A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“Izzard is one of the funniest people alive, a talented actor, a sharp cross-dresser, an experienced marathon runner, and a great writer. You will have to read this if only to find out what a jazz chicken is.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
With his brand of keenly intelligent humor that ranges from world history to historical politics, sexual politics, mad ancient kings, and chickens with guns, Eddie Izzard has built an extraordinary fan base that transcends age, gender, and race. Writing with the same candor and insight evident in his comedy, he reflects on a childhood marked by the loss of his mother, boarding school, and alternative sexuality, as well as a life in comedy, film, politics, running and philanthropy.
Honest and generous, Believe Me is an inspired account of a very singular life thus far.
British comedian and actor Izzard whose numerous awards include two Emmys for the cable television special Dressed to Kill in 2000 brings his unique stream-of-consciousness performance style to the audio edition of his new autobiography. The narrative traces Izzard's evolution from street performer to stand-up headliner and also his personal life; he explores his transgender identity, his dyslexia, and his transformation from carb addict to marathon runner. Izzard builds on the frequent footnotes and asides already in the text to also include "real-time" clarifications for the audio edition, adding impromptu updates to several of the book's anecdotes. Izzard's acting chops manage to shine through quite nicely in his characterizations and imitations, and he possesses a special gift for American accents. Those not previously immersed in Izzard's comedic work may find themselves scratching their heads at the frequent interjections, but fans will appreciate his knack for defying convention to deliver a distinct listening experience. A Blue Rider hardcover.
Eddie Izzard's stand-up is brilliant and absurd and witty; a delight of masterful timing and just the right word in the right place - but for all the delicious brio and graceful prowling on high heels, his comedy always betrays the truth: He's a very nice man. No one gets hurt in his comedy. No one gets stung, and you leave happier than when you arrive.
You can say the same for the book - he never tells a mean story, and he certainly doesn't "dish" on celebrities. Yes, there are times when his autobiography feels like he's holding the reader at arm's length (a trait he admits to early on in the book), but the fascinating progression of a life grounded in bedrock determination more than makes up for it.
Just as in his comedy, his trans life is only one part of his story - a fascinating one, but just one aspect of a very rich persona. Very often in the book, he slips into the on-stage character and you can hear him as if telling a story in his stand-up - which is such a bonus; who needs books on tape when you can hear him so clearly in his writing? - but at other times you meet a different human, and are allowed a more intimate glimpse... and THAT guy is pretty great, too! I very much enjoyed this book, and recommend it highly.
Not what I exspected
People are never who you think they will
Be.... I think reading biographies may be a bad idea. You get an idea of who someone is in your head and they are just nothing at all like it...