on 28 October 2011
As a massive Alan Gordon Partridge fan, I too was sceptical about this book, worrying that it would be a bit lame and play it safe and ultimately I would be dissapointed. How wrong was I. This is a book that I pick up and read but don't want to read too much because I don't want to finish it. If you are a fan it will be the best thing you read/buy all year.
You hear Partridge as you read the book and its almost as if he is reading it to you. You laugh out load because, its funny. You feel sorry for Alan, you feel embarrassed for Alan, you feel embarrassed because of Alan and sometimes you even agree with Alan.
Never written a review before but...............this is ruddy.....ruddy excellent. Back of the net!
This is quite honestly the funniest book I have ever read. You'd be forgiven for thinking that an entire book written in character from one of these isles' and comedy history's most successful, developed and believable creations could fall short of expectations on many levels, but it doesn't. Not one facet of the superbly titled "I Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan" (even the TITLE is 100% character-accurate) didn't live up to my expectations.
Coogan, Iannucci and newcomers the brothers Gibbons have created a very complete history for Partridge that effortlessly (and again, believably) takes in aspects of his storied past from the events of I'm Alan Partridge right back to anecdotes recounted in the lesser-seen (or heard) radio version of Knowing Me, Knowing You (whose referenced Steven McCombe is given a further verbal thrashing by our vengeful Alan). If you've felt that some of Coogan's ventures with the character have seen disjointed (how, precisely, did he get from I'm... to the excellent Mid Morning Matters, for example, and what's become of his supporting cast?) this book should serve to tie things together, though don't misread me- this is not a loosely assembled retread of common ground. There's not a page that doesn't boast a fresh tale, an exaggerated recollection or a declaration of excellence in some mundane field. Iannucci and Coogan's belief in the character (who they attest in the DVD extras for one episode dresses the way he does because it's the way Roger Moore started to in his later Bond appearances, and in another discuss - in detail - what numbers they think Alan would find funny) is what makes this rich, rich fictional history such a compelling and comical read. If you've ever wanted to know more about his relationships with Michael, Carol, Lynn or Sonja or precisely how someone so socially inept landed a gig presenting a primetime chatshow, you'll not be left wanting.
I, Partridge contains absolutely everything I would have wanted from it (Partridgeisms as disparate as using abbreviations only to have to explain them and thereby diminishing their usefulness or boasting about reading books aimed at 12-year-olds at age 9, to name but two of many) but adds a whole new layer of idiosyncrasy (the use of footnotes herein, for example, is particularly inspired) and is bolstered by Alan's unique (if clearly derivative) and acutely observed sense of prose, which is so commonly featured that to single out ay one example seems pointless.
The book's appeal is wide-ranging enough to accommodate those like myself who've devoured every audio commentary and Youtube-sourced guest appearance they can get their hands on in addition to relative newcomers or even those with no frame of reference for the character at all, simply because it's so well written and so fully realised that it functions as a great read no matter how you engage with it. You don't have to have heard Alan's recollections of youth in his televised outings to find his here-recited tales of being prone to nosebleeds or awkward first forays into sexual exploration amusing. It's a great comedy read in addition to being a great celebration of a character worth celebrating.
I'm not exaggerating when I say this book has made me laugh out loud more than any book I've ever read (in one sitting, no less), nor am I exaggerating when I say I'll probably re-read and re-read and analyse this tome to death much as I have Partridge's previous exposures. It is, as much as a book written by a fictional character could ever be, absolutely perfect.
on 13 August 2012
This was an absolute hoot! It helps if you apreciate Partidge humour of course and as a fan I found this book absolutley hilarious. The key is to imagine his voice narrating it to you. It's an autobiography of sorts in which he talks about the many episodes of his life, some of which featured in his various tv series. However this book adds a lot of humourous depth to embelish those times we are familiar with in series such as I'm Alan Partridge. I was actually surprised at just how much depth there was to this book and how original it all felt despite having seen just about all of his television work, in some ways I found reading the book funnier than watching his shows. If you've ever sniggered at one of his television performances then buy this book, you won't regret it!
"Other than those moments when I've either punched or shot people live on air, the name Alan Partridge has come to be a byword for broadcasting excellence."
With his big screen debut on the near horizon, it's a good time to visit Alan Gordon Partridge's seminal memoir (the second one, not the one that got pulped). Some may laugh, a lot, but this is no mere cheap cash-in aimed at the Christmas market but a fully realised journey through a remarkable life, the full importance of which has yet to - and may never be - realised. And Partridge pulls no punches, revisiting the highlights of his distinguished career without recycling and rehashing old material, preferring to fill in the gaps between shows - his childhood battle against nosebleeds, the breakup of his marriage (it's hard to talk about, but Harper-Collins have insisted), finding solace in pony trekking until Brokeback Mountain came out and it didn't feel right anymore, the aftermath of his fallout with Glenn Ponder, his friendships with Bill Oddie and Sue Cook, the fate of his East European girlfriend who wanted desperately to marry him or anyone else with a British visa and, most harrowing of all, the root of his Toblerone addiction heck that set him back £54,000 (more than most unhappily married men spend on prostitutes in their whole life) when introduced to the chocolate treat by either Pepsi or Shirley of Pepsi and Shirley. When familiar ground is revisited, it's seen through Alan's eyes, which some cynics may find disingenuous, not least his unique interpretation of his memorable encounter with Tony Hayers in the BBC restaurant or his not at all nitpicking ruminations on the accidental murder of Forbes McAllister live on air.
And there's plenty of celebrity gossip along the way, including the revelation that his partnership with David Furnish is just a cover story to hide the fact that Elton John is straight and that David Essex might be a gypsy because Alan's reliably informed that he once tried to put a curse on Leo Sayer after an argument at an Indian restaurant, not to mention his always profound and well thought out political and philosophical opinions ("At many of the pivotal points in my life I've found that the best way to reach a decision is to find out what a Baptist would do, then do the oposite") as well as the odd lifestyle tip like the importance of eating roughage at a funeral reception buffet.
It's well worth picking up the audio book version because, while it may lack a picture section, this is a book that tends to lose a lot in print when Alan's delivery and intonation are such a big part of the emotional effect: it's the kind of smooth and commanding vocal performance that only years of honing your craft on hospital radio, Our Price in-store radio and Radio Norfolk and Radio North Norfolk's more challenging timeslots can produce. Take away the great man's voice, and you're only getting half the story - a patridge without feathers, as Alan might say. Back of the net!
on 27 August 2012
This book is hilarious. I have been a fan of Alan Partridge since 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', but I don't believe that any comic vehicle he has been involved with comes close to this book.
The writing in this book is fantastic, and reading it a second time provided me with a number of hilarious moments that I hadn't come across the first time around.
The story traces Alan's life from a child in Norwich, to being a top chat show host, to his return to local radio. Alan reflects on the time he accidentaly shot one of his guests, his wife's affair with a gym instructor and many other very funny stories. When he recalls his teenage and university years the tone reminds me of Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole. Alan's pedantry and his attempts to be cool at these points in his life are hilarious.
For those who are unfamiliar with Mr Partridge, he is a fictional character who is an amalgam of naff, insensitive, grandiose and politically incorrect TV presenters. He has a wonderful ability to always say the wrong thing. Has a wonderful ability never to see any wrong in his insensitive actions. He is certainly up there with the very best of British comedy creations: Basil Fawlty, David Brent and Edmund Blackadder.
I urge you to give this a try you won't be disappointed.
on 14 April 2016
The concept of writing an autobiography about a character you have created - using the situations you have scripted over a number of year as the background fascinated me. The many anecdotes I think I remembered from the TV shows fitted in well. The story bounced along well at the beginning, but I felt the pace slowed down throughout the book, when I wanted/ expected it to be faster throughout. Then I saw the film on TV and saw many of the anecdotes fitting in with the hostage situation. Very clever book - but not as good as I wanted it to be - although it was a must read to the end just to check.
on 1 October 2011
"When first I was put into prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realising what I am that I have found comfort of any kind." So wrote Oscar Wilde (movingly) of his fall from grace - his de-bagging publicus - in the opening lines from his collection of letters "De Profundis".
"De Profundis" was a long (occasionally waffling) series of letters sent by Wilde from his prison cell to one of the numerous effete dandies that he often accompanied through many a debauched, sweaty evening in Victorian clubland. From his ignominious grief hole the not-so-dandy-now Wilde epistolized lamentingly the passing of his pomp, a pomp full of late nights spent lolling around Belgravia with perfumed men over-dressed in woolen frock coats, guffawing to the moon like hubristic wolves (gay wolves), sprawling themselves languriously over velvet chaise longues (long chairs), exchanging supercillious epigrams, drinking sherry, sniffing from bottles of opiates, drinking shots of discombobulating fatty acids, playing whiff-whaff. Indolently mincing about London in the last decade of HRH Queen Victoria's thronehood; flowing silk-twilled cravates trailing behind them like peculiar tails flapping in a homosexual breeze.
The parallels with Partridge are compelling. Like Wilde, Alan too fell from favour, except perhaps from a greater height. Wilde never came close to the acme of television, never breathed the fresh ozone present in BBC2's lofty evening line-up. Whilst Wilde was rugby tackled by the courts and landed in a gutter, left alone to look up at the stars in the night sky, Alan was tossed out of Eden (the bejewelled garden stretching from White City to Shepherds Bush) into a dour purgatory local radio existence, left alone to look up at the stars of light entertainment.
Alan and Oscar were both impugned by repressive establishment hegemonies for having the spunk to throw down gauntlets (for the religious leaders and puritanical parliamentarians of Wilde's era read the bloated ratings-obsessed television executives of Alan's time). Wilde was sent to prison for espousing the virtues of sex with po-faced dandies and Partridge was held on remand for prosletysing chat.
Alan had dared challenge ITN's leviathan-like behemoth News at Ten by making programmes full of innervating banter with leading light entertainment raconteurs (Oddie, Rea, "Shaky"); Wilde, meanwhile, had scandalized Victoria's Jerusalem by sodomizing gentlemen of standing then cock-a-doodle-dooing about it in the Daily Mails of the day.
Both men thorns; both men pricking England's soft comfort zones.
But, without giving away too much of the book, it is here that their fortunes diverge. Wilde ended up dead, smothered in his own lugubrious epistles, a broadcasting media-shaped hole in his heart. His gay heart. But Alan bounced back. His, as he famously used to say, is a pint.
This timeless book should be listed in the travel section. It is a roadmap, a satnav spoken in a rich Anglian brogue, which leads us, nay marches us, from the loneliness of one man doing Toblerones in a Dundee Odeon cinema toilet to the five-bedroomed, double-garaged global audience of internet-enabled digital radio, ePartridge. I, Partridge. We, Partridge.
There's a little bit of Alan inside everyone now (not in the Oscar Wilde sense) and I say Spiceworld to that.
on 9 December 2012
I am well known amongst friends and family as being an admirer of the great and late Forbes McAllister. So it was with some interest that i picked up Mr Partridge's book. I thought there would be an extensive portion of the book devoted to soul searching and apologies over the death of Forbes ... However I was extremely angry and upset to not only find out Mr Partridge regards his shooting of Forbes to be an insignificant event, he even goes so far as to suggest that Forbes was somehow responsible himself !
This man's hubris and arrogance knows no bounds!
on 25 January 2016
It goes without saying, you will enjoy this book a lot more if you are a fan of Alan Partridge or Steve Coogan's work.
It is a hillarious journey through his early years, his career and his private life. There are a lot of references to events that happened in the I'm Alan Partridge series.
There is a set list of songs that Alan has compiled to be played at certain points in the book. This just adds extra comedy value to an already brillinat read. If you already have the songs availbale then this is a bonus.
I enjoyed this so much that I purchased the audio book afterwards and listened to him telling the story. This is even better as he told the story in his classic Partridge voice with all the changes in tone that add depth to everything.
Hillarious to read and listen to, you really do forget that it is an autobiography of a character and not a real person. That in itself is testiment to a brilliant book!
Partridge fans that haven't already got this should buy it now and it's available at a bargain!!
on 18 August 2012
Up there with Basil Fawlty (maybe?) but certainly with David Brent, Alan Partridge is one of the great comic characters of our era. Well mine, which is maybe longer than yours. There are laugh out loud moments a-plenty and nothing can compete (like Michael Caine's bio) hearing it in his own words. 6 hours not wasted. Brilliant!