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Seasonal Suicide Notes: My life as it is lived by [Lewis, Roger]
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Seasonal Suicide Notes: My life as it is lived Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Length: 192 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description


The most brilliantly funny and genuinely
thought-provoking book of the year --Sunday Times

These sulphurous annual round robins are not just
cry-makingly funny and profane... there are also arresting
insights into art, literature and life and flashes of
beautiful seriousness. The comedy is exquisitely
well observed. --The Telegraph

If they ever award medals for comic genius Lewis will be
a shoo-in for gold... Hilarious. -- The Mail on Sunday

Roger Lewis is a genius writer, and he knows it. --Lynn Barber

This is one of the strangest books you will ever read. It is also the funniest. And the most reckless ... If you like black comedy, and bad taste, you will find yourself in
Narnia here...
--The Spectator

About the Author

Roger Lewis is the author of books about Laurence Olivier, Charles Hawtrey and Anthony Burgess. His international bestselling biography The Life and Death of Peter Sellers was adapted into a multi-award-winning film. Married to an educational psychologist and with three sons, Lewis divides his time between Herefordshire and Austria.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1487 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books (4 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #357,793 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Captain Pike TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't blame the publisher for trying to maximise sales by having the standard, insipid Christmas humour title dustjacket, but it doesn't do justice to the book. This is one of the funniest and most incisive books I've read for years and I hate Roger Lewis for being far wittier than I could ever hope to be. At least I'm slimmer (just) and less Welsh ( a lot).

This book will probably appear on gift tables (or even worse, "gifting", which sounds a little rude) in bookshops, but this wonderful, liberating, vitriolic rant is far too good to waste on others. Buy it for yourself.
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Format: Hardcover
I asked for this book in the Picadilly branch of Waterstones, 'That's by Lewis Roger' said the pretty sales assistant. An apposite anecdote given the bile contained within this book. Lewis Roger is a grub street journalist trying to make a living when grub street has collapsed and instead of living in London schmoozing with literary types he is washed up in the 'Herefordshire Balkans'.

This short book is a seriously funny account of his life, his complaints, and his erstwhile desire for recognition. Following a much misunderstood, much maligned biography of Anthony Burgess (10 copies sold in the last year of counting), Lewis bewails just about every successful recent British writer/celeb. Delightfully in various ways, he lays into Clive James - a writer of 'mouldy fudge', Andrew Roberts (a baboon), Ned Sherrin, Simon Cowell, Julian Barnes (and his late wife Pat Kavanagh), Jeremy Clarkson, 'sad mother' Julie Myerson and best of all, Harold Pinter (obit) 'what a dreadful clanking beast he was'. Heaven knows how he got this past the libel lawyers. I for one am delighted he did.

Interspersed with this literary bile are delightful snippets of his life as a marooned intellectual in the provinces. He cuts out articles from the local paper and offers snippets of local life: 'Age Concern has introduced a Toe Nail Cutting Scheme in the Community Centre run by "our trained volunteers", and tells filthy jokes picked up from Barry Cryer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roger Lewis makes a great deal of his lowly upbringing - butcher's boy, Wales etc. What he doesn't tell the reader, and which you may not have known, is that his great uncle was the famous novelist, painter and polemicist, Wyndham Lewis. A beautiful, if ferocious, prose style, a keen eye for suitably odious targets and a dark sense of humour - all talents the great Wyndham had, which, sadly, are lacking in his dipstick of a nephew.

Rog doesn't live in Fulham. Ok? Got that? Sure? Good. Rog wants to come on like a rebel, an outsider, but he went to Oxford, he spends half his year in Austria, his book on Peter Sellers was made into a feature film and he is matey with 'loyal comrades-in-arms' Lynn Barber, Sam Leith, Francis Wheen, Gyles Brandreth amongst bag loads of other well-known, well-paid, establishment journos and writers. What exactly is the difference between someone who boasts of being a member of the Garrick and someone who boasts he is the 'only person to refuse an offer of membership of the Garrick?' Both are conceited bores.

'Seasonal Suicide Notes' is a well-presented little book with a nice Christmassy cover and it fits neatly into a Christmas stocking. Respect to the publishers who have done a good marketing job on it. The contents though are mediocre. Roger admires fine writing, but continues to fail to be able to produce it. This book is marginally better written than his biography of Burgess, having, as it does, a subject much closer to the writer's heart. At least, on this occasion, the scattershot spleen and monotonous, whiney tone only dirty the reader's feelings towards Lewis and not to somebody they might actually care about.

If you are looking for a great book about those left behind by life, try Lewis's Austrian compatriot, Thomas Bernhard.
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Format: Hardcover
then the book itself will probably set you off into a convulsion. Lewis is the voice of the everyman, if only the everyman was disgustingly bright, frighteningly insightful, and with an eye for the brilliant awfulness of most of life. I LOVE IT.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this thinking it would be like David Sedaris' brilliant "Santaland Diaries" and would be a good read for the airport/plane on holiday this year - well all I can say is thank god I brought other books with me! This was a real stinker for many reasons.

The book is divided up into years starting in 2004 and then every year is broken down into months where Lewis talks about what "hilarious" things happened to him in that month.

Lewis talks about how his 1200 page autobiography of Peter Sellers was so much more complex than the film was (fair, given nobody would sit through a 20 hour film) but goes on and on about this for pages. He moans about how his work is underappreciated, how nobody likes him, how little his books sell, and how much he deserves fame and wealth for his book on Sellers and a similarly long and inaccessible book on Anthony Burgess.

And that's what really gets me - the tone. It's this whiny, annoying whinge throughout about how he deserves fame for his work coupled with the sniping at colleagues and "the London literary clique" which he goes to great pains to stress he's not a part of. He goes on about how he's not invited to parties in London but when he is invited to The Times party he makes a point of saying that he stayed home and watched "The Bill". Then he's invited to a magazine party and he stays home to watch "Eastenders". And so on, etc. I think he wants the reader to think he's a cool outsider? It's a bit grasping given he complains yet again about how little he earns and deserves millions for his work. Would a literary outlaw be so tedious?
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