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The Essential Dave Allen [Paperback]

Graham Mccann
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 7.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

13 July 2006

When Dave Allen passed away in March 2005, we lost a true comedy great. Sitting cross-legged on a high stool, whiskey in one hand, cigarette in the other, Dave Allen's exasperated commentaries on the absurdities of modern life struck a chord with millions of fans in Britain, Ireland and Australia for over four decades. He was a compelling storyteller - able to spin shaggy dog stories out of the almost any subject, including the missing tip of his fourth finger of his left hand, for which he provided various unlikely explanations. But his gentle, laconic wit could also give way to ferocious attacks on the media, the state and, most famously, the Catholic Church. He was a unique talent - a comic who could make his audiences laugh, cry, and be shocked, all in one.

This official celebration of Dave Allen's comedy has been drawn together by Graham McCann - Britain's best-loved entertainment writer. It is a treasure trove of stories, stand-up routines, sketches, interviews and photos, which takes us on a journey from the cradle to the grave. It will delight Dave Allen's million of fans, old and new alike.

'Dave Allen was our greatest storyteller and nobody ever came close to his ability to spin a yarn. He was unique, right up there with the greats.' Jack Dee

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The Essential Dave Allen + The Best of Dave Allen [DVD] (2005)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (13 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034089945X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340899458
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 259,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'The Essential Dave Allen does exactly what it says on the tin, taking all his best material from the last four decades and collating them into pertinent sections. A great man is sorely missed, The Essential Dave Allen reminds us what a unique brain we had in our midst for so long.' (Irish Independent)

'I thought the jokes would fall flat without that mellow Irish delivery and impeccable timing, but they fly off the page like candy-coated barbs. McCann's book offers interesting observations, too, about the man himself.' (Daily Telegraph)

'He was an original. He carved his own path ... and he was a torchbearer for all the excellent Irish comics who have followed in recent years.' Eddie Izzard (Eddie Izzard)

'He was the uncle to end all uncles, childlike yet oracular and possessed of a ravenous appetite for human folly. When he adjusted his waistcoat or shot his cuffs, dragons of unreason gasped and died at his feet.' Dylan Moran

Book Description

A unique collection of stories, stand-up routines, sketches and interviews from comic legend Dave Allen, drawn together with the full co-operation of his family.

'A wonderful anthology of Allen's very best material.' JACK DEE

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the craic! 11 Nov 2005
Dave Allen was one of the great comedians. If you watched him on TV in the seventies and eighties and nineties, you loved him for the way he'd always treat you like an equal, never sought to be cruel and always sent you away smiling - and thinking. He was proof of the axiom that you don't have to be intelligent to be funny, but it certainly helps. This wonderful, wonderful collection of his best stories, jokes, one-liners and witty observations, organised to capture the ongoing nature of the humour as you move from age to age, is just about the nicest and most apt tribute to the man and his memory that I could have imagined (apart of course from more film of the man in action), and I'm so glad to have it. Dip into it, read it all the way through - whatever - it is the best of its kind that I've read. Classy cover, classy selection, classy man. Goodness me, how we miss him - but how good it is to have this of his to treasure.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful anthology 1 Jan 2006
It`s taken me some time to write a review of this book, but I will try!
I hope alot of people will have received this wonderful book for Christmas, and been reminded of how brilliant and varied his material really was. Or found out for the first time - I really hope new people will continue discovering him.
Not only does the material zip off the page (which proves it wasn`t just about his delivery, as people often said),but Graham McCann, in his introductions to each chapter, gives him the intelligent analyses that he so deserves. He even, I think, provides an answer to why so many of my age group (late 30`s/early 40`s) have such happy memories of watching Dave Allen, supposedly so adult, in our 70`s childhoods. It`s because we recognised him as someone who was on our side. His targets were always authority figures, not the vulnerable, and he never laughed at people for being different.It set him apart then - and, sadly, would set him apart now.
Yes, alot of us miss him more than the media seems to realise - but at least Graham McCann realises, and has stepped in to fill the void. Unlike Carolyn Soutar`s book, this was compiled with the full assistance of Dave Allen`s family - he wanted to be known for his work, not his private life. They have allowed reproduction of his cartoons and pages from his notebooks - he was more than "just" a comedian. We can only hope that they also allow more material to be released on DVD in the near future.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't imagine this working - but it does! 5 Nov 2007
Surely this is going to be Hamlet without the prince? The whole point about Dave Allen was his delivery, his timing, his charisma. How could a book capture that?

Yet somehow, against all odds, this book does just that. As you read the jokes and their punchlines, some pithy, some rambling monologues, you hear his voice in your head, imagine him sitting there with his drink and his cigarette (he gave up the latter later on - a cue for more hilarious material).

This is the man captured in book form - priceless!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Dave Allen 28 Mar 2011
By Alan
I think that Dave Allen would be pleased to know that six years after his passing, his comedy still had me in tears of laughter. Dave Allen was a unique talent and the world was for three decades a bit more tolerable. Thankfully the church does have a sense of humour.

I will remain a fan to my last breath.

Thank you Graham for writing this book. Regards to Jane, Edward, Karin, and Dave.

Most of all thank you Gilbert David Tynan O'Mahony may you rest in peace.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last - a REAL book on Dave Allen 20 Sep 2010
By Tin Tactoo VINE VOICE
This is brilliant: I can remember some of the jokes quoted and are still fresh today but as well as the gags, it gives a REAL insight in Dave Allen as a person over many years with a delightful account of his upbringing etc and altogether, with the research that shows in the pages, a wonderful read and all I would say is if you want a REAL book about Dave, look no further. I rest my case - its the brown leather look one with a naff hinge...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dave allen 8 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
great little book very detailed and very funny,bought it for my dad but i read it first,just realized how talanted he was,great gift
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Essential 28 Sep 2010
We lost a great man in Dave Allen. He was intelligent, generous, insightful, decent and very, very, very funny. He puts most of today's comedians to shame, because he never seemed to be interested in fame or fortune or any of the nonsense that so many style page preeners covet so keenly in this day and age. He communicated things to his audience that always came with a sense of truth as well as humour. This book - beautifully organised - does a superb job of capturing the spirit of the man as well as the words and the laughter. I absolutely treaure it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May Dave Allen Make You Laugh 24 Feb 2006
By The Dapper Dude VINE VOICE
Recently finished this book and I have to say it was a joy just reading about the sketches and tales. Some parts of the book had me laughing aloud almost.
Well worth the read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 days ago by Yasmin Usherwood Silcock
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful.
You can hear his voice as you read them. Wonderful.
Published 20 days ago by Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars dave allen
brilliantly funny book dave allen is comedy royalty to me this book is a must for all allen fan's very amusing as his show's are
Published 2 months ago by christine dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Dave Allen.
This book is brilliant, I did not stop laughing from the minute I started reading it, just like watching the shows and hearing him tell these, jokes/ stories etc. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nightnurse39
5.0 out of 5 stars BOOK
I found this book to be just as good as the DVD's from start to finish the story was just awesome and the laughs in the book is really brilliant.
Published 6 months ago by Robert Rae Hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summary of his work
There is a good selection of some of the best of Dave Allen's yarns and jokes, but some are repeated within the book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by lkd461
5.0 out of 5 stars Such happy memories
I use to beg to watch Dave Allen on TV when I was a child. Apart from wallowing in the nostalgia, he is still remarkable relevent today and very little of this material comes... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Aly Gator
5.0 out of 5 stars VEry funny-a great read
A great read,very funny even if you had never seen or heard Dave Allen

Feeling 'down;, suggest reading the book
Published 16 months ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars A legend !
Mr. Dave Allen is most humorous, and this dvd reminds me of years ago and my amusing-years then. "The Essential... Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2012 by King Arthur
5.0 out of 5 stars A real treat
Without doubt Dave Allen was a comedian ahead of his time. While his peers were still telling jokes, Allen was turning his observations of life into comedy treasure well before... Read more
Published on 30 May 2011 by JFD
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