- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 29 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 11 Oct. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009P6X08O
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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David Mitchell: Back Story Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, it's David Mitchell the comedian. Hence his face on the cover....and in the amazon video explaining how he isn't the guy who wrote Cloud Atlas (another great book btw!)....and in the book jacket... etc.
That established I found it to be a thoroughly entertaining read, part life story and part general observations of life, all told with humour and humility. Several times I actually laughed out loud and I found the honesty very refreshing. There are no great tragedies in this book, it's not a hard luck story, but it's full of the little things that some of us find awkward or uncomfortable at times. Right down to buying pants in Marks & Sparks - well I'm not even famous and I don't really like it!
I haven't seen too much of his work on TV, but having watched a few episodes of 'Would I Lie To You', detailing some funny (if slightly odd!) truths from his past, I thought the book might be a good investment. In my opinion, it really is. And (spoiler alert) it has a happy ending. My kind of book.
So I was hoping that this would contain more of the naturally warm and funny Mitchell that I love on TV, and less of the over-written comedian - and I'm really delighted to say that I think it does. Mitchell shines through every page as an intelligent, caring, warm person with a really sly sense of fun coupled with a very real humility. His chapter on meeting and falling for Victoria Coren is genuinely touching (pity the other reviewers here who have sneered at this chapter) and overall he's re-confirmed himself as someone I'd really be pleased to call a friend. Sometimes, less really is more, and to have overdone this memoir would have been a shame.
God, but he was a dorky-looking teenager though....!
He struggles to explain his steady rise to success, but basically it's because he is a swotty, very intelligent man. A combination that eventually pays off. There's some funny anecdotes - cooking the lobster stands out - but overall it was rather disappointing. Apart from the penultimate chapter in which he matter-of-factly describes his adoration of Victoria Coren (me too). That one chapter is a beautiful love essay, completely out of style with the remaining chapters in the book. I could have done with a bit more detail, like how on earth he survived three years knowing she was with someone else. But to be honest, it just about makes the entire book worth buying. Or you could read the chapter standing in the bookshop I suppose.
Dave's writing this for his thesis for his Masters in History, and it makes good reading. I especially enjoyed his walks around London, as someone who does this, but not for back reasons, I found it interesting it wasn't just me who went out for walks when things got too dull, or just needed a change of air. Dave wanders around London talking about what reminds him of what, and of course his favourite passtime, finding FRPs - which I found really funny as he was right about them!
There's a brief childhood history lesson of Mitchell, how he came from Oxford and made his way to Kilburn in London; from first meeting Robert Webb right though to when he first met Victoria his wife (or is that to be?). Everything from his first Edinburgh fringe is discussed here, and how Peep Show came to be commissioned by C4.
I really enjoyed this book, although I did not read it in one full week (or two). I did leave it on the sofa arm for a while, and that's mainly because I was busy doing other things, but where ever I went I took it with me. David's stories are fascinating and amusing - especially when he let stereotypes of Liverpool cloud his judgements. I like the way he discusses his friendship with Webb and how they became friends, and the last two chapters are probably the most revealing about David than any others.
This hardback edition is a good way to read it too, nice typeface and easy to hold.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good read; I thoroughly enjoyed this gentle walk through David Mitchell's life.Published 1 month ago by Jenny K
Enjoyed the first part of this book but thought it rather lost its way after that. A good idea relating stories to walking round London. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Em50
Witty, clever, laugh out loud, interesting and a story with which I could frequently empathise, despite being a 68 year old female. Read morePublished 2 months ago by W. F. Smith
Exactly what I expected and wanted from the ever brilliant Mr. Mitchell.Published 3 months ago by E J Mercer
Thoroughly entertaining stuff from a very funny guy. I rarely laugh out loud when reading a book. At times, I had to put this down to stop myself from giggling!Published 5 months ago by BillyFrenzy