Still Standing: The Savage Years Hardcover – 11 Oct 2012
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"As a narrator, stroppy of tongue but melting of heart, O'Grady still charms and tickles. The comic scenes with his truly mythological mum ("the Madame Defarge of Tranmere"; "Columbo in a flannelette nightie"; "Eleanor of Aquitaine with a chip-pan") can touch the hem of Alan Bennett's robe... Leaves most fiction and history of the era in the dust." (Boyd Tonkin Independent)
"Paul O'Grady's life has already filled two excellent volumes... Still Standing is another enjoyable and colourful read." (Roland White The Sunday Times)
"Honest, funny and supremely readable." (Sunday Express)
"I absolutely loved it." (Alan Carr)
"O'Grady has a playwright's ear for dialogue, and his salty descriptions of raucous gigs in rundown pubs are a rude delight." (Independent)
The third installment of rollicking adventures from Britain's best-loved entertainer.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I have to agree with Kevin though. The book ends just as he is about to hit the big time and I would have liked to hear about some of the showbiz parts of his life and more about his relationship with Murphy. He says that there won't be another book. Then again, he said he wouldn't do Lily again and he would never return to ITV.
I would still recommend buying the book! Not only is the book touching but very funny too.
Oh so much more than the third part of Paul O'Grady's memoirs. This book sums up a period in time which was almost like fighting a war against ignorance and bigotry, and the generals were the drag queens in places like the Vauxhall Tavern. Lily Savage was the brigadier. Ruling the stage at the venues Lily packed out whenever she appeared, this volume covers the emergence from mime drag acts of Lily as a live patter artist up to the period when she hit the big time and started appearing on TV. There's a fourth book waiting in there and I hope Paul writes it.
Where he takes the reader into uncharted waters is that period in the 1980s when HIV and AIDS started to claim the lives of young, frequently inexperienced gay men. One passage concerning a young lad who was positive after just two sexual encounters, and visiting him in hospital as he lay there blind and crippled, made me shed a few tears for all the lost souls of the time when nobody had an answer or a treatment to offer. Paul (and Lily) did the charity events, visited the sick in hospital and even performed on the wards. The drag queens and performers in the community really did lead from the front, and later seem to be written out of the history by the professional right-on crowd who assumed the mantle.
Lily was a tower of strength to the London gay community and this book needed writing, a testament not just to Ms Savage but everyone else who trod the boards in that turbulent and frequently horrific era. Read this book and you'll see just how much more there was (and still is) to Paul O'Grady and Lily Savage.
Oh yes, it's funny too. Very.
As is usual with his writing, O'Grady draws you in and gets you really involved in the story, leaving no detail out. He can remember the minutiae of a conversation that happened 20 years ago, what he ate, what he wore etc... With this in mind, as I was reading the book I noticed that at 2/3 of the way through, he still really hadn't touched on Lily and how she hit the big time.
There is a lot of detail in there about his formative years in the pubs and clubs and all of this is very interesting, but just at the point where he's starting to get really noticed and getting TV work, the book jumps to 2012. He say's he's missed all the stuff out about Lily as he didn't think it was relevant!
I felt really disappointed. I'm a huge fan both of Lily & O'Grady and while it's been fascinating learning about his influences and where he's come from, I feel that more of this book could have been devoted to his time spent as Lily. She is/was such a huge part of his life, I find it incredulous that he would just miss it out.
He states in the book that he's not writing any more biographies, however, the cynic in me suspects there will be another best seller on the shelves in time for December 2014. And whilst it irks me to say it, I sincerely hope there is as without the Lily years, the story of his life will not be complete.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a wonderful book and written so well. This had my crying, nervous and laughing out loud. I would expect nothing less from the fabulously honest Paul O'Grady.Published 1 month ago by Miss Amy V Gardener