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James Acaster's Classic Scrapes

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  7,262 ratings  ·  555 reviews
James Acaster has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award five times and has appeared on prime-time TV shows like MOCK THE WEEK, LIVE AT THE APOLLO and RUSSELL HOWARD'S STAND UP CENTRAL.

But behind the fame and critical acclaim is a man perpetually getting into trouble. Whether it's disappointing a skydiving instructor mid-flight, hiding from thugs in a bush wearing a

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Headline
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  7,262 ratings  ·  555 reviews

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Michael Legge
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shame he dies in the end.
Jason Koivu
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm really going to miss James' stories. He's a great storyteller and he's gotten himself into enough wacky scrapes to make his tales book-worthy. There are occasional and genuine "WTF?!" moments, side-splitters, and snort-laugh inducers herein!

The book is full of car crashes that seem to happen around every turn, sleeping in bushes dressed in a dress, cabbage-related pranks, and quite a few hilariously terrible festival and party-going experiences. There's a whole section in which a rather earl
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it

Unlike many others who have praised this, I couldn't read it in a day. In fact, it took me considerably longer. I found that if I savoured it - and 'dipped-in', it seemed so much funnier.

He insists all in here is exactly how it happened and I'd like to think that's true. My memory wouldn't be able to pull that much detail from childhood though!

Worth a read!
Samantha Kilford
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
Let me start this by saying I love James Acaster. I recall first seeing him in 2011 on Russell Howard’s Good News and being an avid follower ever since. I will seriously watch anything he’s in. He might actually be my ultimate favourite comedian, which made picking up his memoir a no-brainer. 301 pages of Acaster hilarity? Yes, please.

Unfortunately, being such an Acaster fan meant that I was already familiar with a large bulk of the stories recounted in this book. Having binge-listened to Josh W
Listened to the audiobook, narrated by the man himself, whilst on a road trip - literally laughed out loud, multiple times. Not just ‘heh’s or fast exhales, actual laughter. Hilarious. I want him to have a good life, but also I do want him to get into more scrapes so he has to write a second book about them...
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
im in love with this man
Nov 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
I love James Acaster and this is the second book I've read of his. For some reason, even though his TV stand-up has me laughing like crazy, hearing him deliver the same material in an audiobook isn't as funny to me. It can't be his writing because it's literally the same material that he's written for shows. It must be his delivery that really brings it home. ...more
Georgina Merry
[Audio book review] Having laughed my head off at Acaster's quirky humour when he's appeared on panel shows, I began this book with high expectations. Overall, I'm mildly disappointed. There weren't nearly as many laugh-out-loud moments as I'd anticipated, and although his "scrapes" are interesting and somewhat daft, I genuinely couldn't care less. This quasi-memoir gives us clear insight to Acaster's life. He seems like a genuinly good bloke, and there were some funny moments, just not enough f ...more
Sarah Tipper
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great book. Acaster's stories are wonderful. The one with the punchline of "Here's your Banbury cake" made me laugh out loud. I love it so much I'm considering visiting Banbury and seeing if I can recreate it. Acaster describes nu-metal perfectly and he has amused me greatly. If you were a bit awkward in your younger years this book will make you smile with relief that you weren't as awkward as Acaster (and if you were, I'd like to read your book). ...more
Dan Miller
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is easily the funniest book I've ever read. ...more
Emily O’Dowd
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
(Audiobook review)
This was absolutely fantastic, I'm a big James Acaster fan, and the stories in this book are absolutely bonkers. Kept me very entertained and gave me proper laughs which are needed at the moment! Would highly recommend the audiobook so you get James's delivery as well.
Rick Burin
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I laughed out loud on the first page, and carried on in a similar vein from there. This succession of stories about Acaster messing stuff up, often in spectacular fashion, is inevitably uneven but frequently painfully funny. The story about the singer in his nu-metal band is genuinely one of the funniest things I have ever read (it made me cry with laughter on a train) and ‘Fell Foot Sound’ and ‘Cabadging’ are both classics, though there’s at least one great joke in even the most minor scrapes, ...more
Rob Frampton
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I like James Acaster. He has a unique style and a quirkiness that sets him aside from the punsters and the do-you-remember-Spangles standups. Unfortunately what makes him a funny performer hasn't translated too well to the printed page. Anecdotes too feel both forced and long-winded and (often fatally) just not funny. I haven't heard the radio shows from which these tales derive, but it does feel at times as if the book is an unedited transliteration and maybe a bit of judicious editing would ha ...more
Luke Burrage
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think my favourite comedian memoir I've read so far. Maybe because so many of the classic scrapes are so close to stories of my own... I just could never tell those stories in such a funny way! ...more
Don Jimmy Reviews
Loved it. Highly recommended.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its very rare that I laugh out loud in a book, but the first line of this masterpiece had me almost in tears. The first line always sets the tone for the book, and, boy, this book did not disappoint. The best part of the stories told is that I could hear James' voice telling them, implausible as they may seem yet painstakingly funny and true. All the tales had a link to those previous, which gave the book a sense of togetherness, it tied the stories together perfectly.

I especially loved 'Xmas T
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

this is the most chaotic good book i have ever read
steph // bookplaits
I really wanted to laugh out loud at this, but sadly I didn't! I've been loving his stand-up comedy recently (I have rewatched clips on YouTube several times and Repertoire on Netflix is great!), so I thought I'd try this book. I do think it works very well as an audiobook, but apparently hearing him speak isn't enough for me - I need to *see* him as well for me to find the stories funny! There are a few tales I was familiar with because I've seen him tell them on panel shows, etc. and they are ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
OK, so I decided to listen to this book right after I saw James Acaster live and thought he is a lot funnier live than on TV (I wonder if I will think that when the material I heard live will be a Netflix special). I have to say that the book did not rank better than the live performance, but I did laugh a lot and out loud.

Some of the scrapes were funnier than others, but there were parts that left me a bit horrified.

Wait... Why am I reading what I type in Acaster's voice?
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
james acaster is an absolute legend, every decision he makes in this book is simultaneously the smartest and the stupidest thing i've ever heard lmao. every single story was hilarious (i laughed out loud so many times!!) and each story even more ridiculous than the last. i am now going to go listen to him recount the cabbage story on josh's radio show bc that's how much i loved this! ...more
Elena Orde
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ive just written 7 reviews in a row and am fresh out of witty or intelligent thoughts. This book is very funny, I love James acaster and his incredibly unique comic voice, you should read it. And also watch Repertoire on Netflix.
Daniel Durrance
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Apparently right this moment I have a bit of an obsession with James Acaster, and reading this I have found one of the only books I have laughed out loud to, alone, on my break at work. That's what this does to you. Enjoy ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Listened to this on audiobook and laughed SO HARD. Then I cabaged my sister for Christmas.
Mary Grand
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
very very funny book.....embarrassed myself laughing out loud , loved it.
Alex Lacey
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I don't know when the last time I laughed this hard reading a book was, but it's been a while. A+++ would recommend. ...more
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is just brilliant, funny and very much James Acaster.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
James Acaster’s particular brand of comedic genius does not translate well to the page. While I can watch his standup sets over and over again and listen to him recount his classic scrapes, reading this was exhausting and boring.
I do question whether I would have had the same reaction had I not been so used to his performance. He’s such an undeniable presence that his written work will likely never live up to his own performance of the same material. He should take that for the sincere complime
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
i laugh at everything acaster does or says and this is no exception. towards the end this book felt less like a collection of scrapes and more like a warm hug from a really awkward friend
Ruth This one
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Light-hearted filler autobiographical anecdotes of a man-child who has found a way of making money without having to shoulder the burdens of adulthood in any meaningful way. I gave it an extra star for readability - it's not atrocious. I read it for a book club read along with two male colleagues probably of the target demographic, and I was bemused to witness how amused they were by the tales or 'scrapes' - as amused as my teenage daughter was. A bit like one of those annoying sound devices des ...more
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