Billy: The No. 1 Bestseller
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Top Customer Reviews
I approached this biography with an open mind - keen to learn more about a great entertainer and a bit of a hero of mine. I have to say, I was left feeling somewhat cheated.
The book is structured chronologically and each chapter deals with a sizeable chunk of the Big Yin's life. The chapters are titled with Connollyesque catch-phrases ("Cop yer whack!" etc.) but, most irritatingly, introduced by contemporary vignettes of Connolly's current lîfe. Since the book was published in late 2001, most of these are very recent and recount events like Hollywood parties and Connolly's Glasgow University graduation. For someone reading the book within months of publication they serve to highlight its freshness but as time rolls on, the effect will stagnate and, five years from now, they will make this book seem past its sell-by date.
Other reviewers have commented on the relentless name-dropping with which Stephenson peppers the text and it is in these chapter intros that the celebs crowd - Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman and so on. Seriously, how well do any of these people really know Billy Connelly? So is their opinion important to our understanding of the man? Or does Stephenson think that celebrity brings with it a gift of character judgement that lesser mortals lack?
In the earlier chapters, when recounting Connolly's childhood, apprenticeship and early career, the book is interesting.Read more ›
Many of the quotes and opinions used from the man himself appear to be taken from past television/public appearances (See the "Erect for 30 years" video for most of them) rather than from personal conversation. I could not help but feel that a great opportunity had been missed here.
The story which is being told, however, is what makes this book a very worthwhile read. Billy Connolly's unlikely life-journey is truly a triumph and an inspiration.
inner demons and very private incidents of Britains most loved and admired comedian. However, the writing of Pamela Stephonson was more and more
frustrating as the book went on. Her references
to herself were frustrating ( who is the book about? Her or her husband? ) and the twisting of the narrative to include her professional interpratations of his mental state was uneccessary. A biography should be neutral and filled with factual information so the reader can form his own opinions, not biased by the personal views of the author. By far her most annoying limitation as an author was her recollection of past incidents which were totally out of place with the story and were purely placed in the book to 'drop names'. For example, suddenly and with no real relation to the current narrative, there is a short paragraph where she explains how her son has never been sick, except once when he was sick on Joan Collins. There are continual examples of this throughout the book, odd little paragraphs with tenuous relevance and limited interest whose only purpose is to mention famous people they know.We know he has famous friends, he is a very popular famous man, it would be more interesting and surprising if he didn't have any famous friends! The most nauseating by far was when she mentioned how she, Princess Di and Fergie went out on the town dressed as policewoman. I'm afraid it comes over as being very vain, insecure, shallow and totally uneccessary, it just doesn't add anything to the book, it detracts. A real shame, as Billy Connolly is without exaggeration the closest thing I have to a hero, I truly admire and respect the man, and as such I feel he deserved a better biographer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love him soooo much but hated this, it comes across that his wife almost tries to emulate his renowned tendency to wander off from and then latterly return to a point, this is his... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Miss Naomi Reeves
A fascinating read about a man who I have considered the King of Comedy for most of my life.
I was disappointed that the ebook seemed to have a lot of errors such as repeated... Read more