Newest Review: ... linear, chronological layout that most celebrities use in their autobiographies and I think that it's a quite refreshing and inven... more
GETTING TO KNOW DAWN
Dear Fatty - Dawn French
Member Name: dawnymarie
Dear Fatty - Dawn French
Date: 05/10/11, updated on 01/04/12 (117 review reads)
Advantages: Genuine account
Disadvantages: None for me
First off - I like Dawn French. She can make me laugh with little effort and I genuinely feel comfortable watching her perform and reading her work. Having recently enjoyed her first novel I was intrigued by this book. Dawn is gifted with natural, warm humor - I anticipated a good read.
The cover of the book is fresh and appealed to me - I like the font which looks like it could be Dawn's own hand writing and the blurb on the back cover convinced me that I was making the right decision in purchasing.
*Does Dawn shine or does she fade?
The first thing to note about the style of the writing is that Dawn uses letter format. These letters are to her nearest and dearest and some past crushes are included too. I wondered how this would flow initially and if I would develop a good understanding of her history - but my concerns were soon dissolved. The letters work really well and I found that I was able to concentrate and retain information because of this style. I could detect Dawn's dialect easily from the writing style and I could imagine the sound of her voice reading aloud these letters to me - I thought the words flowed well. Each letter is an adequate length to tell a good tale but not overlong that I found it to be dull.
It is funny how we can have expectations and I did - I expected each page to be filled with comedy and thought I would be laughing out loud often. This is not the case and why would it be - Dawn is a comedian by profession but that does not mean that every part of her life is filled with gags. I found certain chapters of Dawn's life - especially memories of her father - extremely poignant and felt privileged to be allowed into such tender memories.
Dawn comes across as genuine and honest in her accounts. There are some fabulous tales about her nana's and cousins that did have me laughing out loud and when I repeated them to my husband and friends they too found them to be hilarious. One stands out from the rest for me and it concerns a cousin offering his advice to a shy young man about attracting the attention of the opposite sex - on the beach in speedo's. The instruction I will not give away but believe me it is unique and had my imagination running riot, rib tickling humor.
As you will know, if you have watched French and Saunders, Dawn and Jennifer like to have a little bit of Madonna inspired entertainment every now and again. It is not surprising that a few letters included in Dawn's book are addressed to the blonde bombshell - these I found amusing.
I loved the sections of memorabilia and old photographs. They were great to see once you had read the relevant letters. Some of the clothes are so funny, but we have all been there - strange that we thought we looked so cool at the time! It was lovely to see Dawn's beloved father too.
I can see a totally different side to Dawn now. A daughter, granddaughter, sister, wife, mother, aunty and friend to many. A young girl who made mistakes and learned from them as we do when we travel the path of life. At a tender age experiencing tragedy and learning how to cope. Developing strength of character through relocation in her vulnerable years. Realising a true friend when she sees one and cherishing them always - to this day. Having the confidence to try new things and follow her dream - this I found very inspiring. Remaining grounded even though her persona has been elevated by fame - I have always thought of Dawn as a genuinely warm person and that came across well.
Dawn shines - not just as a star but in her writing style. I soon discovered that she doesn't need to be trying to make me laugh on every page, I am interested in her life experiences - and I hoped to get to know her (the real Dawn) a little better. I did.
*Recommend? Or leave on the shelf?
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the composition as it flowed really well. The letter style format was a change and kept things interesting. I loved the inclusion of lots of great photographs, it was great to put faces to names and see Dawn in all kinds of fashion mistakes (we have all been there). The best way to approach the book is to have no expectations - this book is not an effort to make you laugh till your sides hurt, though there are lots of laughs along the way. My impression of the book is that you gain a very honest and open account of Dawn's personal life experiences - some that I felt extremely privileged to be given access to. This book gets you a little closer to Dawn French the real person and she is a genuinely lovely lady - with a great sense of humor. I would recommend it.
*If Dawn appeals here's how to get it
Currently £4.89 on amazon.co.uk
Also available on ebay and other good book stores.
*Thanks for reading - also published on Ciao
Summary: I know Dawn a little better now
- Encore Provence - Peter Mayle
- Toujours Provence - Peter Mayle
- A Year in Provence - Peter Mayle
- Diana: Her Last Love - Kate Snell
- Foggy - Carl Fogarty
- Marco Simoncelli: The tribute book - Rossella and Paolo Simoncelli
- In My Shoes: A Memoir - Tamara Mellon
- I Love Niall - Jen Wainwright
- I Love Louis - Sophie Schrey
- I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai