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The Sound of Laughter Paperback – 5 Jul 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 270 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (5 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009950555X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099505556
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"His autobiography is filled to the very brim with funny bits" (heat)

"He is every bit as amusing on the page as he is in person... Hilarious" (Sunday Express)

"The Sound of Laughter provides as complete a picture of its subject's world view and creative evolution as any comedian's autobigraphy I can think of" (Independent on Sunday)

"J. K. Rowling can't compete. Nor can Dan Brown. By selling more than a million copies in hardback, the highest figure since records began, this autobiography by the comedian Peter Kay has become a minor miracle" (The Times)

Book Description

The number one bestselling autobiography of Britain's most popular comedian

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr Evil VINE VOICE on 5 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm not going to go into a great deal of depth here as there are already 96 reviews on this product, so I'll just give you my (short) opinion - brilliant!

I've been a big fan of Kay for a while now and reading his heart-warming memories from his early life, written in a stand-up story kind of way I now have more of an in-sight into how he got into the show biz career he is so famous for now and have a history of all of the crappy jobs he had beforehand and the funny tales that accompany them. My only complaint is that the book finishes way too early as it doesn't really touch on his stand up, A Peter Kay Thing, Phoenix Nights or Max & Paddy days or his relationships with Paddy McGuiness or Dave Spikey. Hopefully this will mean that a follow-up is in the works (which might explain why he hasn't done much for the past year or so!). I normally hate reading biographies and auto-biographies, but this one I couldn't put down. An excellent and hilarious read.
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Format: Hardcover
Peter Kay is without doubt one of the funniest men Britain has produced in recent years, but does that mean his autobiography is going to be funny too. Well thankfully it is. Not side splittingly funny, but funny enough to keep a smile on your face most of the time you are reading it.

Peter Kay is not your typical stand up comedian, in fact jokes are not really his forte. He has the happy knack of making every day events sound hilariously funny and most people can associate with them, as they have either happened to themselves or someone they know. Most people of a certain age can imagine their own father saying `Garlic Bread, Garlic . . . Bread' `Cheese Cake, Cheese . . . Cake.' Unfortunately we do not all have the comedy genius of a Peter Kay, who has the ability to make the most mundane happenings sound hilarious.

His book is full of humorous anecdotes and the goings on of elderly relatives and cheap cola. My mother used to buy cheap lemonade too, so I can certainly relate to that. The book shows the man, as well as the stage star and for me anyway paints a picture of a man who deserves his success and long may it continue. A man who can laugh at himself and those around him and is loved for it. Coming from me, a Yorkshireman, to a Lancastrian that is praise indeed.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book in two days and laughed out loud at some of his memories, but I can't believe it stopped before we got to his partnership with Patrick McGuiness or Pheonix Nights.

He takes a swipe at some people and he comes across a little spoilt & spiteful in parts.

It has some awful spelling and grammar mistakes.It doesn't really tell you that much about his life now. I was very disappointed and glad that I didn't pay the full £18.99 for the book, as that would have been grossly overpriced.
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Format: Hardcover
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Peter Kay and coming from Bolton feel a kind of proprietorial pride that a local lad has done so well for himself. However I was a bit surprised to hear that a relatively young guy, who has been performing for such a short time, felt that it was time to write his memoirs.

None the less I bought the book and dove straight in. There are some fairly amusing anecdotes about growing up and not being able to hold down a job - apparently because he's a bit of an idle beggar and anyway he always knew he was destined for comedy. The story ticks along in lively fashion but you soon start to feel that Peter's ego has expanded even faster than his waist line. After a while this starts to get a bit wearing and I found it harder and harder to pick up again.

I persevered to the end though and was ultimately disappointed as the book grinds to a halt just as Peter achieves comedy greatness by winning an open mike contest on his first try. A bit of a shame that: I'd have liked to hear how he dealt with the world of show-biz. Clearly we're expected to wait with baited breath for book two of what looks set to be a 15 volume epic. That worked well for David Niven when he wrote The Moon's a Balloon but he'd already achieved legend status.

All in all this is a reasonably entertaining book but I'd wait for the cut-price paperback version to come out if I were you.
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Format: Hardcover
I love Peter Kay's cheeky, boyish humour and have found myself laughing out loud at his quick-witted japery on TV etc so I looked forward immensely to reading this book.

It is a pacy read, no soul-searching introspection and nothing particularly dull about it but... it's not well written (simple grammatical errors such as "danced passed", "must of" etc and even his beloved "Kiaora" drink is incorrectly spelt), its humour seems underdeveloped and it has the feeling of having been written very fast. Also, it falls right into the common trap for comics writing an autobiography: when they want to be serious for a moment, the whole book drops a gear and then you expect a punchline (but there isn't one).

The best chapters were the ones about his love of music (nostalgic for me, too) and the final chapter about his attempt to get into live stand-up comedy after having tricked his way into on a higher education course with one O-level. He seems to be on stronger ground, somehow, more sure of his direction and the books becomes more coherent. Up to that point, it is a series of reminiscences (some too absurd to be absolutely plausible) with a strong emphasis on his teenage years. And wouldn't it be interesting to know what his parents thought about his career ambition? And what of his sister, "R Julie", about whom we learn not one single thing (poor girl!)?

It stops abruptly when he gets to about 22, so there's no mention of anything as recent as Phoenix Nights. But the guy's only 32 now so there should be another few volumes to come. I just hope that they will be tighter and more intense than this quickly-typed waffle. An audio book, read by the author, could inject some much needed Bolton accent and quick delivery into this disappointing read.
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