Posted November 23, 2017 by Denzil in Reviews / 0 Comments

Help simon Amstell
HELP by Simon Amstell
Published by Random House on September 21st 2017
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs, Entertainment & Performing Arts, Performing Arts, Comedy, Television, General
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781473547650
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Hard to imagine anyone not loving this... go Simon Amstell! - Stephen FryA beautiful and clever book about being human. All the warmth of this comedy without the inconvenience of his face - Russell BrandCOMEDY, TRAGEDY, THERAPY Simon Amstell did his first stand-up gig at the age of thirteen. His parents had just divorced and puberty was confusing. Trying to be funny solved everything.

HELP is the hilarious and heartbreaking account of Simon’s ongoing compulsion to reveal his entire self on stage. To tell the truth so it can’t hurt him any more. Loneliness, anxiety, depression – this book has it all. And more.

From a complicated childhood in Essex to an Ayahuasca-led epiphany in the Amazon rainforest, this story will make you laugh, cry and then feel happier than you’ve ever been.

This is one of those books that needs a celebrity’s name on the cover to get it published and read. In other words, if the draft hadn’t have said “By Simon Amstell” on the first page, it probably wouldn’t have got beyond an agent’s first glance.

However, we live in the Age of Celebrity, and we (including me) are keen to discover what’s going on in the heads of our celebrities.

In Simon Amstell’s case, it’s a lot. His head is a jumble of hang-ups, anxieties, self-doubts and fears. Layered on top is an ego, which he calls his “ego monster.” Examples of this abound; he keeps telling us how funny he is.

The book describes losing his virginity, coming out, his many lovers throughout the years, and his out-of-the-body experiences on herbal medicine in Peru.

Amstell is a funny guy; I love his pithy quips and one-liners. But long prose isn’t his medium. So this book is not hilarious. It’s amusing in places (mainly when he quotes material from his stand-up shows). On the whole, it’s a sad, heartbreaking but honest account of someone who seems to have spent the majority of life struggling with depression and loneliness. A cry for Help, in other words.

Thankfully at the end he also describes the happiness he has found with his current boyfriend. Long may it last.

One StarOne Star

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