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I Laughed, I Cried: One Woman, One Hundred Days, The Mother of all Challenges Paperback – 3 Jul 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409127850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409127857
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Viv Groskop has paid her dues so you don't have to. The story of her whirlwind comedy apprenticeship is as funny as it is inspiring, and may also give you nightmares. (Tim Dowling)

Absolutely hilarious (Jennifer Saunders)

Brilliant. (Jo Brand)

Viv Groskop is crazy, clever, brave and kind. But mostly she's crazy. A real insight into a secret world. I laughed, I cried, I dry-retched at her sheer balls. (Caroline Quentin)

The working mum's version of Eddie Izzard's 50 marathons in 50 days. Hilarious. (Sally Phillips)

An amazing book about stand-up that's also about love, determination and pursuing your dreams. (Lucy Porter)

This is exactly what it's like starting in comedy. Viv Groskop completely captures the rare highs and frequent plummeting lows. Warm, life-affirming and a hugely funny read. (Jo Caulfield)

Viv is the patron saint of anyone bonkers enough to do something they're shit scared of. (Sharon Horgan)

Viv Groskop tackles her mission with wit, honesty and a devotion that borders on total insanity. (Mark Watson)

A seize-the-day memoir to inspire anyone with a long-held dream. (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING)

Enjoyable mid-life crisis memoir from a woman of many talents. (THE BOOKSELLER)

It does what it says on the cover. (HUEY MORGAN, BBC Radio 6 Music)

She's flirted with, heckled at, hated and applauded in pubs and dingy clubs across the country, all the time pining for her husband and children and overdosing on Diet Coke. Groskop's account of the bewildering, triumphant and messy adventure is like whacking your funny bone: it makes you laugh and wince. (MARIE CLAIRE)

A classic of the male midlife crisis genre but for one twist: she's a woman. A mother of three small children, she is constantly torn between defiantly chasing the dream and worrying that it will wreck her marriage. Ostensibly a book about comedy, really it's about female ambition and the anxious ambivalence surrounding it: about the domestic price paid for success, or even for trying and failing, and whether it's still more acceptable for a man than a woman to pay it. (Gaby Hinsliff The Times)

An emotionally turbulent read, littered with moments of unbearable anxiety juxtaposed with massive highs. Rarely has the struggle of the newbie comedian been so perfectly captured. Heart-warming, hilarious, uplifting and a joy to read (GQ.com)

Stand-up may be enjoying a boom in the UK at present, but still only a small proportion of comics are female. Of that number, few are mothers, and of those, pretty much none started off doing stand-up when they already had three small children at home. Except for Viv Groskop.

[Her] attempt to combine stand-up with a stable home life makes for a breathless read.

(THE OBSERVER)

Sometimes comedians can be the worst of companions: boorish, self-obsessed and oddly humourless. However, Groskop keeps her sense of the ridiculous firmly intact throughout. A gruelling and frankly psychotic experiment. [...]. She documents each gig with great honesty. We follow open-mouthed as Groskop chases the comedy dragon at the expense of all else. (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Jack Whitehall among others, gave her the good advice to learn from long-term experience, not in a frantic rush. But the rush was what Viv wanted. Smell not only the greasepaint but the sweat... Heroic. (THE TIMES)

Groskop is clearly some kind of superwoman. Her devotion to the quest and energy levels are astonishing. It could make a great movie. Kristen Wiig in the lead role, naturally. A kind of Fever Pitch for the world of funny. (Bruce Dessau, editor of comedy website BEYOND THE JOKE)

Insightful nuggets on the peculiar existence of comics, presented here in all their neurotic, competitive glory [...]. There are some engaging snapshots from her childhood [...]. I Laughed, I Cried is essentially a mid-life crisis played out over 22 chapters. It is also about finding out what you're capable of at a time when your days revolve around school runs, daily deadlines, and uneventful evenings in front of the telly. (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Brave, yes. Crazy, almost definitely. But underneath all the jokes and bad nights, I Laughed, I Cried is the honest version of what pursuing a dream really feels like. (RED MAGAZINE ONLINE)

An inspiring look at following your dream (Candis)

A heart-warming entreaty for us to take life by the horns and leap over it. (MSLEXIA)

Viv Groskop's searing memoir charts the highs and many lows of her showbiz career to date, and is a tribute to following your dreams - even when they threaten to become a nightmare. (BELFAST TELEGRAPH)

100 gigs in 100 days...Groskop is terrific on the strain it puts on her family, and provides wonderful summaries of each performance. (THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Book Description

'The working mum's version of Eddie Izzard's 50 marathons in 50 days. Hilarious.' Sally Phillips

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a middle aged woman with 2 kids, and completely empathised with Viv in her need to unleash her inner Doris. She is searingly honest about how potentially destructive her comedy mission of 100 gigs in 100 days is to her family. She managed to keep me reading until the small hours wanting to know what happens next, which given it is an autobiographical account rather than a pot-boiler detective novel is impressive. Great writing.
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Viv Groskop has had me laughing out loud with her forays in to comedy. I first heard about this book on the Scummy Mummies podcast and thought "If it is good enough for them then its good enough for me". Her adventures in to comedy and the perseverence that she has shown is an inspiration and to boot she is very funny.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought I might be able to dip into this book for a quick read with a morning coffee. Nine hours later I put it down. It's an incredible insight into the world of amateur stand up - not something I thought I'd be particularly interested in, but which I found completely fascinating. But it's also an inspiring tale of a woman approaching forty who decides it's time to try following a dream from childhood but where her "seize the day" moment is tempered by the realities of marriage and motherhood - and that's before we even get into the nightmare of stand up itself. I laughed - lots - as Viv tries everything she can to improve her stand up including massaging clowns (yes, really), travels to some of the most random gigs imaginable and receives the world's least helpful feedback. I also cried a couple of times too - it's fair to say that doing 100 gigs in 100 days is not going to make your life a bed of roses. But mostly, it's just a great read - absorbing, fascinating, emotional and very well written.
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Format: Paperback
As a stand up getting myself back in 'the game' I found Vivs account of a very brave challenge of 100 gigs in 100 days inspiring, truthful and written with warmth and fantastic humour. How I cringed with recognition at the accounts of awful encounters with some 'characters' on the comedy scene and sympathised with her juggling family life as well as her career alongside the gruelling gig marathon. Proving it doesnt matter about your age or background you can make it as a comic if you have that special something and the drive to get out there and show it. A must read for comedy fans and for anybody who has lifelong dreams and ambitions that are yet to be fulfilled. Its never too late!
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Groskop's diary style writing of how she felt the gigs went and what went on during each one is absolutely hilarious, endearing, charming, depressing and cringe worthy all rolled into one. 'Die', 'death', 'cry' are words that crop up in many of the entries so you get the idea that she fails and sometimes bombs on many occasions. Of course there are ones she is pleased with and a few she's over the moon about - you celebrate along with her. It's very funny and they are fast paced so it feels exciting like you're experiencing them with her. She writes about self-doubt, self-loathing, self-discovery, being able to do what you set out to do and she's not afraid of humiliation or failure. Although it is a laugh-out-loud kind of book, it's also an inspirational story - one that I could relate to even though I would never attempt to do what she has done, I can relate to her inner angst, her drive, her passion, her determination and her desire to achieve a lifelong dream. Groskop's book encompasses something many women of a certain age and circumstance (i.e. mother of three young children with a career and a husband) think about - is this it? Have I done or am I doing what I always wanted to do? What is the point to my life? What is my legacy to my children? Every working mother should read this book and every husband should read it too. I loved this book and found it funny, touching and astonishing.
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Damn you Viv Groskop. Damn you for writing such an absorbing and funny book that I had to tear myself away from it to get some work done. I would honestly recommend that you don't start this book unless you have a free weekend or are going on holiday, otherwise you'll be forced to pull a sickie. I would also suggest you don't read it in public, unless you want to stared at by everyone else on the tube as you sit there giggling maniacally to yourself.

I Laughed I Cried is bound to become required reading for any newbie stand up comedian, alongside Stewart Lee's How I Avoided My Certain Fate and Steve Martin's Born Standing Up, but it's a wonderfully entertaining read for those of us who just enjoy watching it. Groskop is brutally honest about the emotional fall out from her single minded quest to complete 100 gigs in a 100 nights while still holding down her day job as a journalist and being a wife and mother of three. It's a compelling story told in self deprecating detail; you really feel you know what it's like to be a stand up comedian making their way on the British circuit i.e. a poorly renumerated, stressed, emotional wreck living for the next high of an appreciative audience that numbers more than six. The book moves along at a cracking pace and deftly avoids the potential pitfalls of what could have been a repetitious structure-Groskop's insanely accelerated learning curve gives the book real momentum and it's full of incident and insight.

Worth buying if you're just looking for a diverting read, but inspirational stuff too for anyone considering a life change of any sort.
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