I took "It's Only a Movie" with me on holiday as an easy and engaging read, while unable to listen to his weekly 5 Live show with Simon Mayo - and do you know what? I quietly enjoyed it.
It's not an autobiography and in fairness doesn't purport to be one. It's not a deep analysis of the world of film and again, it doesn't stake any claims in this department either. It takes instead quite a genial, self-deprecating look at how an obsessive love of film has somehow led Kermode to a career as a respected film critic. It doesn't take itself too seriously, as the title 'It's only a movie' ought to make clear and it is stuffed full of moments that shoot holes in the good doctor's preeminent image of all-knowing confident critic.
Like many of the films he's loved, his book probably has a niche market. I enjoyed it because I enjoy the weekly wittertainment podcast and this book goes a long way to providing the background to some of the show's recurring themes; "Chubby, hmmm?", a diffident respect for a certain Bavarian filmmaker, and I finally learnt the origin of Mark Kermode's apparent obsession with Jason Isaacs. You don't need to share his love of horror films to enjoy the book, nor do you need to agree with him about the Exorcist or Mary Poppins. If you can give Mark Kermode, the person, a little time (and as another reviewer wrote, I imagine this is even more so with the audio version) then my guess is you'll probably enjoy his company. It's only a movie, it's not too serious, and like most movies, it's a perfectly entertaining way to spend an evening.