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My Booky Wook

September 13, 2008

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My Booky Wook by Russell Brand

Greetings all.

I know the last time I posted I said I was reading the ‘Fables’ graphic novel series, but volume 1 turned out to be one of those half-an-hour specials, and though interesting, not terribly captivating, so I put volume two on hold and fell right into another book.
Those of you stateside who know the name Russell Brand have either seen ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ – in which he played the rock star Aldous Snow – or saw him tear it up on the otherwise stultifying MTV Video Awards (in which he rightly made light of one of the more plastic, idiotic and ultimately forgettable corners of our current pop culture).
Brand’s a funny guy.
I can’t remember where I read about ‘My Booky Wook’, but I do recall that I was intrigued enough to order a copy from the UK (it has yet to be published stateside). While I can’t explain the hoodoo that got the book here from England in less than a week for under $5 postage (I’m not sure I could reproduce that kind of speed for the same price from one destination to another domestically), I applaud the Royal Postal Service for their efficiency.
‘My Booky Wook’ is an autobiographical volume, which may seem odd for someone who is barely known over here, but we’ll overlook your assumption that if someone is not famous here in the US that they simply cannot be famous anywhere else – and continue with the review.
Brand is actually quite well know (maybe notorious) in the UK where he’s worked for the last several years as a stand up comedian, actor, TV host and renowned libertine. The book is a well written, humorous and – believe it or not – poignant look at Brand’s life, from his childhood, through his first recognition as an actor/comedian, right on through a long period of self destructive debauchery and on to a conclusion that is every bit as satisfying as it is expected.
I found Brand to be the best thing about ‘…Sarah Marshall’, loved his utterly disrespectful approach to the MTV thing (take that you pompous little Republicans. How about a promise ring that symbolizes a pledge to mind your own fucking business???), and the tales of his TV work in the UK made me eager for a time when his star rises enough over here that some of it gets released on DVD (or at least shown on BBC America, where I first encountered the brilliant ‘Little Britain’).
I’ll certainly read anything else he choose to write in the future.
Currently reading: Not sure, really. I have yet to make up my mind between a graphic novel, a sci-fi horror thing or a huge hardcover book on avant garde jazz that I got for my birthday…

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2 comments

  1. I’m not one of Russell Brand’s biggest fans these days though back in the day on MTV UK in the mid-late 1990’s he was definitely befitting of the old “edgy” cliché. He’d be interviewing bands at festivals while completely bikkied off his face all manners of pharmaceuticals which would make for some interestingly bizarre interviews. From what I understand he was too much the loose cannon for MTV at the time and got the axe.

    If you’re liking the modern British comedy like Little Britain, Mighty Boosh, Brand et al; I’d highly recommend looking into some of the Chris Morris/Armando Iannucci helmed shows like “The Day Today” & “Brass Eye” (for starters) from the turn of the century. The latter of which (based on a “Panorama” style social debate program) was banned after 6 episodes and a “Paedophilia” special after they lulled a number celebrities & politicians into endorsing an anti-paedophilia group called “Nonce-Sense” (which proclaimed paedophiles smell like hammers and have more genetically in common with crabs than normal people). In another episode they alerted a British MP to the rising dangers of a new “made-up drug” from Eastern Europe called Cake (which allegedly expands to twice the of your neck once swallowed and chokes you to death) and the poor bugger actually brought up the issue in the House of Commons the following day. These guys re-defined dark anti-establishment/media comedy and are the closest British comedy has come to matching the quality and intellectual awareness of the finest Monty Python skits in my view. Well worth checking out some time.


  2. GG
    Thanks for the tip. I’ll be on the lookout for all of that.
    L



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