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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 October 2010
I love Jo Brand - comedian, writer, mum, actor, former psychiatric nurse - the woman's a legend! I am a huge fan of her comedy and it's this area that I'm really interested in. This books goes into loads of detail about how Jo started out in stand up and what she had to go through in order to become the success that she is today. Some of her early bookings sound like they were torture (I had no idea hecklers could be so horrible!) and it was interesting to hear how nervous she was when she first started - something that I don't think comes across in her performances at all. Really fascinating stuff, sprinkled with quite a lot of naughty stories, this is vintage Jo Brand.
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on 1 October 2010
I really enjoyed Jo's first book and I wanted to hear more about her stand up career so I couldn't wait to read this one. I've nearly finished it and it's fantastic. Jo tells us all about how her she decided to start doing full time stand-up comedy, her memorable gigs - successes and disasters! - going on tv and about her family life too. I loved reading about her early performances, all the celebrities she knows and about how she juggles her home life with her career - a side to Jo that I didn't know about before I read this. All told in the lovely warm style that I so enjoyed in her first book. Brilliant.
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on 4 October 2010
I read this over the weekend after having read Jo's first book Look Back In Hunger which I bought in paperback and I SO enjoyed. This hardback looks lovely with some great pictures. I love this book, Jo is so warm and funny and generous, it's like meeting your best friend. In this one she writes about her career as a comic from when she first started on TV on Friday Night Live right up to now including all her touring, and stand up work, television radio, Edinburgh gigs, Getting On, Trinny and Susannah, running the London Marathon, rally driving. Her Ode to the Menopause made me laugh out loud, rather embarrassingly. It's full of amazing anecdotes and insights and she's very open about her family and getting married, friends. I love the story where her daughter asks her 'Are you Jo Brand?' Priceless. If you want some sunshine and laughter in your life then read this book.
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on 1 March 2011
I already own "Look Back in Hunger" which was written in a lighthearted way regarding her background, career and life experiences. I expected this book to be more in a similar vein. Not so. Endless pages of which comedy venues she likes / dislikes and why, and similar uninteresting "facts." Found it mind numbingly yawn making and nothing like the former book. Big disappointment.
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on 10 June 2013
Can't Stand Up For Sitting Down

I'm think Jo Brand is funny and clever but I found this book a terrible disappointment. Having enjoyed Look Back in Hunger I was really looking forward to the next volume of her autobiography but I couldn't believe how dull it was. The few interesting bits were buried in a mass of padding and I felt that it should have been a shorter and therefore livelier book. Sorry Jo, but you've waffled on... and on... to the point of tedium.
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on 19 March 2014
This was recommended by a friend who has a great sense of humour. He told me he couldn't put the book down and that it was very funny.
There is of course no reason why a comic should be able to write as funnily as s/he speaks or tells a joke, but I read about 30 or 40 pages of this and gave up. I'd rather chew aspirin.
Perhaps I had been spoiled by reading Paul O'Grady's autobiographies starting with "At My Mother's Knee", mind you though P.O'G is almost twice my age there was so much in his books relating to family life, school and housing that I could relate to I couldn't help but laugh. Can't Stand up left me cold. I couldn't have been less interested, though I did feel milling sorry for Jo reading her account of her first live gig.
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on 6 November 2010
I bought Jo Brand's previous book and found it very hilarious, in my view this one got off to a slow start as it simply describes her career and how it starts although its still interesting. I liked the second half of it better as it meanders through what Jo likes and I found this easier to identify with. I love Jo brand's depreciating style, her desire to protect her children and her sense of humour. Very good.
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I enjoy Jo Brand's work. I think she is a funny, articulate, clever woman who has a lot to say and who says it in an interesting way. I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume of her memoirs and hoped for more of the same in this book. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with this. Each chapter tackles a different topic, rather than taking us through her life in roughly chronological order as her first memoir did. Some of the chapters are fairly interesting but I really struggled with the my favourite books etc. Not so much that she was writing about them. I always think what someone reads or watches is an interesting key to the kind of person they are, but because of the kind of book review aspect of it all. These chapters on books, films and plays seemed very much lightweight, filler material. Particularly the chapter about theatre, in which she only really covers about three plays. If I want to know the plot of Dickens' A Christmas Carol I can look that up elsewhere. It's not really what I am buying this book for though.

I appreciate that much of the material in this book affects Jo's life as she lives it now. It is much easier perhaps to be revealing about our distant past, as it is not going to affect whether we get the next job, or whether someone will have a go at us for telling an unsavoury anecdote about them, but it is possible to be slightly more forthcoming than she is here, without being salacious, or revealing too much about herself. I thought this book was rushed and rather unsatisfactory.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 August 2012
I have previously read and reviewed Jo Brand's first volume of her memoirs Look Back in Hunger: The Autobiography and made it clear that I never used to particularly care much for Jo Brand.

Her regular appearances on TV, to the best of my memory on late night Channel 4, left me cold, I remember her black spikey hair, bright red Doc Martins and her all-black baggy clothing; I found her to be very negative about men, and her humour strewn with stereotypical gags. However, I have to admit I will have been in the early part of my teens then and have since come to realise that my age meant that I did not realise how clever a lot of Jo Brand's humour was and also did not appreciate that she was leading the way for many female comics, at a time when the field was very much dominated by men.

Since that time I have grown to love Jo Brand.

I deliberately seek out televison appearances of hers now, enjoying her numerous appearances on the channel 'Dave', and programmes such as 'Have I Got News For You' and 'Book Club'; most importantly though is 'Qi' (my favourite show), she is just about the most regular 'non-regular' on the show, she comes across as highly intelligent and so funny, the shows with her in are always my favourites and for me the respect and fondness that clearly emanates from many of the other panel members, particularly the well respected male comics, shows me how this remarkable lady has made such an impact amongst the comic fratenity.

So I was understandably pleased when I discovered that she had chosen to write her memoirs, and having purchased the first volume more or less on the day of its release I was over the moon to discover that it was a page turner, and I subsequently devoured it cover to cover in just a few days.

The first volume covered Jo Brand's life from birth/childhood up to the early days of her comedy career, ending more or less with her first tentative steps into this unforgiving profession. The book was very well written, and it was clear that she wrote it herself because of the way her real character came off of the page. It was a pleasant, relaxing, interesting and funny read, and most certainly did not disappoint; thus the five stars I gave it in the corresponding Amazon review.

Now on to the second volume...........

This book continues from where the first volume left off, and takes us through Jo Brand's blossoming comedy career, her experiences of building a family, and brings us more or less up to date.

The book has some very funny stories, and definitely offers real insight in to just how hard Jo Brand worked to get to where she is today, leaving the reader with a new respect for her determination, dedication and commitment; have no doubt, Jo Brand thorougly deserves everything she has today.

However there are problems, firstly this second volume feels very different in style to the first; at times almost as if written by a different person.

On finishing the book I was not left with the same of sense satisfaction I felt on completion of the first volume.

This volume feels more like a sucession of edited diary entries at times, and left me with the impression that it was almost 'rushed' to meet a deadline?!

When reading it I realised that there was a relatively small amount of new information, and in my opinion it would have been possible to fit this second book's content into the end of the first one, thus just requiring the one book; it definitely felt like two volumes had been decided on from the start, and regardless of how much content was left to write about at the end of the first book, this second one was going to happen!

Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a 'bad' read, even with it's problems it's still more enjoyable than a lot of other autobiographies I have read, perhaps the problem is that because Jo Brand's first effort was just so good the expectations for the sequel were just too high to reach.

Don't worry though Jo Brand I still love you!
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on 1 July 2012
Can't Stand Up for Sitting Down is Jo Brand's second autobiography following on from Look Back in Hunger. I really enjoyed Look Back in Hunger, so much so that I wrote a book review. I couldn't wait to read Can't Stand Up for Sitting Down, so did it satisfy my expectations?

Brand starts with an author's note stating that this book is more a collection of memoirs rather than a chronological writing of significant events in her life like Look Back in Hunger. The book is split into three distinct sections: Trying To Be Funny, Being Jo Brand and The Box.

Trying To Be Funny is about her comedy career but it felt really vague. I remembered how Brand wrote quite detailed accounts of her time as a Psychiatric Nurse in Look Back in Hunger, yet when writing about her more recent comedy career it lacked details.

Being Jo Brand is about her personal life. In this section Brand gives her opinions about what she likes; as well as writing about her labour political values, her family and friends and what it's like "being clocked" - recognised by members of the public.

The Box is mainly about TV, Radio and Celebrities. Brand includes a chapter entitled "Writing This Effing Book" were she writes about the volume of words needed to complete this book. Reading this chapter made it click in my head, the word I wanted to describe how this book felt to me: strained. It felt as though Brand stretched out her autobiography to fit into a second book. I had high expectations for this book and unfortunately it didn't quite meet them.

However the book does have funny and interesting chapters and is well worth a read, especially if you've read Look Back in Hunger, as it completes her story.
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