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The Chronicles of Hernia Paperback – 1 Oct 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753522152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753522158
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A glorious collection of some of the funniest - and most touching - anecdotes of a comedy legend

From the Back Cover

A collection of hilarious stories and eye-popping anecdotes from the nation's best-loved comedian

Barry Cryer is one of the most respected and admired writers and performers of his time. In a career spanning forty years, Barry has worked alongside the greatest producers and performers in show business: Tommy Cooper, Humphrey Lyttelton, Morecambe and Wise, Willie Rushton, Peter Cook, Kenny Everett, Rory Bremner to name but a few - this book is a veritable Who's Who of comedy.

From humble beginnings at the Windmill Theatre and Expresso Bongo, to The Frost Report, Call My Bluff and I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue, Barry recalls the good, the bad, and the downright ugly in his own inimitable style.

'Barry Cryer ...an anecdote jukebox whose whole life is basically one big chatshow.'
Guardian

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's been said that everything reminds Barry Cryer of something else, and 'The Chronicles of Hernia' more or less proves it. A slightly revised reissue of his autobiographical volume 'You Won't Believe This But...', it's a stream-of-consciousness trawl through decades in showbusiness, from life as a struggling comic playing second fiddle to nude revues at the Windmill Theatre in the 1950s to his current status as legend of comedy. That's one way of putting it, anyway - a better way would be to describe it as a never-ending cavalcade of jokes and anecdotes amassed from a career working with some of the biggest names in the entertainment world, whether as writer or performer. Nobody tells these kinds of tales quite like Barry Cryer, and I guarantee you'll be amused and entertained throughout. It's impossible not to be won over.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book during the period before and after my recent Inguinal Hernia operation. You can imagine my disappointment to discover that there was not a single mention of life with a hernia, surgical options, alternative treatments, or the stages of recovery from surgery. Rather, I was presented with a set of medically irrelevant memoirs starting from his childhood and early days in the theatre (though no mention of hospital theatres) and his many experiences of stand-up, television and radio. He recounts stories of the many luminaries in the comedy and entertainment world for whom he has written, but no mention of surgeons he would recommend. Much is said of his friendship with the cast of "I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue" though he doesn't refer to any conversations with Dr Graeme Garden regarding the choice between keyhole and open surgery for Hernia repairs.

Despite my considerable disappointments highlighted above I can report that there are luckily few belly laughs to be found in his publication - a great relief to someone recovering from abdominal surgery.

Those looking for insightful witty memoirs of a man whose career has been intertwined with much of the last 60 years of comedy will find this a treasure trove. Those seeking surgical guidance should look elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book with my levels of fear and dread rising as I turned each page. The audacity of the man to flaunt his cold calculating killing spree is breathtaking. Why have the police not investigated the untimely deaths of so many of his co-writers? Cryer passes this off as just co-incidence, or the result of living a long life, or the excesses of his colleagues, but the list is endless and includes performers as well as fellow writers; Vincent Price, Tommy Cooper, JB Priestley, Marilyn Monroe (and she died after only speaking to him on the phone) to name but a few, he even admits he's a cannibal and that it was him that et al. All died after having talked to or being seen with Cryer. It is chilling and callous the way he cold bloodily describes this merry-go-round of death and human misery. Lord Lucan reputably critised one of Cryers scripts and he hasn't been seen since.

All this is known in the entertainment business where he is nicknamed the laughing assassin - behind his back of course, it doesn't do to insult him to his face, hence why I am writing this under a pseudonym. I understand that Michael Palin after being asked to write the foreword only agreed to do the travel series 'Around the World in 80 Days' for the BBC and leave comedy in order to escape Cryer's retribution, it took 15 years for Cryer to track him down hence why the book wasn't originally published until 1999 (So many innocent foreword contributors who wouldn't write what he told them died in the interim), and Greame Garden employs half a dozen body doubles in fear of Cryer's legendary wit. If only Humphrey Lyttleton had listened and written a more expansive piece for the book he may still be around today.

But seriously...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Always liked Barry's dry wit and this book basically covers what you would expect to read about him. Some very funny passages and a minor revelation about his lack of confidence at times (that surprised me). Would have liked a few more tales of interesting characters met during his career.
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I enjoyed reading this book and found it funny in places but I was surprised to see that the author had got the name of the actor Michael Hordern wrong. I put this down to a typo which managed to escape the proof-reader's eye.
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I've always found Barry Cryer to be a very funny comedian (which is good, because comedians are meant to be funny). I bought this book because I thought it might be entertaining, and I was not disappointed. There are lots of great stories and anecdotes, and the character of the author is unmistakable. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes Barry Cryer and/or jokes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is exactly the same as Butterfly Brain with the few odd new lines inserted. I've been deliberately cheated.
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By Jan on 5 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Although Barry Cryer is as entertaining as ever, beware! This book is simply a re-hash of 'You won't believe this but...', so if you've read that you won't need this one (but cover and print is an improvement)
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