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VINE VOICEon 5 February 2008
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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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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on 12 October 2006
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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on 31 October 2006
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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on 13 January 2007
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.

Also, as if an "epilogue" were not pretentious enough for a book like this, poor Mrs Kay is mentioned in the penultimate chapter only. It's almost as though she was saying "Have you mentioned me yet, Peter?" and he would reply that he would in a minute but just forgot. There are no recollections at all about teenage girlfriends (or even friends who were girls), surely a highly important fixation for an adolescent lad, and we learn not one thing about how he met his wife or their marriage.

And Peter Kay, of all people, could have made that really funny..
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on 7 October 2006
There are very few people in my lifetime that can tell a story about an answering machine or garlic bread, and make my entire family cry with laughter.

Enter Peter Kay.

Without trying to compare his brand of humour to any of the classic comedians, it is refreshing to see a talented young person appealing to all generations.

This is reflected in this very frank and honest autobiography, which tells Peter's story with charm and dignity. His story is told with the clever whit that you would expect from one of the funniest men alive, but does not dust over the times of real life that helps make Peter the comedy hero he is today.
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Peter Kay is a funny bloke and I love him in Phoenix Nights and 'That Peter Kay Thing', however his stand up's not as good as it's cracked up to be.

This book isn't really structured as an autobiography, it's more of a series of anecdotes about Kay's upbringing and the various seedy part time jobs he had to endure whilst waiting for his big break. It's written in an engaging, slightly clunky prose, but the author is able to maintain the reader's interest by throwing in some rather good observations and some laugh out loud one liners. The pace of the book tends to flounder a bit in the middle section and then rush through the final four chapters, which is rather a shame.

Personally, there wasn't enough about Peter the man, rather than Peter the comedian/TV personality, which was a shame, but I imagine this will be part one of a long term project.
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on 9 January 2007
As a huge fan of Peter Kay's stand-up and Phoenix Nights I found this to be tedious and appallingly badly written. You get the impression that the author made an executive decision to not allow anyone to edit or make corrections. Simple grammatical errors and mis-spelt brand names are annoying enough, without Kay's habit of putting "I'm joking of course" after most anecdotes, as if he assumes his reader/fan won't spot sarcasm when it's been blatantly laid out! For the more challenged reader he also sees fit to break down some frankly feeble gags which wouldn't even make one of his own shows.

A major point of interest for this reader was how Kay made the transition from job-hopping to avoid being on the dole to becoming a huge star in a very short period of time. The book has a few moments that will ring bells with fans who have watched Phoenix nights and in particular "That Peter Kay Thing" as many of the characters are not so much insprired by people in Kay's life, as directly lifted and parodied.

Overall though, you get the impression Kay would be a pretty annoying character to work with and the book is written in a rather flighty way which frequently needs to return to points he neglected to mention in ealier chapters after he got sidetracked.

I remain an ardent fan of his screen work, but will approach his work on the page with caution in future. Shame.
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on 22 July 2015
I don't know.

Some days I love Peter Kay. Others others I find his jolly, bouncy, whimsical way very annoying. For a benchmark, I loved Pheonix Nights and That Peter Kay Thing so... That X Factor spoof thing, not really and him singing as a Northern Irish woman, despite the decent accent nope. So I got this book thinking, I bet he has an interesting story. But his life seems incredibly vanilla. Very few of the stories sound as convincing or enjoyable as some of the stuff from his act about his childhood. Some of the anecdotes don't actually ring true, they sound false certainly contrived and that in a biography is a deadly sin. And it is very boring. The cover of the book should have told me everything I needed to know and I am sure there is probably some good stuff about his work and PN , but I couldn't stick with it to find out.
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on 29 October 2006
I was expecting a lot from this book and ended up a bit disappointed. I admit I did laugh out loud a couple of times, but to be honest most of the stories / jokes in the book just aren't that funny. The book confirmed for me that Peter Kay is at his best on stage; you need to see his face and hear his voice for his talent to come through, it doesn't come across very well in written format. I'd buy a dvd of him instead.
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