I was especially enthralled by his childhood memories during WW2. Brian's father was a coal hewer from Goldthorpe, a coal mining village in South Yorkshire. He was a modest, understated hero. A union man who closed down
Memoir of one of my favourite actors, Brian Blessed.

Told with style, flair, and a turn of picturesque speech that literally had me crying with laughter at some points. As did some of the stories themselves. The opening tale about the homing turd on Mt Everest set the tone for the entire book.

Mr Blessed needs to write more volumes of memoirs. He barely scratched the surface with this one.
Good old Brian Blessed, a national treasure, you gotta be pretty evil to dislike him. He has been on the TV for many many years and any scene he is in he steals it. Most memorable is his part in Flash Gordon, loved that movie when I was a kid. I picked up this book thinking it was a biography, instead it is a collection of anecdotes with a whole load of side-stories thrown in.

What I loved about the book was hearing about his childhood, he was one crazy young man that caused his parents no end of
Rob Thompson
Prince Vultan AKA The Dynamite Kid believes life is for living. And what a life!

Over Christmas 2015, I listened to Brian Blesseds big, booming voice. No he didn't pop round for dinner, rather I listened to him read his autobiography, Absolute Pandemonium. In summary - a thrilling romp; a fantastic, fun listen. The best book Ive heard since I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan. Its read with ebullience and enthusiasm. He sings, he does the voices, he swears, he tells jokes, he does it all.

Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
A friend recommended this book after I enjoyed listening to As You Wish (Cary Elwes's memoir about making The Princess Bride). My familiarity with Brian Blessed is largely centered around Flash Gordon, so nearly all of this audiobook was about works of Blessed's I haven't seen (it took me an awfully long time to figure out what "Zed Cars" was).

Guys, he's a nut. He claims to remember the moment of his birth. He claims he had stroke-like moments when he was younger that resulted in him being able
Jo Weston
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2016
What a man, what a life, what a fabulous audiobook.

I know that this book has drawn its critics due to the total exclusion of even a mention of his first wife and the daughter he had with her, but I don't know the back story so won't dwell on it.

This book is a roller coaster of fun, frolics, extraordinary stories, love and above all living life to the absolute full. As he says early on, "I write my own script for life" and his mantra is "Go for it".

His career has spanned well over 50 years and
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
If you're looking for a hilarious memoir, this is the one for you. Bonus points if you listen to the audiobook. Gordon's ALLLLIIIIVVVVEE!!!!
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What do you mean, who's Brian Blessed?

Okay, remember the bit in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (and don't pretend for a second you've never seen it) where the Sheriff of Nottingham turns up in his mask at Lord Locksley's castle with all his cronies and Locksley comes out on his horse and the Sheriff is all like 'Join us, or die' and Locksley's all:


That's Brian Blessed.

Okay, maybe you remember him from Blackadder:


No? Then maybe Flash Gordon:

Rob Burton
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm afraid I gave up on this. I got to the chapter about Kathleen Hepburn (which was over long and pushed me over the edge) The whole book is just too turgid, too lovey, too how 'Marvellous' everything is, and of course how 'Absolutely marvellous' Brian is himself. Personally I have never seen him act apart from those occasions when he seems to parody himself by just being a big bloke with a big beard with a loud voice - no subtly there, love.

I was sort of interested in some of his other
Scott McKenzie
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Five word review: Avoid book. Listen to audiobook.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DELIGHTFUL!!! Audiobook is a must for this one.

May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The personality of the legend really comes out of every page. GORDON'S ALIVE!
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First off, let me give a word of warning: If (non-determinate) you are planning to read this book, I must insist that you immediately drop that notion and instead listen to the audiobook - read by the man himself - for the true Blessed experience!

Now for me thoughts on the book itself: I, likely like many others, mainly knew Brian Blessed from his memorable part as Lord Vultan in Flash Gordon, a movie certainly not neglected in this life-story, but only one chapter in a string of tall tales
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Not entirely what I'd expected but a good listen none the less. For me, the best thing about this audio book is that Brian Blessed himself voiced it. It took some getting used to listening to his powerful voice tell the story but a few 'pages' in and it felt comfortable; like a larger than life friend keeping me company on the drive too and from work. I felt he spoke rather a lot about other people's lives, particularly around his early acting career. I can understand why but these were the ...more
Paul Williams
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brian Blessed a man mountain of mirth and. a booming voice to match gives a detailed account of his life from childhood through to young age....from a young actor to films such as Flash Gordon.
A humorous look at a fine man and a superb human being who i admit am a huge fan of...and i would say a fabulous five star rating is worth this book and in a big booming brian blessed voice.....

Michael Mills
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
This morning's unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm - it's Brian Blessed looming into view to make your world a happier place. He clearly reciprocates the great public love for him and that's so wonderful when so many actors seem contemptuous of their public image.

Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that NEEDS to be 'read' as an audio book. How could you do it any other way? Having Mr Blessed in my head for the time it took me to finish it was a wonderful treat. Every time he shouted "GORDON'S ALIVE!!!" I grinned like an idiot!

So entertaining, pure fun - I loved it!!
John Calderbank
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
GORDON'S ALIVE !!! just finished it very enjoyable the book is reed by Brian Blessed himself the language is a bit flowery at times I enjoyed the sections about Flash Gordon and Peter O'toole
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining autobiography, and you can certainly imagine the author's voice reading it (as he asks you to).
Col Todd
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A sweary national treasure
Samuel Tyler
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do like an autobiography and especially one that has the authentic voice of its author. There is no doubt with Brian Blesseds Absolute Pandemonium that you are getting the full GORDONS ALIVE version of Blessed. He even goes so far to tell you in the introduction that you should imagine his booming voice in your ear as you read and there is little difficulty doing this as his frank style and bombastic nature hurtles off the page. An early story about toilet trouble on the side of a mountain ...more
Andrew Garvey
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Early on in this raucously time-hopping collection of anecdotes loosely arranged as a story told by a master storyteller, Blessed makes an odd and entirely pointless request when asking the reader to imagine the story as told in Blessed's own, booming voice. After all, it's impossible to read ANYTHING Blessed has written WITHOUT imagining it being told by the big, boisterous, beardy bloke himself, isn't it?

As an introduction to his life, it seems to cover the main bits - his poor-but-decent
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bloody best audiobook ever. EVER! Brian Blessed is without any shadow of a doubt the worlds most interesting man, more so than any commercial version. And his audiobook (you HAVE to experience this as an audiobook, theres no better way to enjoy it) is interesting, entertaining, hilarious, and quite touching in places. Blessed doesnt read the text, he SHOUTS, he sings, he swears, he emotes, he acts, he imitates, and he knows exactly how to tell a grand story. You feel like hes telling you all ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this on Audible, read by our Brian, of course. It was a joy to listen to. It was part autobiography, part memoir, part anecdotes and name dropping. There was a lovely chapter on Peter O'Toole and another on Katherine Hepburn. The best chapter was the final chapter based on Brian's experiences of death, not of himself, of course, but of him coming into contact with death. The was an anecdote that involved a headless corpse and a poor, female accountant. I couldn't help but laugh ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A truly Blessed life. Probably the most amusing autobiography I've ever read.
And talk about living your best life.
Made three attempts to climb Everest (but made it to the summits of Acancagua and Kilimanjaro, and the oldest to get to the magnetic north pole on foot)
Slapped around a drunk and arrogant Peter O'Toole.
Yelled at Kathryn Hepburn for going on and on about Spencer Tracy.
Master of Ceremonies for the handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese.
Accompanied Princess Anne meeting Japanese
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is definitely best read in small doses, rather than a binge read. Brian Blessed is a very entertaining man who has lived a life, and then some. I took his advice and imagined him reading the book to me which brought the stories to life and there were several bits that really made me LOL (as the kids say). I loved the fact the Brian is clearly a larger than life, kind, funny and generally optimistic person and his anecdotes were funny and entertaining. However after a while he started ...more
Robert Sutherland
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brian Blessed is a salty raconteur. He tells amazing stories with a powerful joie de vivre. I knew him from Flash Gordon as a child. I didn't know about his BBC television stardom or his other movie exploits. He had some rich relationships, including Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn. Then there is a tender, loving, almost doting relationship with his wife, Hildegard. He tells so many rich anecdotes, from mountain climbing, to boxing, to officiating the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
My earliest recollection of Brian Blessed was in a TV series called The Aphrodite Inheritance. I was fairly young at the time, and I don't recall very much about it, but I do remember this big bear of a man with an impressive voice. Then he was in Flash Gordon, and he's popped up in other things over the subsequent years. From various other appearances it became clear that he was an impressive storyteller, so when I ran across this book I thought it would be a fun read.

And it was indeed. I could
Jon Shanks
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
BLOODY MARVELLOUS! as Brian Himself would say and you can hear every word written as if he was sitting in the room reading them out loud (I imagine the audiobook is an absolute blast). Funny in places, sad in others, but overall 100% honest, this is the full Blessed, bouncing between his childhood memories, early theatrical experiences, Film & TV, including (of course) a full chapter on Flash Gordon and another on The Phantom Menace which almost makes me fell like giving it another go. The ...more
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“So the first time I ever came into contact with O’Toole was at one of these very gatherings. I remember it well because I’d just punched Harold Pinter down a flight of stairs. Oh yes, I’m afraid so. No long dramatic pauses this time, Harold; he got one right on the side of the jaw. Wham!” 2 likes
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