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Title: May I have your attention, please? Author: James Corden Published: 2011 Introduction: During the summer I usually read a few books, so when I saw James Corden's Book on offer it was a no brainer. It is hardback book (Also available in paperback) with 22 chapters, 336 pages and the text is quite large so it is an easy read for all ages. I would not suggest taking a physical copy on holiday as it is quite large and heavy but you can get either an audio or e-book version. If you don't know who James Corden is, he is most famous for the popular TV series 'Gavin and Stacy' and being host of 'A league of their own'. Opinion: I usually do not read autobiography's however when I started reading, I was pleasantly surprised by the light hearted yet genuine feel of the information. In a way it was like listening to an audio version as you start reading it with his comedic voice in your head! From start to finish he captures your attention through his experiences of finding your voice, sticking things out and simply living your life. Although Corden is only 35 years old he has experienced a life time adventures; most of which he has packed perfectly into this book. To some extent you're able to live these adventures vicariously through James which is my favourite part of autobiographies or vlogs which are on Youtube, especially so with this book as I believe that he makes a real connection with the readers. The book focuses on James' family heavily; also Corden talks about many individuals in the book from the stars on television such as fellow 'Gavin and Stacey' actress Ruth Jones to the boys he was in a school band with and to the same degree, thanks and respects them wholeheartedly. Unlike other celebrity autobiographies he doesn't go on about the spotlight or the media. Rather he takes you on an eventful journey of his life, including pictures from his holidays to school reports; allowing you into the embarrassing and most personal moments of his life. In my opinion a lot of celebrity autobiographies discuss their latest cosmetic surgeries and their many heartbreaks and drama in their lives which downgrades the feel of a book. Although he is a TV icon as an individual he is down to earth and honest which is inspirational, inspiring and refreshing. Even if you are not a fan of the host of, 'A league of their own', I'm positive you would still enjoy and relate to some experiences. Price/Where to buy: As stated before I bought this book whilst it was on offer in Quality Save for £1.00! The original price is £18.99 which I believe is quite expensive (I have seen it on offer in many stores for as little as £1.99 now). In my honest opinion I wouldn't have bought the book for the original price in 2011. However now you can purchase the book either hardback or paperback on reputable sites such as amazon. Conclusion: In conclusion I would recommend this book, it's enjoyable and witty, full of short and long stories of his life, ending with what I feel is the most important and meaningful...the birth of his first child - beginning a new chapter in his wonderful life. At the now lower price it would make a good gift for a friend or family member as it is still relevant and up to date. *This review will also be posted on Ciao under the name TravelBound.
Having seen this book discussed on various chat shows I was intrigued. James is a similar age to me and so was discussing things I remembered, and I've been a bit of a fan of quite a few things hes done.. but I was amazed at how much! The book covers growing up, his rise to fame, his subsequent fall from grace and he rebuild his career after that. He doesnt shirk from telling the reader about how he went through a stage of believing his own press and discusses his friends, colleagues and most of all family with great affection. What amazed me most was how many things he'd done that I'd forgotten, from the ill-fated boy band series "Boys Unlimited" to a stint on Hollyoaks! There are some interesting pictures in there of James at home and at work to illustrate some of the stories as well. There will be many who will say that James is too young to write an autobiography and I do see their point, however as an actor, presenter and writer he has packed quite a lot in! Will you learn something? Possibly not, but it is a cosy way to spend an evening.. like having a drink and a catch-up with an amusing friend.
There are several reasons I was pre-disposed and, indeed, determined not to like James Corden's autobiography "May I Have Your Attention, Please?" For one thing, I'm not a fan of young people (and Corden is only six weeks older than my youngest brother) writing their autobiographies. After all, how can you sum up a life that's barely half done? It smacks to me of opportunism and a chance to cash in on fleeting fame as well as double the money when a later autobiography can also be released to fill in the rest of their life and career. There's also the fact that I'm not a huge fan of James Corden. Admittedly, he was in "The History Boys", which is a film I always enjoy, but I managed to miss "Gavin & Stacey", the show that made him most famous, almost entirely. I've also been less than impressed with his hosting duties on Sky's "A League of Their Own", where he comes across as a bit of a lad and a show off, which doesn't endear him to me. But a colleague had a copy of the book on his desk just at a point where I'd run out of reading material, so I bit the bullet and gave it a go. Corden takes us through his life in mostly chronological order, from his slightly disruptive behaviour in school, as he discovered that all he really wanted to do was be the centre of attention. He talks honestly, if slightly guardedly at points, about his relationships with family and friends and about how his fame went to his head and caused him to do things he's not proud of. Whilst there is a major focus on the writing and starring in "Gavin & Stacey", as seems natural, he also talks a lot about starring in and touring with "The History Boys". Many of his other projects are also mentioned, but they tend to be glossed over a little more, with stories being told about them, but with less depth than the aforementioned projects. Corden's narrative style surprised me here. Whilst he does admit and does recount being a show off from a very young age, he doesn't really dwell on that part of things. Instead, he is surprisingly humble when it comes to recounting many of the people he's worked with and is able to count his blessings more than I expected. This attitude, combined with his fairly chatty writing style, makes this a very comfortable and quite welcoming read. He doesn't get bogged down in too much detail of who did what to whom and that means the pages go past rather quicker than I was expecting and there is often more emotion on display than I anticipated. Although Corden tends to dwell on his successes, which is typical of an autobiography, he is also honest about his failings. He is aware, perhaps only in hindsight, but aware nonetheless, of the chances he had been given which he wasted. Whilst he's not making things right here, he apportions blame mostly upon himself and does take the chance to apologise to various people he may have wronged and expresses his regrets over the way he acted. This honesty made Corden feel more real to me rather than just some generic famous person, as many autobiographies can do. I think that it may have helped that large parts of the book were written just as his first child had been born. This seems to have given Corden a new perspective on life and made him view some of his actions a lot differently than he may have done otherwise. It is disappointing that, with this new approach to his life, that the book doesn't go any further to watch him grow with his son, but it does make this book more accessible and less self-centred than it may otherwise have been. If there is one disappointment here, it will come for those who read celebrity autobiographies to see them dish the dirt and delve deep into their personal lives. Corden focuses much more on his professional career than his personal life, with the exception of his childhood. He does mention a difficult relationship he had with actress Sheridan Smith, but doesn't say anything more than that and doesn't dish any dirt about that relationship, which will leave a gaping hole for those looking solely for gossip and the airing of dirty laundry. He is also quite reticent about his relationship with his long-term girlfriend when he was younger and with his current partner, talking about how they came to meet, but little about their lives together. In this respect, he is far more gentlemanly than I gave him credit for before I read the book. Not being someone who reads autobiographies for the sensationalism, I loved this book. It is not only very readable, but it has changed my opinion of Corden significantly. I would still have preferred it not to have been released quite so early in his life, but he has packed a lot into his years and finding out about all of his proved highly enjoyable. Given that it is available from Amazon for as little as £5.00 for the hardback version or £3.59 for the Kindle version, this would make an ideal purchase for anyone who has enjoyed anything Corden has done so far. This proved to be an unexpected gem and was certainly worthy of the attention I gave it.
Today I will be reviewing one of my most recent reads. The book in question is a biography called 'May I Have Your Attention Please?' by British actor James Corden. The book was released in the United Kingdom in September 2011 and so it is very recent. Amazon are currently selling this book for £8.93. Although I had obviously heard of James Corden, what with him being quite famous for his role in Gavin and Stacey, I wouldn't have said that I was a huge fan of his; however, it was my friend who recommended this book to me and that is how I ended up reading it. I did find the book to be quite interesting as I didn't really know anything about James Corden before. I certainly learnt a lot about him. However, I do think that the book could have gone into a bit more depth; a lot of it seemed a bit too vague. If I am honest, I would have preferred if there had been more about James' life before he found fame. The majority of it was all about his life once he was in the spotlight and so I would have liked the have known what the 'real' James was like, rather than what James the 'actor' was like. The book was quite fast paced which was quite good as I like a book that moves quickly and gets to the point rather than drag on and on. However, some parts I felt were a little too rushed so that I was thinking 'wow what just happened'. James had a lot of stories to tell. I particularly liked the one where he talks about how Ruth and himself came up with the idea of Gavin and Stacey. Especially when you consider how huge the show is now. I thought that James came across as being really nice and friendly. He is such a normal guy and just seems really nice. He is just so sweet and likeable; you really cannot dislike him. One thing which stood out for me about this book was how easy to read it was; It was the kind of book which I could read without thinking too much; a great book for reading when chilling out. There was also a lot of laughs to be had. I would recommend this book. Thanks for reading! November 2011 xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x