Customer Reviews


68 Reviews
5 star:
 (45)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic recollection of an Australian childhood
"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...
Published on 13 Sep 2004 by T. Bently

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Ok book well used
Published 1 month ago by Sandy


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic recollection of an Australian childhood, 13 Sep 2004
By 
T. Bently "tbently" (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest books ever, 24 Sep 2009
This review is from: Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) (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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most fun I've ever had reading a book, 11 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars self deprecatingly funny, 14 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious account of growing up in Sydney during the war, 12 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, Sweet and Hilarious !, 30 Dec 2007
This review is from: Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) (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 !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An antidote to bad times!, 6 Oct 2003
This review is from: Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 11 Dec 2001
This review is from: Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unforgetable, 19 Feb 2002
By 
This review is from: Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) (Paperback)
I am about to buy this book for the second time, my first copy having been lost long agao. In a recent discussion with a friend we recounted our list of best books. and this was at the top of my 'auto-biography' list. Although it is many years since I last read it it still remains vivid in my memory. I can still picture the 'dunny-man' running full tilt into Clives carelessly discarded bicycle and spilling the contents of the Dunny all over the yard. or the box-car race down a steephill.
the comic timing is excellent the story so well told it leaves you breahless with admiration for his intellegence and self-depreciating humour. Yes it is laugh-out-loud funny. it is a book you will urge your friends to read after you. Buy it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOL, 16 Sep 2012
This review is from: Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) (Paperback)
Clive James is a genius who marries up pathos with humour in such a way as to opens up your own life story along the way.He is honest and sincere. Read it and LOL,wince a little, shed a tear or two. Unforgetable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books)
Unreliable Memoirs: Autobiography (Picador Books) by Clive James (Paperback - 7 Nov 2008)
£7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews