Reviews of books about comedy, including biographies of comedians old and new, and (occasionally) books by comedians. To have a book considered for review, send a copy to Chortle, 112 Norman Road, London, E11 4RL.
Mon 29 December 2008
Book review: Tony Hancock, The Definitve Biography
by John Fisher
29/12/2008 … Perfectly fitting the enduring ‘tears of a clown’ archetype, the morbid tragedy of Tony Hancock’s life holds endless fascination for biographers.
Tue 23 December 2008
Last-minute stocking stuffers
Round-up of a few Christmas comedy books
23/12/2008 … Gavin & Stacey: From Barry To BillericayA well put-together tie-in to the hit of the moment from original writers James Corden and Ruth Jones, this is presented as a scrapbook of contributions from all the show’s key characters.
Tue 11 November 2008
Book review: Prime Minister, You Wanted To See Me: A History Of Week Ending
by Ian Greaves and Justin Lewis
11/11/2008 … This new history of the well-remembered, if not always well-loved Radio 4 topical comedy show Week Ending landed on the doormat with a satisfying thud.
Tue 04 November 2008
Book review: Stop Me If You’ve Heard This
by Jim Holt
04/11/2008 … At just 124 tiny pages, including illustrations, Stop Me If You’ve Heard This isn’t going to keep you occupied for more than a mid-length commute.
Wed 29 October 2008
Book review: Kenneth Williams Unseen
by Wes Butters and Russell Davies
29/10/2008 … What can be said about Kenneth Williams that hasn’t been said before… and in his own words? Thanks to the revealing diaries he fastidiously kept, we have long known of the conflict between the extravagantly outrageous public clown and the lonely, monastic private life; of his disdain towards the low-rent work he took that he felt undermined his highbrow ambitions; and of the hypochondria and genuine health issues that ultimately led to his death at his own hands – possibly by accident, possibly by design.
Mon 20 October 2008
Book review: Look Who It Is!
by Alan Carr
20/10/2008 … Publishers will no doubt be hoping Alan Carr’s autobiography follows the same success as last year’s blockbuster comedy memoirs: Russell Brand’s My Booky Wook.
Thu 16 October 2008
Book review: Belching Out The Devil
Global Adventures With Coca-Cola by Mark Thomas
16/10/2008 … Maybe it’s the trillions spent on marketing, or some moreish component of their secret ingredient 7X, but it’s hard to even read the words Coca-Cola without fancying one of the ice-cold ‘sparkling beverages’.
Wed 08 October 2008
Book review: A Family At War
The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Till Death Us Do Part
08/10/2008 … In a BBC poll to find Britain’s best-ever sitcom a few years back, Till Death Do Us Part came in at an inglorious No 32.