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A Liar's Autobiography Paperback – 11 Oct 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, 11 Oct 1999
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd; New edition edition (11 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0413740900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0413740908
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 969,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

One of the things that emerges from any history of Python--from, for instance, David Morgan's Monty Python Speaks!--is how much of a slacker Chapman was in the Python group; how completely his writing relied upon Cleese's more disciplined input, how late he was to every meeting, how lackadaisical was his approach to the practicalities of living. His autobiography is perfectly candid about the slapdash side of his personality, but it also manages to convey his energy, his capacity for kindness and the unique, mad slant of his particular genius. He relates the events of his life--his ordinary childhood, his time as a medical student at Cambridge, his Python years, his drinking, his mountain-climbing-- through the unique prism of his looniness. Some of this is lies ("Thinking of muons and quarks I invented the 'gluon' or at least sub-atomic particles of adhesiveness I term 'fettons'..."), most of it is painfully and precisely true. Chapman doesn't spare himself, or his fellow Pythons or anybody else. It's often very funny, although some of it is a bit too agonising to raise a chuckle.

There is a lot of sex, with both men and women, described in detail, which sometimes interrupts the flow of the narrative. After one vivid episode the narrator has to stop: "This description had made me feel so ... uh ... uhm... ah ... excuse me ..." But underneath the hedonism and the wackiness, the comic drawings and arch footnotes is a certain nihilism. "What are we?", he asks at one point. "We are tubes--hollow cylinders of flesh. What is our expectation from life? Regular fulfilment of primitive functions at both ends, coupled with the thought that we must leave at least something behind us, very much in the same way that a dog pisses against a tree." Perhaps there's some bleak vision like that behind the work of many great comedians. --Adam Roberts

About the Author

Graham Chapman (1941-1989) was part of the Monty Pyton's Flying Circus team.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book because I was a fan of Monty Python, but long since having tired of watching the show (although admittedly I did watch each episode far too many times) I have yet to tire of reading this book. Interesting about comedy, it's still more interesting about homosexuality, alcoholism, medicine and love. It's a disjointed, flawed, occasionally infuriating portrait of a man who epitomised these characteristics, but it's magical all the same. Funny, moving and enormously humane, Graham Chapman learned a lot in his life about humility, going your own way and never taking anything more seriously than it deserves, Here he shares it with you, sandwiched in between some of the most irrelevant jokes in modern literature.
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Format: Paperback
Graham Chapmans book is all about his zanny life. From before he was famous, his alcohol problem & monty python. It is very funny & explains every thing in his strange little way. At the end is a bit by Eric Idle (a fellow python) about his death, it is very touching. Best book ive ever read! buy it now!
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By A Customer on 7 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
A splendid tale of a wonderfully liberated life which met every criteria of the chaos theory. Chapman was a truly unhinged comic genius and this version of his life had me convulsing with laughter. Read this book regularly to restore perspective and remind yourself that life is chaotic, insane, tragic and ultimately comic!
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Format: Paperback
. ..how anxious I am for its re-release - I read a friend's copy years ago and have been waiting to get my own ever since. This is funny - in the traditional "embarassing if read on public transport" way. It's also incredibly (spluttering English-fashion to get the emotional word out) moving. Pythons - yes, there's Python. There's also alcholism, sexuality, death and medical science. Once you've discovered this complex, intelligent, funny and sometimes unhappy man, you'll never want Monty Python to reform again.
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