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And It's Goodnight from Him . . .: The Autobiography of the Two Ronnies Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I was deeply privileged to be allowed to read the manuscript for this wonderful autobiography due to my job in publishing. From the moment I heard about this book at a conference months and months ago, I was just itching to get my hands on it. I was not disappointed in any way!
I have fond memories of my childhood, visiting my grandparent's home and sitting by the fire in my pyjamas and dressing gown watching episodes of 'The Two Ronnies'.
Both Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett were icons to me, not just because of their performances as comedy geniuses, but also because of their warmth and genuine personalities which shone through their bespectacled faces.
In 2005, I was heartbroken to hear the news of Ronnie Barker's death as though a member of my own family had passed away. (My grandfather also passed away that year and I will always have the two men intrinsically linked in my mind.)
Ronnie Corbett's deeply affectionate biography is an insightful, emotional and genuinely funny portrait of two of the most remarkable men in British comedy. Beautifully constructed, the story takes us from their humble beginnings through the remarkable coincidences of their early lives before they even met, onto the success of their time on 'The Frost Report' which eventually led to one of the longest running comedy series in television history, the eponymously titled 'The Two Ronnies'.
For anyone who has had an affection for these two fine gentlemen of comedy, you cannot be unmoved by the chapters concerning Ronnie Barker's illness and eventual passing. I had tears in my eyes as Mr Corbett tells us of the memorial service and the tributes from their peers and friends.Read more ›
The book is frequently very funny with some key scripts given in full, and Corbett manages to slip in a few typical meandering stories. It helps that you can't read it without hearing his distinctive Scottish voice.
If I had a criticism it would be that there is the occasional use of a bad pun here and there, and it could have done with some tighter editing as some of the sentences are a bit clumsy (not unlike this one!) It's not particularly deep and could be seen as just a sequence of anecdotes, but I don't think the hard-hitting psychoanalysis is required here - look elsewhere if you want that.
I read this in the space of a couple of 90-minute train journeys. It's a magnificent way of remembering a great double act and a fitting tribute to Ronnie Barker, a much-missed comic actor.
The pace of RC's book is much slower, gentler than that of the RB book, but it still provides a rich and colourful description of his early family life, his break into the world of media, his signing with David Frost, working with Cleese, Palin and others and obviously his teaming up with the marvellous Ronnie Barker.
As you would expect, there are anecdotal passages featuring other celebrities (and a useful index to boot) but mostly its Ronnie simply sharing his thoughts, decisions and experiences at various junctions in his life. At times, Ronnie seems compelled to take the narrative off into his famous meandering sequences (like those on the big chair in the Two Ronnies) but he soon makes his way back to the point, none the worse for wear!
I was surprised how much detail Ronnie spoke of his friend Barker, happily retelling some of the stories I'd already seen in RB's biograpy although adding his own unique perspective. It felt like Ronnie was still very happy to share the limelight with his friend even in his own biography. The friendship and devotion of this unique partnership and their obvious devotion to their art shines through. I found Ronnie's description of the death of his friend poignant and touching but without becoming gloomy or overly sentimental.
My only disappointment was that Ronnie didnt touch on his most recent exploits (his appearance in Extras for example) but this may have been after the book was written.
All in all, the book is an fun, interesting and enjoyable read for those wanting to know more about Mr Corbett and expecially the workings of the Two Ronnies. But it's also a very fine and warm tribute to Ronnie Barker and the affection still felt by RC for RB is lovely to read.
Ronnie Corbett is modest, and open about what he sees as his lesser talent compared the late Ronnie Barker; he is, in fact, too modest - it is hard too see how Barker could have been as funny with any other partner plus Corbett's monologues are superb.
Corbett's assertion is that the 2 Ronnies' similar upper-working/ lower middle class background and the fact that neither one studied at University meant they had a different approach from the Oxbridge or "Gifted Amateur" approach of Cook/Moore or the Pythons: both Ronnies were experienced performers before they even reached TV. As Corbett points in this book the Oxbridge performers could have returned to medicine, teaching, etc.... if their careers stalled but the Ronnies had no such luxury. This maturity and professionalism meant they could accept collaborative working styles and this explained their longevity as a double act as they were both mature enough to respect the other. (Compare this with Pete'N' Dud who were ready to throttle each other within a few years.)
They had an "open marriage" of a partnership: they weren't jealous of each other's outside projects. Also, we read of how they had very different personalities- Corbett:, extrovert, a performer; Barker: private, shy, a writer as well as actor. This book is a tribute to Barker and there is genuine warmth in Corbett's recalling of the tributes made to the retired Barker that re-ignited his desire to perform that was one of the reasons that lead to the reuniting of the pair.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this as a present so haven't actually read it myself. However, the recipient said it was an excellent book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.Published 1 month ago by Caz
My dad loved this. It was a birthday present for his 85th, As a massive fan of The Two Ronnies, he was delighted.Published 3 months ago by Book Lover
Good insight to the relationships that made a very popular and funny programme. Chattily written and east to read.Published 4 months ago by Mrs. Jane Ingram
A lovely memoir, a pleasure to read - and I started it only just before his sad death recently. Bittersweet.Published 4 months ago by Bernie M
This was "no contest" really. The content of the book was all that I expected it to be, and more. Read morePublished 6 months ago by alat32
This book seems to be mainly about Ronnie Barker written by Ronnie Corbett. It contains a lot of their scripts which whilst good on the television I found boring to read.Published 6 months ago by Sylvia
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