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Customer Review

on 14 May 2009
I quite agree with another reviewer here: Radcliffe spends a suspicious amount of time stressing how he's very much an ordinary, hetrosexual kind of guy. Why protest so much if those things aren't in any doubt?

The accounts of meeting Jagger, McCartney, Kylie, Kate Bush, Dr Feelgood and so on are very interesting, as are the tales of time spent with John Peel. Knowing more about how these sorts of people behave in certain situations is fascinating. There are also some very welcome insights into the bizarre workings of the BBC. Another highlight includes hearing how Mark posed as Shane McGowan of The Pogues for Stars In Their Eyes.

I found some of the childhood anecdotes a little dull. These sorts of things have happened to most of us, so why write about them?

The other thing that grates is Mark's attempts to be funny ALL the time. Some of these stories could be allowed to unfold and reveal their own integral humour, but Radcliffe insists on cramming wisecracks into every paragraph, often creating little digressions apparently just to squeeze in yet more (slightly predictable) jokes. It's good to be amused by a book, of course, but sometimes you feel he's trying just a bit too hard to show you that he is both hilarious and modest with it. It seems he is very eager to be liked, which is odd given his very successful career and also the fact that he seems to be a genuinely decent man.

Gripes aside, while this is clearly no masterpiece (and I'm sure Mark would insist that it was never meant to be), you will find the book fairly entertaining and it will fill a few train journeys in a mostly pleasing fashion. Fans of the Radcliffe & Maconie show on Radio 2 will know what to expect and will almost certainly be satisfied. But it lacks the subtlety and true observational comedy of Maconie's Cider with Roadies.
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