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The Sound of Laughter [Kindle Edition]

Peter Kay
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Peter Kay's unerring gift for observing the absurdities and eccentricities of family life has earned himself a widespread, everyman appeal. These vivid observations coupled with a kind of nostalgia that never fails to grab his audience's shared understanding, have earned him comparisons with Alan Bennett and Ronnie Barker.

In his award winning TV series' he creates worlds populated by degenerate, bitter, useless, endearing and always recognisable characters which have attracted a huge and loyal following.

In many ways he's an old fashioned kind of comedian and the scope and enormity of his fanbase reflects this. He doesn't tell jokes about politics or sex, but rather rejoices in the far funnier areas of life: elderly relatives and answering machines, dads dancing badly at weddings, garlic bread and cheesecake, your mum's HRT...

His autobiography is full of this kind of humour and nostalgia, beginning with Kay's first ever driving lesson, taking him back through his Bolton childhood, the numerous jobs he held after school and leading up until the time he passed his driving test and found fame.

Product Description


"His autobiography is filled to the very brim with funny bits" (heat)

"He is every bit as amusing on the page as he is in person... Hilarious" (Sunday Express)

"The Sound of Laughter provides as complete a picture of its subject's world view and creative evolution as any comedian's autobigraphy I can think of" (Independent on Sunday)

"J. K. Rowling can't compete. Nor can Dan Brown. By selling more than a million copies in hardback, the highest figure since records began, this autobiography by the comedian Peter Kay has become a minor miracle" (The Times)

Book Description

The number one bestselling autobiography of Britain's most popular comedian

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More About the Author

Peter Kay was born in Bolton in 1973. After leaving school with a GCSE in art, he held a series of jobs including working as a cinema usher, mobile disc jockey, in a factory packing toilet rolls, garage attendant and in a bingo hall.

Since winning the prestigious North West Comedian of the Year in 1996 , Peter has firmly established himself as one of Britain's best loved comedians. Winning numerous awards for his work, including four British comedy awards and three awards from the Royal Television Society.

Amongst other work, Peter wrote, directed and starred in That Peter Kay Thing, Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere, the BAFTA-award winning Phoenix Nights and, most recently, Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Geraldine - The Winner's Story.

His autobiography The Sound of Laughter is the UK's bestselling hardback autobiography of all time with over 1 million copies sold.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ends a bit too soon 5 Feb. 2008
I'm not going to go into a great deal of depth here as there are already 96 reviews on this product, so I'll just give you my (short) opinion - brilliant!

I've been a big fan of Kay for a while now and reading his heart-warming memories from his early life, written in a stand-up story kind of way I now have more of an in-sight into how he got into the show biz career he is so famous for now and have a history of all of the crappy jobs he had beforehand and the funny tales that accompany them. My only complaint is that the book finishes way too early as it doesn't really touch on his stand up, A Peter Kay Thing, Phoenix Nights or Max & Paddy days or his relationships with Paddy McGuiness or Dave Spikey. Hopefully this will mean that a follow-up is in the works (which might explain why he hasn't done much for the past year or so!). I normally hate reading biographies and auto-biographies, but this one I couldn't put down. An excellent and hilarious read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Garlic bread??? 1 Jan. 2007
As other reviewers have mentioned this is certainly not a conventional autobiography with it's not-linear chapter structure. it is more a collection of anecdotes really.

Does feel like it was a little thrown together to be in time for the x-mas market. Gaps filled with Kay's standup routine (how many people will read the book who haven't aready heard the standup stuff). He has also left room for another volume detailing the time since he started making TV shows (published next x-mas???). Overall it is a good read but I have to say that after reading it I do have a slightly different view of Peter Kay. He comes accross as quite an odd boy growing up, although, i do find some of the stuff in the book a little hard to believe (think there is a lot of poetic/comedic license)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The sound of silence morelike 17 Jan. 2012
Bestselling celebrity hardback since records began this may be, but the book is a massive let down.

I love Peter Kay's tv character-led work and he's funny enough in stand-up to make you think this is going to be a real treat, but it isn't. Any memoir needs to start with a bang, so what's the opening chapter about - Kay's first driving lesson - gripping!!

Peter Kay is undoubtedly one of life's scallywags, and his cheeky sense of humour gets him into plenty of scrapes in his early years, but there's a nagging sense of the apocryphal about some of his stories. He has a really annoying habit of repeatedly saying 'I'm only joking'. We know mate, you're a comedian and we can spot an exaggerated pun when we see one.

The biggest surprise though, is the fact that at times Peter Kay doesn't sound like a very nice bloke. During an alter service, for example, an old lady coughs her false teeth out at him. He tells us she's a 'dirty bitch'. It'll happen to you one day mate. There is an undercurrent of bitterness and superiority throughout, which makes Kay sound like a Daily Mail reader. In chapter five, (the worst in the book) Kay has a Melvyn Bragg moment and gives us the wisdom of his opinion on Catholicism. 'Over the years I've come to the conclusion that Catholicism is rife with hypocrisy and confusion' Did you come to that conclusion all by yourself, or did you read it on the back of a packet of Frosties?

At the bottom line is, I barely laughed once. Best not to let this risible effort deflect your opinion of a fine comic performer.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining and Enjoyable Read 3 Nov. 2006
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Peter Kay is without doubt one of the funniest men Britain has produced in recent years, but does that mean his autobiography is going to be funny too. Well thankfully it is. Not side splittingly funny, but funny enough to keep a smile on your face most of the time you are reading it.

Peter Kay is not your typical stand up comedian, in fact jokes are not really his forte. He has the happy knack of making every day events sound hilariously funny and most people can associate with them, as they have either happened to themselves or someone they know. Most people of a certain age can imagine their own father saying `Garlic Bread, Garlic . . . Bread' `Cheese Cake, Cheese . . . Cake.' Unfortunately we do not all have the comedy genius of a Peter Kay, who has the ability to make the most mundane happenings sound hilarious.

His book is full of humorous anecdotes and the goings on of elderly relatives and cheap cola. My mother used to buy cheap lemonade too, so I can certainly relate to that. The book shows the man, as well as the stage star and for me anyway paints a picture of a man who deserves his success and long may it continue. A man who can laugh at himself and those around him and is loved for it. Coming from me, a Yorkshireman, to a Lancastrian that is praise indeed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good opportunity missed 13 Jan. 2007
I love Peter Kay's cheeky, boyish humour and have found myself laughing out loud at his quick-witted japery on TV etc so I looked forward immensely to reading this book.

It is a pacy read, no soul-searching introspection and nothing particularly dull about it but... it's not well written (simple grammatical errors such as "danced passed", "must of" etc and even his beloved "Kiaora" drink is incorrectly spelt), its humour seems underdeveloped and it has the feeling of having been written very fast. Also, it falls right into the common trap for comics writing an autobiography: when they want to be serious for a moment, the whole book drops a gear and then you expect a punchline (but there isn't one).

The best chapters were the ones about his love of music (nostalgic for me, too) and the final chapter about his attempt to get into live stand-up comedy after having tricked his way into on a higher education course with one O-level. He seems to be on stronger ground, somehow, more sure of his direction and the books becomes more coherent. Up to that point, it is a series of reminiscences (some too absurd to be absolutely plausible) with a strong emphasis on his teenage years. And wouldn't it be interesting to know what his parents thought about his career ambition? And what of his sister, "R Julie", about whom we learn not one single thing (poor girl!)?

It stops abruptly when he gets to about 22, so there's no mention of anything as recent as Phoenix Nights. But the guy's only 32 now so there should be another few volumes to come. I just hope that they will be tighter and more intense than this quickly-typed waffle. An audio book, read by the author, could inject some much needed Bolton accent and quick delivery into this disappointing read.
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