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4.2 out of 5 stars212
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 23 November 2014
I've always found Johnny Vegas fascinating; he is responsible for the funniest few minutes I have ever seen on TV (his interview on Room 101 about Beauty's Castle) and yet at other times I have felt uncomfortable watching such a loose canon, fearful of where he would go. I now know, having read this fascinating book, why I was having such conflicted feelings and that they are but a pale shadow of Michael Pennington's own.
It is written in a style that takes some getting used to, but is appropriate for the subject matter, and I wonder how long it took Michael to find a way of saying what must have been so difficult to put into words. It's a privileged insight into a comedic brain and one person's inner psyche.
I don't know what Michael is doing since he wrote the book, I hope he is finding a path that is a little easier to tread.
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on 10 January 2014
Not a cozy read by any means, with some excruciatingly uncomfortable and poignant occurences described in detail by Michael Pennington, (he who shall become Vegas), through his loving yet misunderstood childhood where loneliness and desperation are the norm. How the book reveals the inner workings of a tormented sole is a credit to the writing style and the number of incidents that are indeed cringe-worthy makes it hard to put the book down mid-chapter. It becomes more uncomfortable that the end of the book is revealingly penned by Johnny as this sometimes desperate and vengeful alter ego takes to the fore. Booze, failed post pubescent sexual liaisons and some really great comedy moments all add up to a book that is not the best I ever read featuring pottery and hard-core religion, though I feel a better person for the experience..
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on 1 February 2016
Surprisingly one of the best memoirs I have ever read.

I had wanted to read this for a while after seeing Johnny being interviewed about it when it first came out. It wasn't until last year that I finally got round to reading it with our book club.

Wow. I have never read a book where I got such a rich, psychological insight into a person. Whatever you *think* you know about Johnny Vegas, trust me, drop your assumptions now. From Johnny's childhood to eventual stardom, the book is studded with moments that make you scared, sad and, as you would expect, laugh. It is, like life, a spectrum of emotions.

Our book club came to the same conclusion: it was a pleasant, richly rewarding surprise to read this book. It certainly makes you think about the twists and turns of life.
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on 31 January 2014
Brilliant and so different. Not "lovey" at all which is a trait I find so sickening in Celeb. biographies. Michael was very brave to detail his life as he did but what a likeable and genuine person he seems to be. Hope he stays popular for ever.
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on 14 October 2013
This is an entertaining read - and for someone who grew up at the same time in the same town, more than nostalgic. I could smell home.

But I am not sure its as well put together as it needs to be to pull of what is an ambitious - at times three voice - concept. I would have liked to know more about day to day life in the seminary - just to contextualise the other stuff that happens there. You gain great insight into how MP thinks, but not necessarily why. Similarly around Edinburgh.

Maybe more distance on his new understanding of his experiences would have helped. Its a bit like meeting someone who's just walked out of their therapists office.

But all in all I did enjoy it, just maybe not as much as I might had it been written ten years hence.
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on 16 March 2014
I found this a very gripping read - I'm currently half ways through and find the creation of jonny vegas fascinating. this is a very funny book in places but yet there are parts scared the bejesus out of me. I love the photos and the snippets of Johnny's diary. ( nice handwriting Johnny ! your wriitten english skills are excellent ). Now when I see Johnny Vegas on telly I feel that I see him in a very different light. I'm not a big reader so for any book that gets my interest must be good. Its an easy relaxed read. Best Xmas present I ever had.

I now have a great respect for Johnny Vegas and want to see him more on Telly. He was very good in the series Ideal and is very under-used and under-rated. Gutsy guy from a great family. Read this book.

Viva Vegas !
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on 23 October 2013
Incredible how somebody can write a real "warts and all" book, most pretend to and the others just say they do. This is the real thing. Prepare to meet someone you have never met before and like him immensely even though you have to disapprove of almost everything the selfish alter ego does. The fact that this is a great story should be enough, but then again enjoy the classy construction of each and every sentence. I predict that this is just the first of many many writing projects as loud Buffon character of Johnny Vegas is very cleverly masked by the the considered and thoughtful Michael Pennington, of whom we will now hear much more. Good luck Michael, Johnny has had his day and now the rest of the time is yours. Can't wait for the next book.

Ian Fox
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on 8 January 2014
Johnny Vegas / Michael J. Pennington writes an honest and frank biography, probably the best I have read. But, it is not for the faint hearted and probably not everybody's cup of tea, or pint of beer! His life, like many of ours, is mixed up and muddled, moulded on our upbringing through our parents, yet so often changed by institutions in which much faith and trust has been placed in for our development and well being. Yet, something sticks of truth and decency, and even though we might take on a different persona for a while, it sees us through - it certainly has seen you through Johnny. It may only be a couple of pages at the end of thanks which brings us into your life now, good on you for holding out - every happiness and a long and fruitful career.
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on 27 November 2013
I have not been a great reader of books, plus being a lorry driver I spend a lot of time on the road. So putting the two scenarios together I collect a lot of audio books. It is great to have someones autobiography read by themselves because they give so much of their real feelings when they go over their lives. Becoming Johnny Vagas is true to this point. Micheal tells you the surprising other side of his life with Johnny. I realy enjoyed this audio book and fully reccomend you listen to this, even if you have read the book, because you may get more out of this book.
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on 12 January 2014
This is a great book - unlike many autobiographies this gives an insight into who he really is. I cried laughing in the beginning and by the end I was willing him to get his break - which he obviously did. I felt like I had been privileged in being allowed into his secret world, like a trusted friend. I expected it to be a laugh a minute but he tells you at the start that this wasnt the intention - I've read other comics autobiographies and they try this and after a while it stops being funny. This is his life, warts and all, its dark at times and sad but he still manages to inject humour.

I'm still laughing at the image of the giant twix.
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