This autobiography is very funny and very dirty but not often, to my taste, both at the same time. Despite the “knob jokes,” I quite enjoyed the casually-disorganised, friendly tone of the book and the inside view of a man who, contrary to his on-stage persona, seems more artist than arsehole. Skinner’s self-deprecating but jubilant views on success and fame were entertaining without being alienating and his self-conscious defensiveness about his Roman Catholic faith was refreshing.
[Why I read it: I have always enjoyed Skinner’s panel show appearances on the likes of Have I Got News for You, QI, and Would I Lie to You,but didn’t know he’d written a book until Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges cited it as his inspiration to become a stand up comedian. I found a free sample online of the first few pages and lost it at this part:
When I still lived in Birmingham, I dated a stunningly attractive woman. I had been seeing her for about three weeks when I finally asked her where she lived. It turns out she dwelt in what was, at the time, a very rough block of flats called Bath Court. I said, in what I felt was a slightly Wildean tone, ‘The trouble with Bath Court is that the residents spend a good deal more time in the latter than they do in the former.’
‘Where’s “The Latter”?’ she asked. I knew then that our love could never flourish. (6)
My library wouldn’t buy it for me (some bollocks about it not being available in the U.S.), but there was a copy in the first Waterstones book store I wandered in to in London.]