on 30 August 2011
Do not buy this book if you're just looking for laughs from cover to cover. This book is far more than that.
There are some brilliant 'laugh out loud' moments in this book, don't read it in public if you're easily embarrassed! However, this book is not just a series of funny anecdotes, it's Jon showing a very personal part of himself with great honesty and candour.
I went to see Jon at the Edinburgh Fringe; he did an hour's book reading of this - you truly get inside the real Jon Richardson, not just the comedy ...and that is what this book is all about. I had the privelege of meeting Jon afterwards, and he truly is just as he writes. His writing is naturally him, no flourishes or gloss, just real Jon Richardson.
This book is a must buy, try it, you won't be disappointed (as long as you heed my opening sentence).
I've read a lot of books by comedians that try to transfer their stage style to paper and struggle. They have enough comedy to last them 10 minutes on a comedy roadshow, but they can't stretch it out for 300 pages.
Meet Jon Richardson, a perfectionist who finds fault in things he sees that are not quite right, and he sees them everywhere.
He tries to explain why he's been single for eight years, against the backdrop of trying to woo, or not, someone he's taken a fancy to.
It's well thought out, and very enjoyable to read. Those familiar with his dry wit from "8 out of 10 cats" will feel the frustration in his tone as he battles with the "quiet" carriage, but will also cringe at his obsession with seeing, or missing, a mileometer milestone.
It's a real surprise that such an unassuming character, and a relative newcomer to the comedy panel circuit, could produce such a fine book.
on 23 June 2011
Some people say that other people are the personification of objects and ideals. This book, "It's Not Me, It's You" is the book version of Jon, which makes sense as it's Jon's book. But what I mean is, is that if you're a long-standing fan of the radio show and Jon Richardson, especially during the Russell days, then you already have had glimpses of the way his mind works and the way he thinks of the world and of himself. In the book, he says his stand up is like a 20 minute to an hour condensed version, except not as detailed or indepth and he's right, but nothing in this book should shock or surprise anyone if they are a longstanding fan. He gets angry, he gets angry at himself, he gets angry at the world, and he back-and-forths on scenarios regarding the rest of the world, and before anyone knows it, he's mapped out his future and is already picking it to pieces.
There is a lot of Meta going on in this book, by the way, just to let you know.
I think the most powerful thing he talked about in the book was when he says he picks up the glass and gets an overwhelming urge to just smash it against the wall. He goes to do it... and then stops himself, because a voice at the back of his mind says "Don't do that" and backs up of why he Shouldn't do that with a health and safety risk assessment. He then ends up in the bath, covered in a towel, calming himself down and doing something he calls the Zoom technique.
If this dude wasn't a comedian, I really think he'd be a brilliant observational psychiatrist. He could even be both! This is why I adore this man. He has a moral compass that he questions and analyses but still sticks by, because he knows it's right. He just doesn't do what he is told is right, he questions and concludes that they ARE right. He has some issues, but he's no different than the average man, but he still gets on stage and makes people laugh. He did it on the radio, he does it on panel shows and he does it on stage.
And now he does it in a book! This very book! I loved reading this book, from beginning to end. I genuinely didn't want to put it down, and when I realised i'd nearly read it in a day, only then did I stop and put it down. It is too much of a good book to read in one day.
If you're a fan of Jon Richardson, buy the book. If you're on a fan of inner monologues by people who are riddled with perfectionist based habits, buy the book. If you feel like you have two people constantly arguing inside of your head, figuring out which version of yourself should be portrayed the most, buy the book!
He's been so underrated for so many years. Thank who-ever's out there that people are finally catching on to just how good he is. If you don't believe me, watch a bunch of his stand up, watch him on comedy panel shows, listen to him when he's on the radio, and most importantly...
Buy the book!
Obsessed as I am by the private thoughts of comedians these days I thought I'd read this offering from stand-up comic Jon Richardson, somebody I've spotted on various panel shows where he's mentioned his OCDish tendencies and how they affect his life - doing the washing up prior to eating? Huh? Anyway this book takes us on a journey of the travelling comedians' life as he drives to a gig, stays in a B&B eats at various places and generally obsesses about a waitress whom he met in his local carvery and whether the first tentative steps towards gaining a partner could succeed. It's full of self-deprecating humour throughout and in many ways is the tale of a slightly depressed individual. I did appreciate the `private Jon/outgoing Jonny' psyche, a thing which most of us, if we're totally honest, could relate to.
At times the prose got a little tedious and I did find myself skipping over certain bits but generally the book was very readable. I especially loved the scene set on the Swindon-London train in which he challenges a fellow boorish commuter with a hugely amusing message. I did find myself feeling very sorry for him at times and hoping that he'd seek professional help as I believe it would be a tall order finding him the perfect woman at the moment.
on 1 February 2016
I was really looking forward to reading this book after seeing the documentary on Channel 4 that Richardson made about OCD, and seeing a few of his stand-up routines on TV. The whole concept of the book was appealing to me too: Richardson, terminally single, struggles to find a partner who (in his mind) can "put up" with his OCD tendencies of extreme neatness, needing symmetry, etc. I especially loved the line "I've spent my whole adult life getting things just the way I want them, and now all I want is someone to give it all up for" -- maybe because I can relate! ;-D
Unfortunately the book didn't quite turn out to be what I was expecting. It's very well written and you make a connection with the author, but I think the packaging has this book all wrong, because it's not funny. It's tragic. It's heartbreaking. It makes you want to give the author a hug and tell him everything is going to be okay. But I couldn't laugh at what Jon was going through -- despite the fact that, I think, he wanted me to -- because some of it was seriously upsetting.
I have to applaud his honesty, openness and writing ability though. I hope he writes another book. But It's Not Me It's You is a far more serious tome than it's cover, blurbs, synopsis, etc. would suggest, and I think in the end that that does Richardson a disservice, because it takes this well-written, frank admission of what living with (mild!) OCD is like too lightly
on 27 January 2015
I had once seen Jon Richardson briefly on a documentary about Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and found his thoughts on it very interesting. At that time I knew him as a stand-up who occasionally appeared on television. Now, of course, he is very well known.
This book deserves to be read. It is not a hugely funny book with the main man having umpteen hilarious situations to deal with. That is not to say that it is not funny in places. Jon Richardson's book is almost confessional in a way and is all the better for it.
Here is a man who has a deeper insight into his personality, character and the actions that he undertakes daily than anyone I have ever read about, perhaps anyone that I have ever known.
This is not just a neat freak on tour type of book. Jon is on a journey certainly, but one that seems to be internal. We join him on his quest for a potential partner who may be able to accept him, faults and all. In doing so he over-thinks almost everything that can go wrong with the likely relationship prior to it beginning, fantasising problems that may occur during it and even what might happen after it is over.
Jon is such an engaging character in that he cannot help but tell the truth or do the right thing, even when doing so almost cripples his mental state. Basically just buy this book because it is very good and extremely well written. Could anyone else in the public eye be so open about their flaws, failures and challenges?
on 7 April 2016
Any book which makes me feel " normal " has got to be a winner ! A vivid and fascinating peep into a week in the life of a remarkably introspective and amusing guy. As far as the criticisms go, Mr Richardson is an equal opportunity critic, being as harsh and judgemental on himself as he is at imposing his strictures upon the unwary public through whom he stalks, frowningly. From his day being made by an innocent passerby dropping his hamburgher to his concerns with soap bubbles in the sink you may well be as transfixed as I at this brutally honest account. And yes, I'll buy the follow up should there ever be one.
on 27 June 2011
For those quick review scanners, I will make this easy for you - if you like Jon Richardson, you will enjoy this book.
For those that like to read thoroughly to make a very informed purchasing decision (and indeed, those that love Jon are likely to be the kind of people that would), here are some more thoughts:
Jon Richardson's comedy goes far above and beyond other comedians, because it's so personal and honest. And that's what strikes you when reading this; there's no fluff, just pure, honest Jon. It's difficult not to laugh out loud in places and then read out the funny passage to whoever's nearest to you at the time.
As he explains at the start, this is not an autobiography, but you still get to learn a lot about him. It's all centred on how he is at present.
Jon's writing style just flows perfectly and you'll find yourself half way through the book before you even realise it.
A great, satisfying read - I hope to see many more books from Jon Richardson in the future, whether they're about himself or not!
on 16 January 2015
I thought Id enjoy this a lot more than i did having watched Jon's appearances on tv. I did try really but gave up about a third of the way through.. The book or rather Jon rambled on , making little or no sense of the point he was trying to get over . Id wished Id read more of the sample first before buying .
on 27 June 2014
I usually love Jon Richardson and his awkward brand of comedy, but this left me feeling annoyed and out of sorts. I ended up giving up before I'd even got halfway through the book because it seemed to be nothing but ranting and whinging! I'm all for that in small doses, but it just got to be beyond irritating and in the end I gave up bothering with it.