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"1974 was a crazy, hazy time for Alan Partridge. The Sixties had come to East Anglia and it was a time of free thinking, free love and in my case free university accommodation."
That's the only quote your get from me. I think its best left for you to read the book. When you sit down and turn the first page, you seem to immerse yourself into the book, like it was Alan Partridge. You do not get Steve Coogan or any other writer. Its purely Partridge writing.
Now I must say, if you really do not like Alan, then please do not read it. You have to be a fan to understand the humour. Also it helps to have watched his chat show and 2 series of Partridge so that you can understand the characters and situations that he mentions.
This is the first book that actually has made my laugh. I tend to take it on holiday with me and read it when. My wife has not seen me laugh at a book before.
It follows the time from when Alan was born, upto the present day where he is a radio presenter for North Norfolk Digital. Covering all aspects of his life.
I have also downloaded the book from audiobooks of which Alan reads it on that. I am slightly disapppinted with the way its read as there are times where you expect to hear the tone of Partridge, but it isn't quite there.
All in all though, it really is a worth while read.
I like books. I like reading them. I like the way the pages smell and the feel of the paper in my hand. Audio books are a poor equivalent as far as I'm concerned.....apart from I Partridge. When I found out Steve Coogan was going to do an audio book of Alan Partridge's autobiography, read in the style of Alan himself, I had to give it a try - and I'm so glad I did.
I made the mistake of listening to this in work on my MP3 player. I had to turn it off after a few minutes as I was laughing out loud and getting a lot of funny looks. Also, you should never listen to this while driving. Again, I lasted a few minutes before having to turn it off for the sake of the safety of other road users.
Coogan get's in to character perfectly and makes you forgot that Alan is not a real lovable idiot.
This book is absolutely full of laughs. If you have followed Alan's 'career' you will be familiar with a lot of the stories and characters- some of them from the 'early days' of his career as a sports reporter, onto his first prime time chat show (including his hilarious take on the accidental shooting of a guest) and onto his time at Radio Norwich whilst living at the travel tavern.
He is the bitter hero you love to hate and the spoof autobiography translates equally well into book/audio book form as it did on to TV and radio. I am awaiting the film with bated breath after this wonderful comedy experience.
I won't spoil this for you by revealing any of the funny bits, but if you are a fan of the character you must get this. Preferably the audio book.
Who breaks a butterfly on the wheel? That (slightly adapted from Alexander Pope) was what The Times asked when Keef and Mick of the Rolling Stones were sentenced to jail for drugs offences in the 1960s. In 2012, I'm asking: Who fires a cruise missile at a gnat? This expensively produced book, written by rich and successful comedians, is the autobiography of a fictional character called Alan Partridge. He's an ex-sports reporter from Norwich, now a DJ on "North Norfolk Digital" with an "audited audience" of 11,000. He reads The Daily Mail, is crass and socially inept, and likes Phil Collins. This book mercilessly mocks and satirizes him, his tastes and opinions, and, by implication, the "community" to which he belongs. The twitter-storms are hardly going to be raging over a book like this, are they? And you won't get any death-threats or have the police knocking on your door. All of that could happen to a comedian, if he chose the wrong target in vibrant, modern Britain, but Alan Partridge doesn't belong to any protected and privileged minority. Quite the reverse: it's open season on white, male, hetero scum like him. Alan Partridge, like David Brent of The Office, is a very safe comedic target. He's supposed to be a winker, but I'd say he's much more of a winker's creation. If you think there's any point to this kind of comedy, I'd say you're a bit of a winker too. For real comedy about little people, produced with affection and even love, look to Sandy Stone, one of Barry "Dame Edna" Humphries' creations. For real comedy about crass and stupid people, produced with skill and even daring, look at Ali G. Alan Partridge is supposed to be pathetic, but he's not as pathetic as his creators or his fans.
Now buying a comedy book can be a minefield. The reviews on the back promise so much. However if like me you are a massive Coogan, and in particular Partridge fan, then take the plunge! It is difficult not to read it in Partridge's charachter, you can just hear his voice and Steve Coogan writes so well that it is easy to forget that this isnt actually a real autobiography. He refers to moments in the series and we get Alan's take on it. there are not many books that have made me laugh out loud, but this did.
The comedy doesn't just last the fist few chapters either, there is so much material and new ideas to draw on that its just so funny the whole way through. I even felt a bit sorry for Alan at times, especially how he can delude himself that he is funny, popular and such a huge talent. If you fancy a good laugh you wont go far wrong reading this one.
Its hard to not start a review of an Alan Partridge product without heading it up with a quote. I resisted 'Ah ha!'.
I Gave in.
Something else I couldn't resist? Seeing Steve Coogan as Alan Partidge perform one of two rare live performances, one in London and the other - the one I wen't to in Norwich. I couldn't resist to the point I waited in the queue with the other few hundred people for a 4 hours. My ever caring girlfriend waited with me, and I would have been endlessly apologizing after convincing her, if I wasn't crazy excited.
As soon as I heard this book was coming out I got excited. As soon as I heard he was making a live appearance in Norwich Waterstones to sign copies of the book and give a little performance I nearly popped. I'm a big Alan Partridge fan, I have to admit when I move to Norwich about 5 years ago it was part of the lure. Norfolk and Norwich is not only constantly referenced during the various TV shows Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge as headed up, but it part of a lot of the humor. I was looking forward to visiting the train station Alan struggled to sell copies of his fictional book 'Bouncing Back' shortly before its pulping rounds off the second series of his landmark TV show. I was looking forward to knowing if Diss was a real place, and was really looking forward to meeting the big eared boys on the farm. Its safe to say my first trip to Blicking Hall I saw nothing of the old hall. I was too busy shouting 'Bono?!?' into every window, room and doorway.
Anyway, those not familiar with Partridge/Coogan - its simple. Steve Coogan played the comedy character Alan Partidge through most of the 90s, some of the 00s and has recently reprises his role in the form of a book. A lot of time and effort is spent making sure Alan feels real - not just an act. The shows are set in real places, Coogans quality control is super high ensuring he always remains convincing and he makes TV and live appearance as Partidge as well as Coogan. For better or worse, Partidge has gone someway to define Coogan. Being his most well know character - it can be at times hard to see exactly where one ends and other begins.
The time Coogan spends onsceen as Partidge petered out during the early 00s, Coogan opting to focus on other characters and film, but he made a seemingly sudden and welcome return last year. This book and a mini series via Youtube heading up the return.
Keeping with the stylings Coogan prints on Partidge, the book is written as if a real autobiography - although the events are fictional, some new references many events from the TV shows referenced here though. Its all woven togethers as a real autobiography as it follows a real timeline. Highlights from his youth, career and the recent future are featured here. It feels real, its very believable (maybe the accidential killings not so much) and it reads as if an autobiography. Its rich, full of insight and humor and is convincing. This simply isn't a cash in on a running joke. This is a book made with quality, attention to detail and realness in mind.
It is a very funny book, and those familiar with Alan Partridge won't be let down. Its full of call backs, new insight in Alans somewhat controversial opinions on the seemingly irrelevant (what really makes a good hatchback?) Those not familiar with the humor - I would recommend getting stuck into the TV series first - and I recommend those highly, then come back to this book. It will make more sense and make you laugh a lot harder.
The book is pretty crammed full of jokes. It seems to skip from joke to joke, very little filler. The writers (Coogan, co Alan creator Armando Iannucci, and the brother Gibbons who also worked on the web series) cram the pages with the laughs aplenty.
Alan doesn't make jokes, he is the joke. He boasts at his most silly achievements, such as how being bullied hardened him to nosebleeds, or how he is biggest name on the North Norfolk internet radio scene. He accidentally brings comedy from the nuance of life - taking about not much in great, comedy detail. The book is written rather than story punched up with jokes, the story is interwoven within the constant steam of comedy. This is a book that will really make you laugh out loud, you will re-read set pieces again and again its got lots of repeat read value. I'm on my third go.
To tell you of the events in the book, will to a fan point out the obvious. To non-fans and hopefully future fans, Alan starts life as a radio presenter in Norwich - moving from in store DJ, to local radio and eventually the BBC. Then, he gets his big break - TV. He then makes his way through the TV ranks, until he thrust back into work in local radio after an unfortunate incident with a gun and a human and a court-case. All this via a marriage, a divorce and a 114 day jaunt living in a travel tavern. This book follows these events plus his birth (that hes proud to say he remembers) to the present day - even including call backs to the web based mini series only aired a few month earlier.
I special nod needs to go to the attention to detail. Specifics of Norwich are referenced a lot, not so much you need to know Norwich to get them - but if you are it just adds to the magic. One bizarre moment, the road actually adjacent to mine, from where I write this review, is mentioned in enough detail to know the writers really did their research.
The book has a few neat little additions. Lots of footnotes add to some jokes, are their own jokes and all written in such a way you can almost heard them said in Alan's unmistakable voice. At the end there is also a little song list - a playlist of songs Alan recommends accompanying the reading (as a nice nod, this was the music playing whilst waiting for Alan to show up when he made his Waterstones appearance)
The book is great value - going for £5 at the time of writing, and is sizable read at 336 pages and its something you will easily go back too.
As a final note, and as a real boon - this is available as an audiobook - read by Alan. Its the only audiobook I have bought and is totally worth it. The way he reads it brings it so much more to life, and even bigger laugh out loud moments - as well as some small extras, where he goes off script a little. This is good too as in the audiobook he doesn't read all the footnotes, but the lack of this is made up tenfold just to hear Alan describe just how much he 'LOVES' people shouting 'AHA!' at him all the time.....AHA!
As a big fan of Steve Coogan's work in general and Alan Partridge in particular, I had very high expectations for this book and I'm delighted to say it did not disappoint. I was intrigued as to how an autobiography by a fictional character would work. It could easily have been a hasty rehashing of old scripts but with Armando Iannucci and Steve Coogan at the helm, I knew to expect better than that.
The book covers the life of Alan Partridge from birth - a delightfully cringe-worthy description that is more befitting the Second Coming than the entrance into the world of a mediocre talk show host - up until the present day. No stone is left unturned as Alan regales the reader with tales of his difficult schooldays, (not very) abusive parents, hospital radio shows, TV shows and the many rises and falls that have made him the incredible (even if he does say so himself) man he is today. The book references the real TV and radio shows in which Alan Partridge appeared The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You and I'm Alan Partridge. Not only that, but it cleverly fills in the blanks of Alan's career in between them and his feelings for all the characters that appeared in these shows.
The autobiography is written completely in character and is a joy to read because of this; it is perfectly accurate to how that character would see the world. Within minutes of starting the book I found myself laughing aloud (in public, which was a tad embarrassing) at lines like "My thoughts tumbled around my head like trainers in a washing machine". You cannot help but read this in Partridge's voice and Coogan uses this cleverly by frequently adding in asides in the form of footnotes, almost to the point of compulsion; every time he writes North Norfolk Digital it is followed by a footnote saying "North Norfolk's best music mix". The complete buffoonishness of the character is maintained throughout as he describes mundane acts as if they were astounding achievements.
Since I bought this book, I have looked forward to getting a few spare minutes to read it every day. I really cannot recommend it highly enough. Even if you only have a passing knowledge of Partridge, I am certain you will enjoy it and for die-hard fans, there is so much to enjoy here that I urge you to go out and buy it right now!
Having for a long time been a huge fan of Alan Partridge and his excellent tv shows (Knowing Me Knowing You, Knowing Me Knowing Yule and I'm Alan Partridge are the ones I favour) and when I heard that Alan Partridge was going to have a biography released where he was able to tell things in his own words I could not wait and thankfully I have not been let down by this amazing title.
This book is a brilliantly put together work which feels like it has been put together with a lot of time and effort and thanks to this the book comes across as intended...funny, cringeworthy and over all as if it were written by the main man himself.
The book flows well and is a real page turner that I have simply loved and found hard to put down since I started it and I have a queue of people asking me where to get it such is the draw of Alan and his huge successes in life and work. The book includes photos of Alan which are just an insight into how big the character actually has become and makes you hope there is more to come from the first man of light entertainment.
If you are a fan of Alan Partridge then I have to highly recommend this to you as it really does flow amazingly well and feels almost like we are back in his TV show era. Simply amazing work and lovely stuff.
Journalist, presenter, broadcaster, husband, father, vigorous all-rounder Alan Partridge a man with a fascinating past and an amazing future. Gregarious and popular, yet Alans never happier than when relaxing in his own five-bedroom, south-built house with three acres of land and access to a private stream. But who is this mysterious enigma? Alan Gordon Partridge is the best and best-loved radio presenter in the region. Born into a changing world of rationing, Teddy Boys, apes in space and the launch of ITV, Alans broadcasting career began as chief DJ of Radio Smile at St. Lukes Hospital in Norwich. After replacing Peter Flint as the presenter of Scout About, he entered the top 8 of BBC sports presenters. But Alans big break came with his primetime BBC chat show Knowing Me, Knowing You. Sadly, the show battled against poor scheduling, having been put up against News at Ten, then in its heyday. Due to declining ratings, a single catastrophic hitch (the killing of a guest on air) and the dumbing down of network TV, Alans show was cancelled. Not to be dissuaded, he embraced this opportunity to wind up his production company, leave London and fulfil a lifelong ambition to return to his roots in local radio. Now single, Alan is an intensely private man but he opens up, for the second time, in this candid, entertaining, often deeply emotional and of course compelling memoir, written entirely in his own words. (Alan quickly dispelled the idea of using a ghost writer. With a grade B English Language O-Level, he knew he was up to the task.) He speaks touchingly about his tragic Toblerone addiction, and the painful moment when unsold copies of his first autobiography, Bouncing Back, were pulped like word porridge. He reveals all about his relationship with his ex-Ukrainian girlfriend, Sonja, with whom he had sex at least twice a day, and the truth about the thick people who make key decisions at the BBC. A literary tour de force, I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan charts the incredible journey of one of our greatest broadcasters.