on 28 October 2011
As a massive Alan Gordon Partridge fan, I too was sceptical about this book, worrying that it would be a bit lame and play it safe and ultimately I would be dissapointed. How wrong was I. This is a book that I pick up and read but don't want to read too much because I don't want to finish it. If you are a fan it will be the best thing you read/buy all year.
You hear Partridge as you read the book and its almost as if he is reading it to you. You laugh out load because, its funny. You feel sorry for Alan, you feel embarrassed for Alan, you feel embarrassed because of Alan and sometimes you even agree with Alan.
Never written a review before but...............this is ruddy.....ruddy excellent. Back of the net!
on 13 August 2012
This was an absolute hoot! It helps if you apreciate Partidge humour of course and as a fan I found this book absolutley hilarious. The key is to imagine his voice narrating it to you. It's an autobiography of sorts in which he talks about the many episodes of his life, some of which featured in his various tv series. However this book adds a lot of humourous depth to embelish those times we are familiar with in series such as I'm Alan Partridge. I was actually surprised at just how much depth there was to this book and how original it all felt despite having seen just about all of his television work, in some ways I found reading the book funnier than watching his shows. If you've ever sniggered at one of his television performances then buy this book, you won't regret it!
Was lucky enough to be given I, Partridge as a Christmas present and only got around to starting it a few days ago. Have just completed it in just a few sittings, I can honestly state that this brilliant parody contains more laughs per page than anything I've read since Bored of the Rings!
What a wonderful creation Alan Partridge is - a sort of cringeworthy and outrageously smug, arrogant and egotistic mélange of Noel Edmonds, Eamonn Holmes and Terry Wogan; obviously hugely exaggerated but still scarily believable, which is where the genius lies. This very clever mock autobiography makes inspired references to Alan's "career" from the early days on The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You and through to the end of I'm Alan Partridge. This guarantees a big nostalgia kick to all fans of the TV shows, but there's more, much more. There are side-splittingly funny accounts of Alan's childhood and school days (where a lot of his smouldering grudges and hang-ups were born), his disastrous relationships, catastrophic failed projects, his bizarre hopes and aspirations and even rare moments of self-doubt such as when he considered hanging up his headphones. All these hilarious events are accompanied by copious footnotes, an admirably comprehensive (and exquisitely funny) index and even Alan's personally selected soundtrack (what a great idea!).
Obviously, if you're not a fan of the TV shows, the humour may well escape you. If you enjoyed the shows though, this is an essential purchase!
I'm probably not the only one who, on seeing a book has photos in the middle, eagerly turns to them to get a flavour of what treasures the text will hold. On opening I, Partridge, my eyes first fell upon a photo with the caption "Me, Sue Lewis, a stable lad and a horse (second left)." I spluttered my tea out at that point.
Utterly utterly brilliant!
This is quite honestly the funniest book I have ever read. You'd be forgiven for thinking that an entire book written in character from one of these isles' and comedy history's most successful, developed and believable creations could fall short of expectations on many levels, but it doesn't. Not one facet of the superbly titled "I Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan" (even the TITLE is 100% character-accurate) didn't live up to my expectations.
Coogan, Iannucci and newcomers the brothers Gibbons have created a very complete history for Partridge that effortlessly (and again, believably) takes in aspects of his storied past from the events of I'm Alan Partridge right back to anecdotes recounted in the lesser-seen (or heard) radio version of Knowing Me, Knowing You (whose referenced Steven McCombe is given a further verbal thrashing by our vengeful Alan). If you've felt that some of Coogan's ventures with the character have seen disjointed (how, precisely, did he get from I'm... to the excellent Mid Morning Matters, for example, and what's become of his supporting cast?) this book should serve to tie things together, though don't misread me- this is not a loosely assembled retread of common ground. There's not a page that doesn't boast a fresh tale, an exaggerated recollection or a declaration of excellence in some mundane field. Iannucci and Coogan's belief in the character (who they attest in the DVD extras for one episode dresses the way he does because it's the way Roger Moore started to in his later Bond appearances, and in another discuss - in detail - what numbers they think Alan would find funny) is what makes this rich, rich fictional history such a compelling and comical read. If you've ever wanted to know more about his relationships with Michael, Carol, Lynn or Sonja or precisely how someone so socially inept landed a gig presenting a primetime chatshow, you'll not be left wanting.
I, Partridge contains absolutely everything I would have wanted from it (Partridgeisms as disparate as using abbreviations only to have to explain them and thereby diminishing their usefulness or boasting about reading books aimed at 12-year-olds at age 9, to name but two of many) but adds a whole new layer of idiosyncrasy (the use of footnotes herein, for example, is particularly inspired) and is bolstered by Alan's unique (if clearly derivative) and acutely observed sense of prose, which is so commonly featured that to single out ay one example seems pointless.
The book's appeal is wide-ranging enough to accommodate those like myself who've devoured every audio commentary and Youtube-sourced guest appearance they can get their hands on in addition to relative newcomers or even those with no frame of reference for the character at all, simply because it's so well written and so fully realised that it functions as a great read no matter how you engage with it. You don't have to have heard Alan's recollections of youth in his televised outings to find his here-recited tales of being prone to nosebleeds or awkward first forays into sexual exploration amusing. It's a great comedy read in addition to being a great celebration of a character worth celebrating.
I'm not exaggerating when I say this book has made me laugh out loud more than any book I've ever read (in one sitting, no less), nor am I exaggerating when I say I'll probably re-read and re-read and analyse this tome to death much as I have Partridge's previous exposures. It is, as much as a book written by a fictional character could ever be, absolutely perfect.
"Other than those moments when I've either punched or shot people live on air, the name Alan Partridge has come to be a byword for broadcasting excellence."
With his big screen debut on the near horizon, it's a good time to visit Alan Gordon Partridge's seminal memoir (the second one, not the one that got pulped). Some may laugh, a lot, but this is no mere cheap cash-in aimed at the Christmas market but a fully realised journey through a remarkable life, the full importance of which has yet to - and may never be - realised. And Partridge pulls no punches, revisiting the highlights of his distinguished career without recycling and rehashing old material, preferring to fill in the gaps between shows - his childhood battle against nosebleeds, the breakup of his marriage (it's hard to talk about, but Harper-Collins have insisted), finding solace in pony trekking until Brokeback Mountain came out and it didn't feel right anymore, the aftermath of his fallout with Glenn Ponder, his friendships with Bill Oddie and Sue Cook, the fate of his East European girlfriend who wanted desperately to marry him or anyone else with a British visa and, most harrowing of all, the root of his Toblerone addiction heck that set him back £54,000 (more than most unhappily married men spend on prostitutes in their whole life) when introduced to the chocolate treat by either Pepsi or Shirley of Pepsi and Shirley. When familiar ground is revisited, it's seen through Alan's eyes, which some cynics may find disingenuous, not least his unique interpretation of his memorable encounter with Tony Hayers in the BBC restaurant or his not at all nitpicking ruminations on the accidental murder of Forbes McAllister live on air.
And there's plenty of celebrity gossip along the way, including the revelation that his partnership with David Furnish is just a cover story to hide the fact that Elton John is straight and that David Essex might be a gypsy because Alan's reliably informed that he once tried to put a curse on Leo Sayer after an argument at an Indian restaurant, not to mention his always profound and well thought out political and philosophical opinions ("At many of the pivotal points in my life I've found that the best way to reach a decision is to find out what a Baptist would do, then do the oposite") as well as the odd lifestyle tip like the importance of eating roughage at a funeral reception buffet.
It's well worth picking up the audio book version because, while it may lack a picture section, this is a book that tends to lose a lot in print when Alan's delivery and intonation are such a big part of the emotional effect: it's the kind of smooth and commanding vocal performance that only years of honing your craft on hospital radio, Our Price in-store radio and Radio Norfolk and Radio North Norfolk's more challenging timeslots can produce. Take away the great man's voice, and you're only getting half the story - a patridge without feathers, as Alan might say. Back of the net!
on 2 September 2012
Alan Partridge - one either seems to love him, or hate him. I know people who see him as the most impressive comedy creation of modern times; others who find him completely unamusing and actually very aggrevating.
Obviously, if you fall into the second camp, don't read this book.
If you fall in to the first camp, let nothing stand between you and reading this book.
It is funny, genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud funny (and the last time I laughed out loud at a book was in 1998.) Quotation is hopeless because of the huge number of potentially quotable sections; my personal favourite of these being how Alan relates his feelings at the births of his son and daughter.
There is only one thing that I would say to people unsure over whether to read it or not, which is that it is without doubt funnier to read if you've encountered earlier Partridge projects, either radio or TV (but preferably both.) Otherwise, in-jokes and running gags may not quite have the edge that they did for me. If you're looking for an introduction to Alan Partridge (which seems unlikely, but is possible) then pick something else first.
But the long and the short of it is that "I, Partridge" is the funniest book I have read - possibly in my life, but if not, then definitely since 1998.
READ THIS BOOK. Subject to the above caveats.
...things i've ever listened to. I reminds me of the first time I heard the Ricky Gervais podcasts insofar as I laughed until I cried.
NOTE: This review is for the audio book - read by Steve Coogan himself. Amazon are mixing the book/audiobook reviews together for some reason.
What is utterly excellent about this is that it tells the events depicted in all the TV series - but through the distorted lens of Alan's perception.
It is a work of genius, and utterly hilarious to hear Alan tell his side of the story.
The audio book actually being read by Alan is another stroke of genius. His voice and intonation take it to another level entirely.
If you are a fan of the previous Alan Partridge shows, and know them well enough to appreciate the differences between Alan's version in the book and what actually happened - you will immediately get a scream out of this book.
If you were a fan but have forgotten the TV episodes - watch them through again before reading/listening to it.
If you don't like Alan P...don't buy it!
As a massive fan, I'd definitely recommend it - particularly the audio book.
on 4 January 2012
It isn't the funniest book ever written, and if it's the funniest book you've ever read, you have some treats in store for you, but it is 100% pure Partridge. It is so convincing you have to pinch yourself not to believe it. The convoluted metaphors, the shameless attempts to create a misery memoire, the misremembering of episodes we all watched on Knowing Me Knowing You or listened to on the radio. If you can contain yourself while reading this on public transport you should seriously consider taking up professional Poker. I had near-death experiences reading about school bully Stephen McCoombes (whose name Alan can barely recall, so insignificant was he, though he includes a photo of a house 'like the one McCoombes lives in), the section by his ex-wife Carol exonerating him of any blame in their marriage break-up (written in her own words, in the sense that she probably used all of these words at some point but not necessarily in that order or context) and the list of possible names for his self-built house. If you took the clever head of Melvyn Bragg and attached it by bolts in the manner of pioneering scientist Dr Frankenstein to the body of Jeremy Clarkson and drove it at speed in a Rover V6 Coupe into the minds of each and every member of the reading public, you would, statistically speaking, have 93% of the impact of this book.
on 27 August 2012
This book is hilarious. I have been a fan of Alan Partridge since 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', but I don't believe that any comic vehicle he has been involved with comes close to this book.
The writing in this book is fantastic, and reading it a second time provided me with a number of hilarious moments that I hadn't come across the first time around.
The story traces Alan's life from a child in Norwich, to being a top chat show host, to his return to local radio. Alan reflects on the time he accidentaly shot one of his guests, his wife's affair with a gym instructor and many other very funny stories. When he recalls his teenage and university years the tone reminds me of Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole. Alan's pedantry and his attempts to be cool at these points in his life are hilarious.
For those who are unfamiliar with Mr Partridge, he is a fictional character who is an amalgam of naff, insensitive, grandiose and politically incorrect TV presenters. He has a wonderful ability to always say the wrong thing. Has a wonderful ability never to see any wrong in his insensitive actions. He is certainly up there with the very best of British comedy creations: Basil Fawlty, David Brent and Edmund Blackadder.
I urge you to give this a try you won't be disappointed.
on 22 December 2011
What can be said about this book? It is simply wet yourself funny! It had me laughing on the bus like a drain so that people thought I was spastic mentalist! Everything is here from the TV series with Mr Partridge's own spin on it, from The Day Today to I'm Alan Partridge, all the best scenes from the TV series are picked over by Alan and given the spin of a modern government to put him in the best possible light, even the radio series are discussed. The book is full of annotations which sometimes are even funnier than the main text, celebrity stories so risky even The News of the World wouldn't have published them! Sometimes its the bits in between, things that were only mentioned on the screen which make you howl, the divorce from Carol, the adventures with legendary Bill Odie and Sue Cooke, and the the devil himself Tony Hayers.
If you like the Day today, enjoyed the radio version of Knowing Me Knowing You, cherish (like I do) Knowing Me Knowing Yule and think that I'm Alan Partridge is a comedy classic, then this is a must buy... if not then buy it anyway and see why Alan Partridge is a legendary character who deserves to live in annals on comedy godhood.