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4.1 out of 5 stars
Frank Skinner on the Road
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2009
Fluently written, insightful and very, very funny. I read the 'banana' story in public and (genuinely) had someone come up to me and ask what I was reading, as I was laughing so much.

Note: I recommended this book to an intelligent, pretty & witty female acquantance, thinking it would (a) curry favour and (b) give her an insight into the strange workings of the male mind, and...since reading it she looks at me, er, differently...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2010
Frank says (wisely) that he tries to avoid reviews and revues.

I'll keep this review short - I loved this book from the moment I started it. It is an easy read (written mostly as a tour diary during 2007) ... but that is not to suggest that it is anything other than a thoroughly entertaining piece of work.

You are engaged from the very first lines (as he takes his 'Harry Potter' trip from Kings Cross to the Edinburgh Festival) and are forced to turn the pages as if the book were a good (and amusing) thriller. Frank can be both incredibly funny and then suddenly places his heart on his sleeve so that you feel his pain as he tries to decide if/why his show was good or bad.

You learn many things about Frank that you'd probably never have known from simply watching 'Frank the performer' (he's the UK's 69th most influential lay Catholic - who'd have suspected THAT?!) and as a result of these fearless revelations you find yourself warming to him very much.

A funny and honest man with a real heart. Read this book - it is every bit as good as his first one.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2008
I read Frank's autobiography last year and loved it so was excited to find out he had a second one coming out. Really interesting read, following him on tour, and finding out about how he makes people (including me!)laugh. I've got the new DVD too which he talks about in this book! Both ace!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I picked up this book on a recommendation, not as a fan of Frank Skinner. I don't mind the man. He's very quick, well suited to panel shows, and certainly a natural comedian - but he also comes across as a little bit chauvinistic, and a little bit cheesy. A comedian for the 'Loaded' generation, if you like - his words. On the Road' did a good job at dispelling some of those notions, and Skinner comes across as honest, likeable and incredibly self-deprecating.

The book follows Frank's return to the circuit, following a year in his life developing a routine, putting it into shape at Edinburgh, and finally touring the country with a full set. There's a great deal of insight into Skinner's many neuroses, a fair amount of comedy-misery to wallow in, and a lot to laugh and groan at.

I will be picking up Frank Skinner's autobiography next, which is testament to this book. Well written, interesting, and a nice round window into the world of stand-up.
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on 1 February 2013
This account of Skinners return to stand up comedy after a 10 year break in 2007 belies the idea that comedy cannot be analysed. Indeed Skinner uses a journal/diary format to riff effortlessly about the nature of (his) comedy; the stand up tour of the country itself and his genuine love for his tempestuous partner Cath (of the manga eyes) along with myriad other observations; anecdotes and excerpts from his finely honed and scored routines as they evolved over the tour. Skinner can really write and manages to perfectly capture particular moments- observations about towns and cities; venues; favourite art works and the contradictions in his own crude comedic persona and the non-drinking, intellectualised Roman catholic that he actually is. Time and time again, in a sort of confessional manner that draws the reader in he admits his actual vulnerability. the insecurity caused by a positive comment that he can only dissect for any caveat or back handed compliment. There is also the trademark razor sharp wordplay and a justification for crudity as from a naughty schoolboy rather than a genuinely nasty piece of work. At times his riffing is pitch perfect in its ability to allow the reader inside his personal philosophy and hang ups. Indeed, his concern about trying to gauge the success of routines from gig to gig verges on the paranoia suggesting an insecurity that is gold plated. Skinner claims such well sketched stories are based on a daily journal that he keeps though I doubt he has time to really maintain this. Still, a thick volume for posterity may be on the cards!! There are so many things that Skinner covers that this book would bear re-reading several times at least if only for his observations about Art, music and religion which appear honest and if you forgive the pun- surprisingly Frank! The publisher has chosen to include some reviews at the back of the volume of Franks stand up tour but they are often badly reproduced and very small print which makes them difficult to read. Overall though this book was a compulsive read and does much to confirm Skinner as a top notch comedian and a top notch writer to boot.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I read Skinner's autobiography a few years ago because someone loaned it to me, rather than because I deliberately went out to buy it. I had always found watching him mildly amusing, but not really my cup of tea. The book on the other hand, was fascinating. He writes fluently and with great self perception. He also managed to be entertaining throughout, which is not always a given in a life story. Consequently I was very curious to read this next chapter, as Skinner chronicles his return to the stand up circuit ten years after last treading the boards.

In many ways I found it more revealing than the first volume. Skinner lays bare many of his less appealing traits, his neuroses, his self-obsession, his diva'ish qualities, his shaky track record with relationships and is brutally honest about his failings. I cannot imagine the book was easy to write. For me there were less laugh out loud moments in this book, but I enjoyed it more because it seemed more real. It is what makes him tick.
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on 26 April 2012
This book charts Frank Skinner's return to stand-up after a decade's absence from the live stage. However, it is far more than your average collection of diary entries - it gives a rare and detailed insight into the insecurities and doubts of a comedian facing again the cauldron that is live comedy. In his writing, Frank shows himself to be sensitive, articulate and, above all, painfully honest about those things that possess for him the deepest personal sense of worth. In particular, his Catholic faith, love of Opera and knowledge of literature are all far-removed from his brash, and sometimes controversial, stage persona. Despite the transparency contained in this work, Frank still comes across as a rather private, but not aloof, individual. Nevertheless, through the many sections of serious autobiographical revelation, there is a rich vein of Frank's irreverent, infectious and inimitable sense of humour. I loved this book and I'm sure many others will too.
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Bought to fuel my new admiration for Frank Skinner and for an accurate representation of what it's like to be a touring comedian this was a good read. Written in Frank's erudite but accessable style it tells of how after years of TV work he's hitting the road again with his stand-up show, firstly in Edinburgh then across the country. Allied with this is Frank's committment to the Roman Catholic Church, his on/off relationship with girlfriend Cath and his general interest in all things arty. As you'd expect there's a fair amount of written gags, self-deprecation and general introspection but don't let that put you off. I enjoyed this book but wanted to read the story of Frank's early days so I've bought the first edition of his biography to fill in the gaps.
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on 9 May 2014
Read Franks first book over ten years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, went to see him live in the man in a suit tour, outstanding, funny from beginning to end, read his first book again and enjoyed it all over again.
Decided to see if he had any other books so bought this one, what a struggle to read, unlike his first book which had all his favourite stories and childhood memories this one follows him on a stand-up tour, all you get is his insecurities and fear of bad reviews, every days thoughts or analysis of his gigs are dragged out with very little humour or interest to the reader. I have gotten half way through and given up, this is a rarity for me as if there is any merit in a book I will persevere but this was too tedious.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I teach joke writing and I always recommend this book to my students because it gives such a good idea of how an act is built. I love it that Skinner gets to the town he's gigging in early, looks at their local paper, and works on jokes. So many people think stand-up comedy is just `making it up'. Skinner shows what it's really like in a way that won't put anyone off doing comedy but might inspire them onward. It's not only hilariously honest (yes, blokey, but real, with heart underneath) but It's a lovely read too.
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