on 11 November 2005
Dave Allen was one of the great comedians. If you watched him on TV in the seventies and eighties and nineties, you loved him for the way he'd always treat you like an equal, never sought to be cruel and always sent you away smiling - and thinking. He was proof of the axiom that you don't have to be intelligent to be funny, but it certainly helps. This wonderful, wonderful collection of his best stories, jokes, one-liners and witty observations, organised to capture the ongoing nature of the humour as you move from age to age, is just about the nicest and most apt tribute to the man and his memory that I could have imagined (apart of course from more film of the man in action), and I'm so glad to have it. Dip into it, read it all the way through - whatever - it is the best of its kind that I've read. Classy cover, classy selection, classy man. Goodness me, how we miss him - but how good it is to have this of his to treasure.
on 1 January 2006
It`s taken me some time to write a review of this book, but I will try!
I hope alot of people will have received this wonderful book for Christmas, and been reminded of how brilliant and varied his material really was. Or found out for the first time - I really hope new people will continue discovering him.
Not only does the material zip off the page (which proves it wasn`t just about his delivery, as people often said),but Graham McCann, in his introductions to each chapter, gives him the intelligent analyses that he so deserves. He even, I think, provides an answer to why so many of my age group (late 30`s/early 40`s) have such happy memories of watching Dave Allen, supposedly so adult, in our 70`s childhoods. It`s because we recognised him as someone who was on our side. His targets were always authority figures, not the vulnerable, and he never laughed at people for being different.It set him apart then - and, sadly, would set him apart now.
Yes, alot of us miss him more than the media seems to realise - but at least Graham McCann realises, and has stepped in to fill the void. Unlike Carolyn Soutar`s book, this was compiled with the full assistance of Dave Allen`s family - he wanted to be known for his work, not his private life. They have allowed reproduction of his cartoons and pages from his notebooks - he was more than "just" a comedian. We can only hope that they also allow more material to be released on DVD in the near future.
on 5 November 2007
Surely this is going to be Hamlet without the prince? The whole point about Dave Allen was his delivery, his timing, his charisma. How could a book capture that?
Yet somehow, against all odds, this book does just that. As you read the jokes and their punchlines, some pithy, some rambling monologues, you hear his voice in your head, imagine him sitting there with his drink and his cigarette (he gave up the latter later on - a cue for more hilarious material).
This is the man captured in book form - priceless!
on 28 March 2011
I think that Dave Allen would be pleased to know that six years after his passing, his comedy still had me in tears of laughter. Dave Allen was a unique talent and the world was for three decades a bit more tolerable. Thankfully the church does have a sense of humour.
I will remain a fan to my last breath.
Thank you Graham for writing this book. Regards to Jane, Edward, Karin, and Dave.
Most of all thank you Gilbert David Tynan O'Mahony may you rest in peace.
This is brilliant: I can remember some of the jokes quoted and are still fresh today but as well as the gags, it gives a REAL insight in Dave Allen as a person over many years with a delightful account of his upbringing etc and altogether, with the research that shows in the pages, a wonderful read and all I would say is if you want a REAL book about Dave, look no further. I rest my case - its the brown leather look one with a naff hinge...
on 28 September 2010
We lost a great man in Dave Allen. He was intelligent, generous, insightful, decent and very, very, very funny. He puts most of today's comedians to shame, because he never seemed to be interested in fame or fortune or any of the nonsense that so many style page preeners covet so keenly in this day and age. He communicated things to his audience that always came with a sense of truth as well as humour. This book - beautifully organised - does a superb job of capturing the spirit of the man as well as the words and the laughter. I absolutely treaure it.
on 30 May 2011
Without doubt Dave Allen was a comedian ahead of his time. While his peers were still telling jokes, Allen was turning his observations of life into comedy treasure well before `alternate' comedians had identified the style. Allen's style was simple, engaging with the audience in his intimate and inimitable fashion, and his comedy was based not just on the witticisms of his observations but on understanding how his audience would respond to his humour. This anthology is well structured, providing some background on Allen (and in the process revealing, inadvertently, how private he was), and the jokes well chosen. Every joke carries Allen's touch and the reproduction of some of his handwritten notes adds to the anthology. Most of all, Allen's distinctive voice can still be heard as the jokes are read. A real treat for all his fans.
on 8 December 2011
great little book very detailed and very funny,bought it for my dad but i read it first,just realized how talanted he was,great gift
Recently finished this book and I have to say it was a joy just reading about the sketches and tales. Some parts of the book had me laughing aloud almost.
Well worth the read.
on 19 January 2006
A great read. We are still laughing weeks later. Wish we could have more of the same.
Thanks Graham for giving us this.