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Crying With Laughter: My Life Story Paperback – 7 Jul 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (7 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099255812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099255819
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"An entertaining and abrasive canter through his up-and-down life - Witty, moving, candid - and very well written" (The Sun)

"It makes a refreshing change to read some real revelations from the life of a true, old-fashioned star" (Daily Mirror)

"Riveting - packed with cracking true stories" (Gary Bushell The Sun)

"Winning - genuinely funny" (The Sun)

Book Description

A classic autobiography from one of Britain's most loved and most famous comedians. Known for his witty one-liners, Bob Monkhouse was a hilarious stand-up comedian, hugely popular game show host of programmes including Family Fortunes and The Golden Shot, and legendary chat show host of the eponymous Bob Monkhouse Show.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jaylizbee on 6 May 2010
Format: Paperback
A really interesting and well-written book, containing so much more than the usual autobiography Full of laughs, anecdotes and by the last page you are sorry that there isn't more! An engrossing read from the first page - recommended (providing you aren't too easily offended by a "warts and all" account)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dottie33 on 21 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was never a huge fan of Bob Monkhouse but a friend had this book on holiday and kept reading bits out to make us laugh. When I got back I ordered a copy and it had me giggling from start to finish. Its great to read about such a consumate professional who took his craft very seriously and cheered millions of people in the process. Recommended
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By E. A. Redfearn TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bob Monkhouse, who for many years was one of the great entertainers and game show hosts in Television history tells his life story in candid fashion, honest, frank, light hearted; on every page revealing a life with its many ups and downs, his triumphs and tragedies, his life and soul is all here within 330 pages or so.

He also reveals the difficult relationship with his mother who always felt that Bob's brother was a better man than he was, and that Bob would never be a success in life, whether in show business or his family life. Of course, as an entertainer, he proved himself over and over again. His private life was a different matter. His first marriage ended because of unfaithfulness by both himself and his first wife; then there was the trauma of having a severely disabled son, Gary who died quite young. And then there was his obsessions with the accumulation of a vast library of films and video tapes, mounting up to 50,000 copies which were discovered in his garden shed at the time of his death. Many of these copies have proved to be priceless, copies of television shows long thought lost.

I really enjoyed reading this book, which is very revealing and very frank, particularly in dealing with his relationships with other celebrities of the time such as Diana Dors and Frankie Howerd. A marvelous read, and will be enjoyed by anyone wanting to know more about the real Bob Monkhouse and his contributions to television history.
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This autobiography was very well received when first published; some critics seemed surprised that a comedian could write so well. However, I was disappointed, because there's a brittleness about it that will be familiar to anyone who watched Monkhouse on television over the years.

He was a master of exploiting every opportunity that came his way and adapting to circumstance. In this respect he reminded me of Steerpike, the character in Mervyn Peake's Gormanghast books who rose from the gutter to challenge the rule of the duke by learning new skills with freakish speed and facility.

I suspect Bob thought to himself: "I'll show them there's more to me than they think. Now, what are the features of a 'clever' autobiography?" Hence the non-linear narrative and cod psychology.

Personally I'd have preferred a straight show-biz autobiography with less gloss and guile. Monkhouse was a master of 'patter' and punchlines. I constantly asked myself while reading: "Surely it can't have happened exactly like that? It's all too glib. Has he succumbed to the temptation of embellishing reality for the sake of a good pay-off? I fear he has. Shame, because in some ways he was a remarkable man. My favourite Monkhouse gag? "I'm from Kent. Most people seem to know that about me. I hear them muttering it when I come into the room."
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This is a wonderful autobiography and despite its title it will also have you crying with sadness at Bob's life. He had so much misfortune and misery heaped upon him, far more than many people endure, i am surprised he was able to be so cheerful.

What particularly brought me to tears is the love letter he pens to his wife in the beginning. He writes the line, "There can be no happy ending for us". He explains what he means by saying that in a marriage one person has to die first and leave the other behind so there can never be a happy ending for a loving marriage. That poignant statement proves that Bob was a deeply thoughtful man and there was more going on behind the ever present smile and tan.

Follow Bobs journey to stardom, his views on fellow stars, his grief when stars who were his friends were lost. Particularly sad is the chapter on his friendship with Bernie Winters and his sorrow when he died.

It is a wonderful read from cover to cover and will indeed leave you crying with laughter but you will also cry tears of sadness at Bobs suffering, he had far too much dealt out to him. Perhaps his fame was fates way of compensating him for all the bad things.

A lovely book by a man whose like we will never see again.
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By SpaceBoy on 28 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Bob was a brilliant comedian, scriptwriter, singer, presenter, actor, cartoonist and chat show host. Bob had a quick mind with a joke for every occasion and was clearly a talent that we will not see the likes of again. If you remember Bob for being a slightly too slick gameshow presenter then you will be in for quite a treat with this book. He is refreshingly honest about his life and the ups and downs he experienced. Bob did not have the same background as most comedians of his generation, he did not have a poor background or have trouble with the wife or mother in law so did not have a vulnerability that other comedians could use for comedic effect. So he had to transcended that and work hard to connect with his audience. Lots of people would laugh when he told them he wanted to be a comedian, well there not laughing now! This book goes behind the stage curtain and looks at the behind the scenes of a great and talented man. This book is a real treasure and for anyone interested in comedy is a great glimpse into a brilliant mind.
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