End of Footnote

Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz ChickensBelieve Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is brilliant and humorous, but not funny. It’s not a joke memoir, regardless of the fact that the writer (and narrator in this case) is one of the funniest people around (in my opinion). Instead, this is a heartfelt look at Izzard’s life and issues he had growing up. What this isn’t, however, is a collection of gags, jokes, rehashes of his old material. If you want to laugh, watch one of his DVDs.

Izzard obviously dug deep for this one, and while it’s a disjointed mess (like his stand-up) it works. And because he’s narrating it, he tends to go off on weird digressions and footnotes, including real-time fact-checking, which all end with the phrase “end of footnote” to let you know you’re getting back to the actual audio-version of the printed book.

I have a feeling (which seems to be borne out by looking at other reviews) that this technique, even without the bonus material not in the book but is a stream of consciousness while recording, would become tiresome and a bit boring. Listening to it, though, it works.

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john pavlovitz

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