Tag: autobiography


Photograph by Ringo Starr (Genesis, 2015) ‘I just loved taking pictures and I still do,’ writes Ringo Starr; hence this big glossy book that pairs his photographs with skerricks of unpretentious memoir (primarily pre-Beatles and Beatlemania). As with the music, Ringo had the best seat in the house.    

So, Anyway…

So, Anyway… by John Cleese (Crown, 2014); audiobook read by the author (Bolinda, 2016) Cleese sounds very hoarse at first, but builds into his performance and remains the perfect choice to narrate his own half-life story (that prior to Monty Python), bringing rhythms and emphasis that might not otherwise be evident. Amusingly told and intelligently introspective.    

Is There Life Outside the Box? An Actor Despairs

Is There Life Outside the Box? An Actor Despairs by Peter Davison (John Blake, 2016) Peter Davison is self-deprecating to a fault in this frank, entertaining, career-spanning autobiography, taking responsibility for his failings but not his successes (which are put down to good fortune and the one acting ability Davison is prepared to acknowledge: hitting his mark).    

Adventures with the Wife in Space

Adventures with the Wife in Space by Neil Perryman (Faber & Faber, 2013) Several Everyman’s autobiographies have been structured around Doctor Who, each perfectly readable if of limited appeal. The titular allusion of this one doesn’t actually work (as the author himself would have noted) but Sue Perryman’s affably caustic interruptions make the trip worthwhile.  

Always Looking Up

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox (Hyperion, 2008) Much-loved film and television star Michael J. Fox seems, if anything, even more likeable in this memoir covering his post-acting life with Parkinson’s. The titular optimism comes across not only by way of his actions but in his engaging, companionable writing style.  

One Flew into the Cuckoo’s Egg

One Flew into the Cuckoo’s Egg by Bill Oddie (Hodder & Stoughton, 2008) Bill Oddie’s autobiography largely omits both birdwatching and The Goodies, preferring instead Oddie’s rather bleak childhood and pre-celebrity years (an engaging reminiscence by someone who’s come to terms with his demons), then his post-celebrity battles with depression (detailed honestly and without self-pity).