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on 6 October 2010
I consider photos to be an essential part of a biography (or autobiography in this case). I was disappointed to find that they were not present in the Kindle version. I have obtained a refund from Amazon and have orderd the traditional book instead.

5 stars for the book, 5 for Amazon's customer services but 0 stars for Harper Collins who somehow think it's OK to issue a sub-standard product.

I came across a section where Chris was talking about his brother and he wrote something along the lines of "And here is a picture of him" and there was no picture. What??? Cheated. May seem petty to some but having recently purchased a Kindle (not cheap) I did not expect to find such shoddy work when the Kindle is perfectly able to display the photos.

Sort yourself out Harper Collins...
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on 23 September 2010
This is a very compelling read as Chris Evans gives a very honest insight into the story behind his rise to fame. Some great childhood anecdotes (I could empathise with the schooldays, being of a similar age) and it was very interesting to hear how Chris was fascinated by the allure of the radio and set about learning his craft (with an unexpected early mentor). In the end power did go to his head and frivolous ideas, such as not turning up for work at Radio 1 after a Xmas party, really did backfire. It is a rise and fall tale but Chris is now back up there and I look forward to the next instalment.
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on 8 October 2009
When you think Chris Evans you probably think one of these things; ginger, glasses, big breakfast, don't forget your toothbrush, boozing. But in this book, which he explains isn't done in chapters like usual but is arranged in `top tens', he talks about his life before fame and where he grew up, how he got into radio, his determination and things like that, and all about how he was a normal guy who just took risks and got lucky. It also says at the end that there is another book to come with loads more stuff about Chris, which after this book I am really looking forward to!
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on 18 March 2014
To be honest I've always enjoyed Chris Evans as a TV presenter; his presence on Big Breakfast, Don't Forget your Toothbrush, TFI Friday coincided with my teen years and energy and fun of those shows, and him in particular is infectious. So I was looking forward to learning more about his route to fame and how he helped shape some pioneering formats.

Unsurprisingly for an autobiography it's a fairly linear story from boy to man. He adds a few twists to spice up the format picking the main theme for a particular part of life being presented and then starts with a "top 10 ..." about that theme. There's an appendix which contains letters from key people in Chris's life who are discussed in the book; it looks like a batch of job references but a nice insight nonetheless.

There are enough anecdotes to keep you turning the pages and there's plenty of his trademark optimism to carry you through the book and the writing itself is decent. It's a good reminder at how "overnight successes" like Chris actually required years and years of hard work, low pay - if any, and a dedication to the medium of radio.

That said he's still a bit too "luvvie" for my liking. You'd be forgiven for thinking the media world contains a vast majority of lovely, happy people. He's cautious not to rock the boat by anonymising a few people despite the stories not being too incriminating. He's so successful and likeable that he can deliver and justify mea culpa after mea culpa; it was difficult to sense the sincerity though. I came away feeling that I discovered very little about Toothbrush and TFI (although the Concorde story was brilliant), and to some extent Big Breakfast too. The emphasis on radio came through loud and clear. The top 10s were a gimmick that wears thin after the first three or four chapters.

The biggest gripe however is the fact that this is simply part one of two yet I can't think of any justifiable reason to split them given that they were published so close together. Must have been purely to generate more money - this is probably a decision made by the publishers though. A single volume would have made more sense and been a better experience for readers.

A star had to be lost for HarperCollins not doing a great job on their ebook despite this being a big title for them. There are supposed to be photographs - as is common in autobiographies - and some are even referenced yet they are completely absent. There were also a few formatting issues. Such flaws would never be tolerated in print editions and I think it shows a surprising attitude to customers buying electronic copies that it's not worth even proof reading before general release.

Overall a fun read and makes you want to get out there, take on the world and achieve things you are passionate about. Stay happy and upbeat and the karma police will look after you. Despite my gripe about the two volumes I do intend on purchasing part two.
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on 7 October 2009
Can I first say that before reading this I really thought I already knew who Chris Evans was - a bit of a loudmouth w*nker if I'm being completely honest. But my girlfriend is a fan, and she kept mentioning funny bits and laughing at it, and she persuaded me to give it a go too. And I must say I have been pleasantly suprised. Chris comes across totally differently to how you would think, hence why the title is perfect for the book. He actually sounds like a decent, humble guy in this book, the sort of bloke you can imagine having a beer and a chat about cars with. Nice one Chris!
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on 17 July 2010
This is not a bad book by any means, the self indulgent where I came from, rags to riches story is far too long at the start. However the stuff we never knew about Chris, and how he started in radio will make fascinating reading for anyone interested enough.

Where it falls down though is the lack of any real content about The Big Breakfast or Radio 1, the two milestones of his career. It's almost as though they didn't exist, compared to the intricate detail we get about working in a newsagent and his first kiss, very little is said about the year when Chris was the most talked about man in Britain.

Peppered with long words that I'm sure Chris had to look up, the style is a little defensive and sometimes nauseating, however still a good read and if you actually remember what happened back in the late 90s you will raise a chuckle at the spin Chris now puts on it.
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on 1 May 2012
I used to enjoy "Toothbrush" and some of Chris' other TV work, but he always seemed to me to be essentially a publicity-seeker, determined to be an enfant terrible and to draw attention to himself any way he could. When he was in the news for refusing to do his radio show on a Friday morning, I thought "What a total knob" and lost interest in him. I heard he was taking over from Terry Wogan on radio 2 and assumed the BBC were either totally desperate or making a big mistake, possibly both. Then I actually listened to a show and was hooked. I've never thought Chris was daft but now I know just how accomplished he is. OK, he's a DJ, the world won't collapse without him, but he is just brilliant at his job. I particularly admire his ability to talk to anyone and everyone, and the conversation is about them, NOT him (J Ross, please note). The book is fascinating; obviously it is a subjective view, what with it being an autobiography, but it gives the impression he's telling the truth as he sees it. Maybe he's trying to justify/excuse the follies of his youth, but he does so most entertainingly and always self-deprecatingly. There is barely a trace of the revenge and payback so often found in auobiography and I admire him for that. In my view, Chris has hidden depths and I suspect he will continue to surprise us for many years to come. Can't wait to continue the story in "Memoirs of a Fruitcake".
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on 31 December 2009
I have long suspected that Chris Evans is a sharper cookie than his public carefree personna appears to be. Detailed accounts of how he personally negotiated one-on-one with Richard Branson confirm this. There is no suspicion of a ghost writer; this has clearly been written by Chris himself.
Some of the Top 10 summaries that introduce each chapter are rather trivial, but many are very revealing and a few represent as good business advice as you'll read anywhere else.
All this is in addition to a refreshing, engaging, clear writing style, amusing and touching throughout.
I bought this hardback half price but it's well worth the full RRP - this one will stay on my bookshelf until I next re-read it.
Only thing I can't quite get is how he pulled so many attractive women!!? charm and money I guess, probably the former rather than the latter.
The title sums up the book beautifully.
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on 8 January 2010
Just finished the book. I enjoyed it - it was interesting to read about the background to Chris's rise to fame and to find out that there was a lot of hard work involved in being an "overnight success" - alot of Chris's work was unpaid. Chris comes across as very likeable and probably an inspiring person to work for or be around - it made me think about my own life and pushing myself a bit more to see what I could achieve.

I would say that after all that time on the Big Breakfast and TFI it would have been good to have a few more funny anecdotes - there must be loads more he could have included. Chris also doesn't name everyone - he will have his reasons but I would prefer to know who he was talking about! If you enjoyed this you would enjoy Piers Morgan's first book - he is a lot less discreet!

However, I am looking forward to Part Two!
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on 19 March 2010
I have read many autobiographies over the years and would rate this as one of the best. I practically grew up watching Chris on the Big Breakfast, Don't Forget your Toothbrush, and the fantastic TFI Friday - and then switched to Virgin Radio as a result of wanting to listen to Chris on the breakfast show (I'm still an Absolute Radio listener now as I reallly love their music philosophy!)

Chris admits to many mistakes in the course of his life, but comes across as a warm, genuine and funny human being who lives life to the full - and the story of how he bought Virgin Radio from the almighty Richard Branson is an absolute gem.
Worth reading even if you weren't previously a fan of the Ginger one... and I can't wait for Book 2!
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