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on 23 October 2010
... which is to say I'm very much on the fence about Booky Wook 2. I certainly don't think it punches at the weight that Booky Wook (1) managed. Book 1 was a real treat. Absolutely hilarious, searingly honest, well written and warm. The person you glimpsed behind the words had recovered from a terrible part of their life with kindness and decency intact, and you wanted them to be your friend. Sadly I get none of that with Booky Wook 2- it is very much missing the 'warm.' The first time he harped on about how deserved and inevitable his propulsion to the lofty heights of stardom was, I thought, 'good for you, Russell. No false modesty here. You worked for it- you should be proud.' The second time he devoted a flowery paragraph to the same subject I frowned. The third time I grimaced. The twentieth time I was starting to think I didn't like him after all. Yes, he always said he was egotistical, but what actually came across was a man humbled by life and grateful for acknowledgment. It seems hollywood has eaten that away and convinced him he's the best thing ever. This is just my opinion, of course, by it's a shame, innit?
I'm also not fond of the brown-nosing he lavishly applies too all named celebrities. Name dropping I can live with, but waxing lyrical on how they're all so bloody kind, gentle and wonderful just sticks in my throat. Not cool.
Last of the downers is that I don't think its as well written as book 1, either. The more ambitious sections of Book 1 were always hit and miss anyway, but some parts had a certain grace to them. Similar sections in Booky Wook 2 feel a bit too forced for me, and read like a considered exercise in verbose, creative prose- which he's actually not as good at as he thinks.
It's not all bad news though, because the book's saving grace is that it is absolutely hey-larious. I don't like his 'listen to what my friend said' sections, written in script form (in fact not one of those made me laugh) but when he casually throws a joke at a normal paragraph it hits you cross wind and kills you. In my opinion he's at his best when he not trying to be a writer and is just telling you about his life and jibbing around it. The stuff about Saint Francis marching up to someone and declaring he is "well religious" just ruined me. As did his thoughts of voodoo in prison. If you want to laugh out loud like a donkey and annoy all the people around you, this is the book for you.
So what am I complaining about? Well.. I guess I'm just a bit sad that I didn't emerge from this book feeling as warm and fuzzy about Russell Brand as I did before. I still like him and all, but just not quite so much. Maybe with the next book he'll win me back, not that he needs me. Anyway, if you want me, Russell, I'm ready and willing (wink, wink).
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My Booky Wook 2 suffers from Biography sequel syndrome (see Peter Kay's Saturday Night Peter) in that the 1st book always intrigues as you get an insight into the star's early life, written with all the expected wit that has made them a star in the first place. Book 2 covers the fame years, when we already know the story and so it is harder to convey from a new angle. I am a big fan of Brand's as for me he is part of the great tradition of naturally gifted British comedians but a lot of the material here was quite often a re-hash of stage material (although it is very funny material). He does open up about the truth behind `SachsGate' (the best part of the book) and reveals a vulnerable side underlying the cocky exterior but it does not flow as well as the 1st book. The story is of course so current and in time it may mature as a book with age.
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on 24 October 2010
Now that Brand's fame has reached gargantuan proportions, this timely book give the inside story on many of the controversies of the past few years. The "Bring Back Trevor" campaigners will be interested to see why Brand dropped him based on some rather dubious (to say the least) legal allegations. The genesis of the "put down of the decade" against Geldof is fully set out, and most importantly we find out why he and Matt stopped talking, which led to the strange events of late 2008.

I found the last bit about Katy Perry a bit unconvincing as he tries to persuade us he has put his womanising days behind him for this rather plain american girl (let's guess how that one will finish!).

Overall a good read, some funny stories, not quite up to BW1 but, especially for fans of his from the 6 Music days an interesting read. Who knows how his Hollywood adventure will turn out but from Britain's no.1 comedian of 2006-8 this is another entertaining book.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2012
Booky Wook 2 is the sequel to My Booky Wook hence misses out a lot of Russell's life that the first book would have covered. I haven't read the first book which is a little unfortunate as some of the characters in this book were introduced there so I missed out on their introductions, plus there are other things I wasn't up to speed on.

It didn't matter too much though. This is still an amusing tale of Russell's life, presumably picking up from where the first volume finished.

This book is split into four parts: the first covers his growing fame; the second covers his making steps into Hollywood; the third part is about things going terribly wrong; and the fourth part is about things getting better again.

So probably the best bits are in the third part of the book where things go wrong with the hosting of the MTV VMA awards and he starts to receive death threats which he then ridicules. (This all may be similar to the stand-up routine he was doing during his Scandalous tour, I seem to remember something similar, but it was certainly funny to read too.) There are other moments in the book too where extracts from radio shows or email exchanges have been inserted to fill out the pages but overall it is a decent enough story, with a little bit of Morrissey thrown in as well, along with tales spent with numerous women, including his initial encouters with Katy Perry.

I enjoyed it.
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on 26 November 2010
Unfortunately, Brand's sophomore effort in the literary cum autobiography world is lacking what his debut book offered: original raw funnyness. While Booky Wooky the first kept me glued to the pages and laughing throughout, Booky Wooky 2 was full of stale old jokes I had seen him perform live or uninteresting celebrity stories. The first book, about a young Essex lad, and his trials and tribulations along the way to fame, was full of interesting stories and gambits we would never have otherwise known, whereas half of this book seemed to be about the Andrew Sachs scandal.

The problem really can be attributed to the slim comedian dilemma. In the recent semi-flop 'Funny Men', Jonah Hill's chubby character tells Seth Rogen's mediocre sized character that the reason he is not having success as a stand-up comic is that he has recently lost a lot of weight and in essence, people prefer to see fat losers on stage and laugh at them/with them. At a recent local stand-up gig I attended, a comedian opened with: 'I was bullied at school. How else do you think I started doing this?' Certainly, Russell's initial stories of awkward and sometimes abject failure - like the one where he chucked that prostitute's phone against the wall and then felt really bad - had a more intrinsically funny base for comedy than stories of how he nailed the most desirable woman in the UK.

And furthermore, the first book was all about a promiscuous junkie essentially, not taking life too seriously. This book, however, had almost every sentence (certainly the end of every chapter) punctuated with the fact that Russell was waiting for 'the one'. Sad as it is to say it because of course he deserves his happiness, but a successful monogamous Russell Brand is simply less funny.
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on 9 December 2010
I loved the first Booky Wook. I'd seen some of his stand up on tv and you could see that he had talent and was a good comic. His first book was funny, emotional, sad, happy, and absolutely hilarious in parts, and I really enjoyed it. The "nicest" thing was that he was self effacing, and whenever he showed off, he would sooner or later put himself down or admit that he isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread.

This second book is horrible. I couldn't read past the first few pages. His comments about Kate Moss were enough to put anybody off reading further. He was describing her as if she wasn't human, as if she was some sort of Goddess, better looking and more intelligent than anybody else. And this went on for far too long. I don't know if this was part of him becoming too famous and trying to stay "in" with that crowd, or whether he actually thought all those things about her. Also he seemed to be playing with words just for the sake of it, just to show off. In the first book it was effortless, it looked like he wasn't even trying. But here it comes off as forced.

He's obviously a talented, and very funny and intelligent man. He just got it wrong in my opinion with this book.
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on 6 December 2015
The opening chapter where a star struck Brand tells us of seducing Croydon clothes horse Kate Moss, describing her as “The world’s most beautiful woman!” is an exercise in total cringeworthy adolescence, reading like an entry from an awkward teenager’s diary.

There is no shortage of the cringeworthy here, not least how seriously he rates his impact as an actor on Hollywood. He needs to learn that insatiable desire rarely translates smoothly into genuine talent or ability. He just can’t seem to get it into his head that repeatedly telling us how funny he thinks his mates are by repeating verbal conversations in written form, clearly not seeing how a. How much is lost in the translation b. They tend not to be that funny in the first place. The exception being Noel Gallagher.

His constant need for approval and external validation is exhausting, he goes on about screwing women for so long that it genuinely reduces it to just another sleazy, routine and banal act . He throws the words genius, love, heroes and hilarious around like cheap confetti rendering them almost meaningless. Clearly overlooking the declaration of world war, he describes the Sachs episode as…“And so began perhaps the most significant minute of broadcasting in the BBC’s history.” Which is laughable but not really that surprising in its self deluded hubris.

At his best he can be eloquent, honest and very witty. At his worst he is cold, self obsessed, self indulgent, self deluded and a monotonous bore and in between he is sometimes interesting. Too often he attempts to cloak and disguise his awful and low actions as humour, faux spiritualism, pseudo philosophy or rubbish poetry. This isn’t as engaging or enjoyable as its predecessor but I’d say that it’s definitely worth borrowing a copy.
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on 22 March 2011
There are a lot of reviews here, so I think it best to keep this quite short and sweet.

Not quite as engaging as the original Booky Wook. The first one was more like, as Brand himself would say,'a miniature Greek tragedy', and of course that's always going to be compelling. Stories of rich people doing well - even when it's someone as flawed as Russell - aren't that compelling, and obviously that's what this booky wook was about.

The story started with some stream-of-consciousness ramblings that might have been best left unwritten - they were a bit wearisome and didn't make an awful lot of sense, except the bit about Schrodinger's cat. That was very funny.

Towards the end, I was very moved by his beautiful description of how he fell in love with Katy Perry. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy and yearning inside.

Prior to this, I was also moved by his description of how lonely he became in his ardent promiscuity.

This being a book by Russell Brand, there were many paragraphs of absolute masturbatory (in every sense) self-indulgence, such as his lengthy description of how amazing it was to date Kate Moss (which was a bit tiresome actually - she's just a human being after all), the emails he exchanged with his hero, Morrissey, and his mucky bathtime protest in an LA hotel.

I did laugh out loud a few times because it was very very funny and it's hard not to love Russell's intelligent, thoughtful nonsense.

In summary, then: Foucalt. Toblerone. Russell! (you'll understand if you read the book)
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VINE VOICEon 5 April 2011
Loved the original Booky Wook.This Number 2 version is merely mildly entertaining.It is very much more of a typical showbiz biography and,while it is rather readable,the whole experience is far less satisfactory.There is so much puff about Russell being mates with Noel Gallagher, Morrissey and Jonathan Ross and Helen Mirren and and and the namedrops just keep on coming...Russell Brand does have an abundance of charm and wit and that does go along way.
However, he should leave more of a gap until embarking upon Booky Wook 3
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on 7 February 2011
Having read and enjoyed My Booky Wook I was eager to read the sequel, and having done so I would definitely recommend it to anyone with an appreciation of Russell Brand's work. This book, as would be expected of a sequel, follows on from where the first autobiography left off. As such it charts many of Brand's hijinks in the glare of his newfound fame. After covering so many incredibly personal details in the first instalment, such as his years as a drug addict and his tumultuous childhood, some of his musings on fame and his seemingly unquenchable appetite for all things sexual do seem a little trivial in comparison. Nevertheless, Brand is still very funny throughout. Brand's writing is a real positive in the book's favour and manages to be conversational, while at the same time being florid and quite show-offish, and as such compliments Brand's persona very well and really makes you feel like you're reading a book that could only have been written by Brand himself. If I was forced to identify a shortcoming the only major thing that comes to mind is the fact that some segments of the book are very similar to previous stand-up material, particularly the chapter about his experiences making "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". All in all though, it is an excellent read and very readable and entertaining throughout.
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