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Something Like Fire: Peter Cook Remembered Paperback – 3 Jul 2003
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"This book contains excellent contributions by comic writers. The gems are Peter Cook's" (Sunday Times)
"One thing nearly all of the friends invited to contribute to this book have in common: by God they can write- The authors are a ministry of all the talents; the book is most enjoyable" (Spectator)
"Peter Cook Remembered is a moving celebration of a good man who made us laugh. Apart from being very funny, it has the bonus that each sketch illuminates not only the man but his time. It is a beautiful book and Lin Cook's final poignant memoir of her husband is as good a love letter as you'll find anywhere" (Sunday Telegraph)
'Read it for yourself. No other biography will ever better tell the truth' The Times
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This book is a collection of memoirs written by the people he worked with. His talent was prodigious and unstoppable. A precursor of the Monty Python gang, he riffed unforgettably on Sabre Tooth Giraffes, The False Passport Office, Secret Messages smuggled inside the Olympic Torch, Living in Sherwood Forest with a Band of In-Laws - just a few of the sketches and monologues I can remember off-hand. Comic genius.
Here is Clive Anderson on the subject of his generosity and kindness to others: "When Peter died, it was this quality of niceness ... that I tried to convey in a tribute I was asked to write for the Independent. All the comedians and humorists who were asked to contribute appreciations to various papers said the same sort of thing, especially those younger than him. Everyone found him easy to get along with and unpretentious. He did not attempt to lord it over those who approached him in awe..."
Anderson adds: "He was a Peter Pan figure who had grown up but had not grown old." In fact, everyone in this collection has nothing deleterious to say about him at all. Another commentator says: "He was funny not because that was his job, but because he couldn't help it. The laughter that he provoked was not a commodity to be bartered but an encounter with the absurdities of existence." Eric Idle said he was "the funniest man in the world," and tells about his first encounter with his brand of humour when the curtain went up on Beyond The Fringe: "It was the shock of it, the freshness, the sheer liberating savagery of it's complete dismissal of all things British. Nothing was sacred, not the Queen, not the Army, not the schools, not the Church, not the City, not Advertising, not the Prime Minister... not even the impending nuclear holocaust we were all sure was coming ("Just jump into your brown paper bags..."). He also became the proprietor of the only satirical magazine successfully produced in this country - Private Eye, still an invaluable aid to revealing matters that our government, any government of any stripe, would sooner we did not know. Subversive, yes, but only on the side of truth.
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