Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Review Wednesday - My Shit Life so Far

"Quite triumphantly, this is the most abusive, obscene insulting memoir yet published." Evening Standard  

My Shit Life so Far is Scottish stand up comedian Frankie Boyle's autobiography.  It was published in 2010 as  Frankie was working on his last tour.

I'm a big fan of Frankie's humour although it's closely connected to the British news and had me look up a few headlines to get the jokes at times.  I really enjoyed him on Mock the Week and on his tour DVD. He has a very sarcastic view on society and in the midst of all the swearing and exaggeration, I believe  he's saying out loud what many people think quietly. That's one of the reason I wanted to read his book.

Watching his act, I always thought this vulgar Scotsman was  a character Frankie was building but with the book, I actually realized that he was simply being himself.  His take on life his very lucid.  He  seems to see things for what they are.  I was impressed to read how he managed to quit drinking and taking drugs without anyone's help.  I would recommend the book to people who're trying to make their place in the stand up comedy world.  Frankie depicts this world vividly.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the material used in the book.  I had already heard many of the jokes twice or thrice on Mock the week, Tramadol Nights and his tour DVD.  Some scripts for comedy he wrote while high and  that never made it to TV are also included as is;  those are long, and let's face it, boring.  No wonder they never made it.  If Frankie read this, I have no doubt he would tell me I'm a cunt and that I should fuck off.  Fair enough, Frankie, fair enough.

Despite all this, the book is really easy to read.  It actually reads like Frankie speaks.  Minus the Scottish accent. Although, to be honest, some lines I could almost hear him say. The structure is great, too.  As with most memoirs, we start with his childhood and finish with adulthood, but Frankie manages to talk about social issues related to all of the periods of his life, which, aside from giving us his opinion, also instructs us (to some extent) on the reality of the Glaswegian working class of the time.

Aside from the content, one of the biggest pleasures of reading this book was all the looks I got while doing so on public transportation.  People were very intrigued. I intend to read his other book, Work! Consume! Die! ; hopefully, the jokes will be fresher.

Need I say this book is not recommended if you don't like crude language?

ATUA's verdict: Your offer pleases us.


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