Unreliable Memoirs: Picador Classic and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £8.99
  • You Save: £1.80 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Unreliable Memoirs: Autob... has been added to your Basket
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK. Your order will be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) Paperback – 7 Nov 2008


See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 7 Nov 2008
£7.19
£3.02 £0.01
Audio CD, Audiobook
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£7.19 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) + Falling Towards England : Unreliable Memoirs II + May Week Was In June
Price For All Three: £22.37

Some of these items are dispatched sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together



Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Ed edition (7 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033026463X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330264631
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clive James is the author of more than twenty books, including four previous volumes of autobiography (Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England, May Week was in June and North Face of Soho), collections of literary and television criticism, essays, travel writing, verse and novels. In 1992 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he was awarded the Philip Hodgins memorial medal for literature. His most recent poetry collection, Angels Over Elsinore, was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Prize for Poetry.

Product Description

Review

'A blissful account of a tragi-comic Australian boyhood by Australia's wittiest living writer.' --Red

From the Back Cover

I was born in 1939. The other big event of that year was the outbreak of the Second World War, but for the moment that did not affect me.

In the first instalment of Clive James's memoirs we follow the young Clive on his journey from boyhood to the cusp of manhood, when his days of wearing short trousers are finally behind him. Battling with school, girls, various relatives and an overwhelming desire to be a superhero, Clive's adventures growing up in the suburbs of post-war Sydney are hair-raising, uproarious and almost too good to be true . . .

Told with James's unassailable sense of humour and self-effacing charm, Unreliable Memoirs is a hilarious and touching introduction to the story of a national treasure. A million-copy bestseller, this classic memoir is a celebration of life in all its unpredictable glory.

'Do not read this book in public. You will risk severe internal injuries from trying to suppress your laughter. What's worse, you can't put it down once started. Its addictive powers stun all normal decent resistance within seconds. Not to be missed.' Sunday Times

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By T. Bently VINE VOICE on 13 Sep 2004
Format: Paperback
"Unrelaible Memoirs" is Clive James' description of his upbringing in a Sydney suburb lasting up to the time of his university education. I was expecting it to be funny but wasn't quite prepared for the raw emotion and literary skill displayed on virtually every page.
To me this is perhaps the most impressive of James' autobiographical writing. He has a special gift for describing childhood and a kind of fearless honesty which is hilarious and provides something of a turbulent rollercoaster ride for the reader, as he describes the trauma of being a single child to a single parent in the aftermath of the second world war.
I felt a little left behind by many of the historical and literary references James makes but this is more than made up for by the relish with which he uses the English language. For example, he describes a friend's mother giving him buttered bread covered with hundreds and thousands as like "eating a powdered rainbow".
"Unreliable Memoirs" made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I wish I had read it years ago.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pedro the Llama on 24 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one of the few books where I have genuinely laughed out loud, the part where the soldier puts the bomb into gun backwards had me in hysterics, unfortunately I was on a crowded train at the time

Fabulous book and very well written. How I wish I could write like that
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wendy L on 11 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book when I was about 25, I'm now 48. This is a book I have bought so many times, because each time I read it I enjoy it so much I have to pass it on to someone else and spread the joy!

Insightful, intelligent, warm and genuinely funny. I even gave a copy to my dad, who only ever reads books about Pythagoras and Cricket - I will cherish the image of him snorting and choking laughing, with coffee pouring out of each nostril!

Thank you Clive, for showing me that my Dad does indeed have a sense of humour, though not a razor sharp as yours perhaps. You are a diamond!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail on 14 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
if you like Clive James' style, you'll love this. tales of his childhood in suburban Australia, with enough accidents and mischief to be familiar to all of us-my favourite story is the box cart train and its terrible ending. obviously the truth is embellished for publication, but every second page made me giggle, and there's a belly laugh in every chapter. It's perfect for commuting or travelling - you can dip in and out, because the narrative is only loosely chronological.
I'd recommend it to someone who needs to laugh.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jun 2001
Format: Paperback
Clive James is the funniest man we have.
Just take this paragraph as an example :
Unreliable Memoirs By Clive James pp97-98
'...swarms of girls wearing Speedo swimming costumes. The Speedo was a thin, dark blue one-piece affair whose shoulder straps some of the girls tied together behind with a ribbon so as to tauten the fabric over their pretty bosoms. On a correctly formed pubescent girl a Speedo looked wonderful, even when it was dry. When it was wet, it was an incitement to riot.'
Funny and revealing with a heartbreaking account of how his father became a POW in changi and never returned.
Its something of a cliche, but I'd describe Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James as a 'bellyful of laughs and a bucketfull of tears'.
A must read book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Laurence Williams on 30 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
As it is so funny, I read this book about every 5 years for a 'top-up'. I always enjoyed the scribings of Clive James in his 'The Observer' articles critiquing TV, so am already attracted to his style of writing.

This volume covers the his first years and, whilst his childhood is not necessarily that remarkable or so different from many other people, it is the way he writes about the various happenings through his life that make it so enjoyable to read.

Admittedly for British readers such as me, there are certain aspects which make it more of an attractive read due to his upbringing being in another country, but the central reason why this book makes me laugh so much is the way he delivers a literary 'punchline'.

The conciseness of the text also means there is little chance the reader will get bored, since no single subject is covered for very long.

This book, along with the following volumes covering his later life on arrival in the UK, is thoroughly recommended !
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Seren on 6 Oct 2003
Format: Paperback
I have owned this book since its first publishing in paperback and it has stood me in good stead through divorce, depression and hospitilization. In short if black clouds are looming this book will chase them away. Snot snortingly funny, well written and honestly moving. Its the one book I would never want to be without. Buy it - you won't regret it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karl McCann on 11 Dec 2001
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up for three reasons - I had read some of Clives work previously and enjoyed it, I have always loved his style and dry wit on TV, and I had lived for a time in Sydney, Australia.
Unreliable Memoirs is an excellent illustration of Clives humour, and a bright insight into a Syndey that once was.
Altogether funny, Clive builds up episodes and explodes them with a sardonic punchline. The general advice is to read this book alone - not because you can't suppress laughter in public, but you won't be able to suppress surprise!
I am looking forward to completing the other two books in this trilogy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback