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Me: The Authorised Biography Hardcover – 25 Jun 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; First Edition; 1st printing. edition (25 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845134311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845134310
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 3.3 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A wonderful book… if it does not become a bestseller my plans to leave the company will go into overdrive’

(Andrew Martin Daily Mail)

‘Rogers has produced one of the most delightful books crafted by an author for whom English is not the first language...fascinating and affectionate’

(Independent)

‘A star writer…On every page there is a strange incident, a funny anecdote, a striking image’

(Daily Telegraph)

‘One of the wittiest volumes of memoirs in recent years [by] one of the finest and funniest national newspaper journalists in Britain’

(Scotsman)

‘Endearing and very funny’

(Craig Brown Mail on Sunday)

About the Author

Byron Rogers is a Welsh journalist, essayist and biographer. He has contributed to The Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Guardian, and was once a speech writer for the Prince of Wales. He is also author of seven books published by Aurum, including: An Audience With an Elephant, one of several collections of his journalism; The Man Who Went into the West, a critically acclaimed biography of the iconic twentieth century Welsh poet, R. S. Thomas, which was awarded the James Tait Black Prize for Biography in 2007; and The Last Englishman, a biography of the quintessential Englishman and celebrated novelist J.L. Carr. Me: The Authorised Biography, was published in 2009. His most recent book is Three Journeys. He currently lives in Northamptonshire and Carmarthen.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I shall be buying this for friends as a Christmas present and recommending to others that they do the same. I said in August that it was my book of the year and so far nothing has come along to top it.
I can't remember when I last read anything that gave me so much pleasure or made me laugh aloud so often. There were passages, too, that moved me closer to tears than laughter - one about Rogers's father, another about a friend who went mad and died young.
'Me' is immodestly titled because, the author explains, someone once tried to steal his identity and the book is his way of reclaiming it. But it's as much about the characters Byron Rogers has encountered - first as a child in Nonconformist Wales, then as a journalist in Sheffield and London - as it is about the man himself. Among them are Mrs Jepson, curator of a freak show including The One-Eyed Pig with the Elephant's Nose; the Last Man to See Lord Byron; Dr Crippen's mistress; and the Prince of Wales.
Byron Rogers was still writing regularly for the travel section of The Daily Telegraph when I joined it. Although we've spoken on the phone a few times, I don't think we've ever met. His byline never appeared on a piece from overseas; he didn't need to travel far from his front door in Northamptonshire to find something worth writing about and worth reading. He could, and did, make even the job of a railway timetable compiler into a compelling read - as I discovered recently when combing the Telegraph archives for a book on great rail journeys; a book that, coincidentally, will be published by the company that publishes Rogers.
He hasn't written for the Telegraph in ages, and I'm not entirely sure why.
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Format: Hardcover
Byron Rogers' 'Me' is unlike any autiobiography I have ever read. By turning all the tools of his trade as a journalist and biographer on his most familiar subject (i.e. himself), Rogers has created a truly insightful, often very moving and extremely funny memoir. I esepcially loved the stuff about his early years growing up in Wales - a Cider with Rosie for the baby-boomer generation.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a warning to all readers - once you have entered Byron's world there is no escape. I knew nothing of him until I read his biography of R.S. Thomas, and from then on I was hooked. Byron is the chronicler of everyday Britain, a man with an unerring nose for the sublime or the absurd, and a writer who steers his prose expertly between the matter of fact and the fantastic. If you have ever sat in the pub thinking that the local characters are far stranger than anything on the telly, or have mad relatives with stories to tell, or have met a bloke who knows where Merlin is buried, then Byron is the man for you.
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By nigeyb TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here's a wonderful thing. I recently read a novel called "A Month In The Country" by JL Carr. The book was first published in 1980, won the Guardian Fiction Prize that year, and was also nominated for the Booker Prize. It is also a masterpiece and you should read it. I then read another - very different - book by JL Carr based on his years as a head teacher called "The Harpole Report". It was very good. I was now intrigued by JL Carr, and so I read a biography called "The Last Englishman: The Life of J. L. Carr" written by his friend, the journalist and writer Byron Rogers. The biography was excellent, and reading it prompted me to look at other books by Byron Rogers. So, a few weeks later, I read "Me: The Authorised Biography".

The first thing to say is it's a wonderful autobiography. Whilst only half way through, I bought a copy for my Welsh brother-in-law. I concluded that the only thing that might make it more enjoyable would be a Welsh ancestry for added resonance and recognition. That said, although Byron Rogers calls it an autobiography, much of the book is devoted to other people. The first chapter quite brilliantly describes how, in the 1980s, Byron Rogers started to receive lurid and explicit letters from women who were in awe of his sexual prowess. A man, with a case full of Bryon Rogers' press clippings, was passing himself off as Byron Rogers. From this surreal and amusing opening, the book rewinds back to Byron Roger's childhood and then, over the course of the rest of the book, meanders back to old age.

The main theme is just how much things have changed in a generation or three. This is a topic that always fascinates me. The book is full of wonderful vignettes that illustrate this change.
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Format: Hardcover
Where to start? At the beginning obviously, just as Dylan said and as so many, mimicking the master, have echoed him. But which beginning?

Let's begin with Byron's beginnings. His beginnings as Lesson One in a masterclass of column writing. For professionally at least he was a columnist first and - despite his winning of the James Tait Black prize for his biography of RS Thomas - a columnist foremost too. Roy Greenslade, whilst writing about the 1990s in Press Gang, his absorbing post war history of the British press and its press barons, says, `Personal or domestic columns - pejoratively called `me' columns - ... became common".

Byron predates this era by more than a quarter of a century: `From 1965 to 1968 I wrote a column in a Northern evening paper...For five days a week, 1500 to 2000 words a day, I wrote about myself in the Sheffield Star. I was twenty-three."

A pre-`me'-columnist and as colourful in his columns as the Pre-Raphaelites in their paintings, there was never anything `common' about Byron. Or his beginnings. Those vital first sentences which hook the reader.

Here are a few openings from some of his collected columns, also published, in four superb little volumes.

`Jagger was late. He was three quarters of an hour late was Jagger.' (The Jumping Jack Flash Who Never Was. A Rolling Stone - skewered, slow roasted and devoured with relish.)

`The saddest pictures I ever saw hung in a saloon in Tombstone.' (The Real Thing. A man comes face to face with the destruction of his boyhood film images of the Old Wild West.)

`There is a point in the British Museum, beyond the last display case, where a man might think he had entered a Victorian lunatic asylum.' (The Secrets of Cupboard 55.
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