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My Booky Wook by Russell Brand

By Teabelly | Books | May 8, 2009 | Comments ()

By Teabelly | Books | May 8, 2009 |


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I picked up this book for a couple of reasons, 1) A couple of friends had read it and said it was very funny and 2) Sheer desperation. I wandered around my library for an age looking for something to read, staring glumly at shelves full of Nora Roberts titles, trying to seek out Catch 22 and wondering when, oh when?!, will the damn books I reserved months ago come in ... this is probably a rant for another time, right?

Moving on. I am not sure what my views on Russell Brand are. I don't watch a lot of his stuff. I know he can be funny and has made me laugh lots when I've watched some show he's appeared on, but I can also find him beyond tiresome. And doesn't he get fed up of being 'on' all the time and speaking that way and isn't he tired of all the funny and leaping about in his tight skinny jeans like some sort of New Romantic pirate?

I have no answers, even after reading his autobiography, which is very well written and funny. It did make me chuckle on the bus, the sign of a winner for me. But a lot of it was still a bit of a chore. We go through his childhood and teens, his increasing drug use and addiction, his attempts at a career and rehab for sex addiction. Most of it I did not know. To me he seemed to appear out of nowhere to be everywhere in Celebrity Land, but apparently he's been slogging away for years. And that's part of the tiresome bit. The 'I had this great opportunity and was on the edge of a bright career, and then I fucked it up with all the drugs and being me,' repeated numerous times. I suppose it's a testament to his own tenacity that he isn't either dead or living in a slum somewhere off his head, and has come back time and again and now is successful. Or perhaps it's more a case of having people around him bailing him out, believing in him and refusing to let him fall that way. He would acknowledge this himself I think. Perhaps they saw in him a person worthy of it, so he can't be that bad, can he?

There are a lot of mortifying stories told here. The things this man got up to. If it was anyone else telling stories of orgies and drugs and spitting in a woman's face, I would probably have put the book down and written it, and him, off, but it's told with such humor and, I think, a reasonable amount of self awareness that this behavior wasn't exactly the best way to go about things, that I didn't feel the need. It's also very sad in parts, and moving, when he tells stories of those he has met whilst at his worst, and what happened to them.

Do I like Russell Brand? I still don't know, but I think his book is worth a read.

Check here for more of Teabelly's reviews.


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