- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 1 hour and 20 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 15 Jan. 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00HVS1WPG
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie Audiobook – Unabridged
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I think this is the only "book" that i've read from cover to cover in under 40 minutes.
The typeface can be read from the moon, there's scant information in the book, and it's basically a long article. There's next to no "on the road" anecdotes, and Ronson manages to make his time in the band sound like the worlds most boring experience.
The book could of benefited from some editing too. That said, doing so would of made this book the length of a menu.
It's worth a read for 50p on the kindle, sure. Don't buy the book though.
I wasn’t overly impressed straight away, I must admit. This was until I found his ‘Proper telly show’, from channel M. Suddenly I got it - as strange of a phenomenon as he is – I got it. I was in stitches at some of the child-like whimsical humour, which strangely appeals to older audiences. He somehow borders the outrageous, without being dirty or offensive. It is a real talent.
This does not mean that comedians that push the boundaries of taboos do not have their place and people can get easily offended especially when irony is involved. But Frank is something refreshing, different, odd and off-beat – but in a good way.
My curiosity peaked and I decided to read more on him. As this book was more of a first-hand account of ‘the true story that inspired the movie’ I thought it may have given a few more insights into his life from someone who knew him well and also shed light on what parts of the screenplay were fictionalised and which were true to real life.
Although the book is well written in terms of being concise and even non-sensationalist, I think it attempts to be too objective / matter of fact and therefore some of the emotional and funny stories are not squeezed of all their potential juiciness.
A couple of the anecdotes brought a smile to my face and a couple of the sadder aspects tugged at the heart strings a little. There is also an apt analogy of frank attempting to adapt the world to himself rather than vice versa in there, which really hits the nail on the (paper-mached) head.
It is a decent, easy read, but it is just a little too short-lived and journalistic for my liking. I know Jon Ronson is a Journo but as he was in the band himself and was reasonably close to both contrasting personas (Frank and Chris Sivey), I guess I was expecting something with a little more in depth.
Perhaps Jon Ronson didn’t want to step on Mike Middles’ toes, the author (and fellow journalist) of Frank Sidebottom: Out of His Head.
I have not read the latter, so it is hard to contrast. But with such a strange, overwhelming surge of curiosity on the man behind the mask / under the head - I think I would have rather purchased this book instead.
It is considerably more expensive, so perhaps Jon Ronson’s offering is more for those who simply want to dip their toe in the water or just want a little insight into the film.
Edit: In fact, I'm so incensed by the quality of this product that I've returned it for a refund (because I just learned that that's possible). To be clear: I enjoyed reading it. But it's not a good piece of work, and terrible value for money.
So glad he found his later ago with the manic Frank Sidebottom (A name chosen from a friend of ours)
Thanks to Jon Robson for believing in Chris. He was taken too soon.
Anyway, I'm kicking myself for not having read some of the reviews of this book as many people seem to have the same issues with it that I have.
In short, excuse the pun, it's very short and doesn't really tell us a great deal. I sat down today at lunchtime and started the book and found that in little over an hour I'd finished it. The fact that I paid £5.51 for the privilege is more than a little galling.