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Mack The Life [Paperback]

Lee Mack
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.59
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Book Description

11 April 2013

Have you ever wondered where comedians come from? Why is it that one person is a funny bloke down the pub while another actually makes a living by standing up in front of an audience telling jokes? And where does all that material come from? Well, young Lee McKillop used to wonder that too.

Growing up in his parents’ pub, small and wiry in a world of bigger and chunkier specimens, Lee quickly learned that cracking jokes was a way to get attention. After a somewhat random series of jobs, which included being Red Rum’s stableboy and a bingo hall barman, it was as a Great Yarmouth holiday camp entertainer that he had his first crack at telling jokes on stage. It got him some laughs, the sack and a punch in the face.*

Now, as Lee Mack, he’s one of our best loved and most successful comedians, both as a live stand-up and on television. In Mack the Life, Lee tells the story of how he got there and gives extraordinary insight into what really makes comics tick. Hilarious and brilliant, it’s the kind of book which reminds you why you learned to read in the first place.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552166553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552166553
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A first-class comic. His autobiography, Mack the Life, has all the cheerful candour of one of his barnstorming shows. Mack has polished this narrative until it shines, and his book is a joy to read, full of homespun wisdom and hilarious asides." (Independent)

"A cracking read. Jokes liberally dot the narrative … a frank picture of a man who can’t believe his luck, but still manages to keep his feet on the ground" (Chortle)

"a truly fascinating read, genuinely funny throughout" (British Comedy Guide)

Book Description

A brilliant, heartfelt and hilarious insight into the life of one of our most popular comedians

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read a fair few comedians' autobiographies recently and one thing that separates Lee Mack's is the fact that he doesn't crowbar his stand-up act into the book in a jarring fashion. Where he does include bits from his act he references the fact.

I've seen reviews of other comedians criticising the coverage of the book, but what I liked about this one is the fact that certain omissions have been justified (basically that not the entirety of the author is "on sale" when they write an autobiography). So, if you want to read in depth about Lee's family history this might not be your book. If you want to know how he got into comedy and a take on life on the grassroots comedy scene (I really did try to think of a better way to say that) then I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.

Overall I enjoyed the book very much and would certainly not hesitate to recommend it. Funny, well-written and interesting. Of course, I really like Lee Mack as a comedian so the interest for me is obviously a given.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and very funny 2 Oct 2012
By igsz
Throughout the book Lee has included sessions with his shrink. This is a very clever way to convey his unique, funny thoughts and reflect on his views and experience of the comedy circuit. If you are a fan Lee Mack or stand up comedy this is a must read.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and a great guide for comedy. 16 Oct 2012
Getting the book I knew that it would not be a personal, revealing account of his life. Anybody who regularly watches this man on TV will know that he doesn't like talking about his private life.

What is brilliant though is that you still get an insightful view of how different aspects of his life evoked his love for comedy and giving a detailed description on how hard it was for him to get into comedy. Also he does make an effort to be more revealing by getting a psychiatrist to analyse the book, and these recordings are included in the book.

But there were some parts was when he went on random rants throughout the book, including little footnotes on how he felt about certain issues such as actors and Twitter. For me, that what made this book really funny, because this is what I love about this man.

In summary, a great insight on how to get into comedy but most of all, absolutely hilarious.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Don't get the psychiatrist bits 22 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a huge Lee Mack fan so my wife brought me this for Christmas. The book doesn't really delve too much into his family or really into his personal life that much. It concentrates on his career path that took in golf, horse racing and holiday camps. It also concentrates on his attitude to comedy and how he produces his sitcom Not Going Out and how he develops his stand up.
However in between the chapters is a script of him with a psychiatrist. I didn't really get this bit. I am not sure if it suppose to be a joke. If he did really go and see a psychiatrist or what it was suppose to really achieve or say. To be honest half way through the book I had got so bored reading these bits I skipped them. Its a shame as this is a really interesting and good read and would have got 5 stars. He also falls into the trap of trying to make a joke out of things to the point on some occasions you struggle to know if he is being serious or joking.
His writing prose is as if he is with you and it would be interesting to see him write a full length novel.
If you are a fan of Lee Mack, enjoy Not Going Out or just interested in comedians and the comedy world in general I would recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable; very funny 1 Nov 2012
By N. Wood
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It's true, you have to want to read about Lee Mack - and I did. It was very funny and you could really 'hear' him through the book. Interestingly, it contains very little about his life now (he mentions in passing his children), and, although that's what I normally want autobiographies to cover, in this case, I was quite happy it didn't. Because I was reading it on a Kindle, I found the footnotes faintly annoying, but all-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 9 Dec 2012
By Sve
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Book is funny and well written. Enjoyed the external perspective by the psychiatrist. The book provides good behind the scenes look at the comedy stand up industry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ExcLEEent Read 28 Oct 2012
By Mr Toye
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a briliant read for all those who are fans of Lee Mack/Not Going Out.His life from schoolboy to Comedy Superstar is engaging juney which takes you along for the ride.
The book oozes comedic moments and along with the analysis at the end of each chapter it will be a challenge to keep your ;augh inside of you.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, read it and laugh! 24 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First off - I really enjoyed reading this book. The exchanges with Brian the shrink at the end of every chapter often had me in stitches. Lee writes about himself in the 3rd person in these sections, which somehow, cleverly, makes them even more hilarious.

Lee is a very funny man, no doubt about it, and the book describes his journey into the world of stand-up comedy and beyond in a way that I'm sure would inspire anyone with similar ambitions to have a go.

So why haven't I rated the book with 5 stars? Well, for two main reasons: firstly I'd have liked to know a little more about how Lee's family life progressed alongside his professional life. I can understand why he maybe wouldn't want to subject his nearest and dearest to the kind of scrutiny this could entail, but a little more detail wouldn't have gone amiss. I did also find my enjoyment of the book started to falter for some reason (though only slightly) from the point at which Lee had 'made it big'. I guess like many things in life, the journey can sometimes be more interesting than the destination - that isn't the author's fault, and may say more about me as a reader than him as a writer.

So, buy it, read it and laugh - I'm glad I did!
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