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Ken Dodd: The Biography Paperback – 1 Oct 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (1 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184317281X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843172819
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A reminder of Dodd's joyful brilliance (The Mail on Sunday)

About the Author

Stephen Griffin is a freelance journalist and former arts editor and TV reviewer at the Hampstead & Highgate Express newspaper.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book so readable I was unable to put it down. It's extremely well researched, including personal interviews as well as press cuttings. I had no difficulty relating the person revealed in the book to the clown I once saw live on the stage.

Anyone looking for a different person than the one who reveals himself in his shows, or is described in this book, is pursuing a chimera. This is Ken Dodd, warts and all. Dodd himself gave up trying to analyse comedy after discovering that comedy is what makes people laugh. Amateur psychologists should do the same.

Dodd bought a house he never lived in because he prefers familiar things.
His was a life for living not for accounting. He never cared for details and he never cared to reveal his private thoughts. It's others, not Dodd himself, who suggested he never married because of parental influence - he never could get used to the idea of forming another family.

He still lives in the house where he was born, the table is still set the way his mother used to set it and the HP bottle is out as it always was. He's still the bloke from Knotty Ash, who still lives in Knotty Ash and will always live in Knotty Ash. No further explanation is required and there's no reason why Ken Dodd should be asked to provide one either.

And who can blame him given the way his private life was stripped away during his trial for tax evasion?. True to form Dodd turned disaster (he did have to pay a lot of back tax) into triumph with a lot of well received Revenue inspired material.

Griffin has got it right. Dodd has kept the old music hall tradition alive with a madcap routine which provides audiences with excellent value for money (I left his live show at 12.40 a.m. when he was still going strong having been there since 7.30.p.m)!!! An excellent read, well worth the money.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This doesn't tell you much about Ken Dodd that couldn't be mostly gleaned from press cuttings and chatting to one or two people who know him. The definitive biography has yet to be written about this complex compulsive character who most people only know from his ebullient stage presence.
What of the real man and his less well-chronicled private side? That will have to wait for another day.
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Format: Paperback
Whatever you think of Ken Dodd or whether you laugh at his jokes you can't say the guy is lazy. From a hard life of rejection as a door-to-door salesman to the hard life of the club circuit you feel that his smallish cash-in-hand fortune has been well earned. Behind the crooked smiles he is tough guy from a tough city.

But what drives him - what motivates him to carry on when the lure of the holiday home and the golf course has captured so many stars of yesteryear?

Don't read this book to find out - because it is a case of "your guess is as good as mine." Indeed does author (Stephen Griffen) even like Ken Dodd or chuckle at his work? Hard to tell, although authors in love with stars write the worst biographies - unless you are of the same mind.

The famous cash-in-the-attic court case and an unlikely infatuated fan give variety and colour to a life that hasn't changed much in decades. The same clothes, the same jokes, the same songs and - probably - the same audience.

This is a solid book written by a solid author who has read every clipping and rang every dog-eared number in his black book. However too often this reads like the school homework of a bright pupil in a subject that interests him (personally) very little. There simply isn't enough material for the recycled tree. Too many questions. Too few answers.

If you are a fan you are far better with one of his DVD's than this product.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good to hear about Ken Dodd's life, he's a great man and a wonderful comedian, I haven't seen him live but I do like his humour. There aren't the amount of laughs I would have expected but after all it not a book about his humour.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rubbish. If I had realised before 7 days were up I would have returned it. But what do I expect for the price.
Just a very disappointing effort, poorly written and didn't capture the man, who I have met and who I have seen perform live on numerous occasions. Really disappointed and didn't even get through more than 4 chapters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ken interests me so much because of his massive generosity and ceaseless work. Just write one letter about a small closed theatre and a reply will come with signed photos and best wishes. If we could all be like him what a world it would be.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to this but was a little disappointed. The writer's style wasn't to my liking. I got bored quite quickly and haven't finished it yet. I'll try again though and hope I get into it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was nothing like a biography but an analysis of Ken Dodd. It was like reading a psychology medical book.
Also the book ended with 15 minutes left to read which consisted of the authors research table.
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