Just Ignore Him
‘A simply astonishing achievement. The quality, depth, emotional power and terrifying honesty of Alan Davies’s story-telling take the breath away’ Stephen Fry
‘This hugely affecting book is brave, insightful and, at times, funny about things it is hard to be funny about’ Jo Brand
The story of a life built on sand. In the rain.
In this compelling memoir, comedian and actor Alan Davies recalls his boyhood with vivid insight and devastating humour. Shifting between his 1970s upbringing and his life today, Davies moves poignantly from innocence to experience to the clarity of hindsight, always with a keen sense of the absurd.
From sibling dynamics, to his voiceless, misunderstood progression through school, sexuality and humiliating ‘accidents’, Davies inhabits his younger mind with spectacular accuracy, sharply evoking an era when Green Shield Stamps, Bob-a-Job week and Whizzer & Chips loomed large, a bus fare was 2p – and children had little power in the face of adult motivation. Here, there are often exquisitely tender recollections of the mother he lost at six years old, of a bereaved family struggling to find its way, and the kicks and confusion of adolescence.
Through even the joyous and innocent memories, the pain of Davies’s lifelong grief and profound betrayal is unfiltered, searing and beautifully articulated. Just Ignore Him is not only an autobiography, it is a testament to a survivor’s resilience and courage.
A simply astonishing achievement. The quality, depth, emotional power and terrifying honesty of Alan Davies's story-telling take the breath away. And what a story he has to tell. What a writer he is. Alternately funny, sad, frightening, sweet, savage and tender, Just Ignore Him will never leave you. I always knew that the dumb bewildered puppy persona that Alan so brilliantly projects was a mask for an acute, sensitive, powerfully intelligent and insightful mind, but nothing prepared me for such a tour de force of writing, for what is destined to become an instant classic. Not a klaxon but a peal of church bells and a twenty-one gun salute. Just Adore Him Tender, funny and unusually inspiring -- David Sedaris One oft repeated speculation about comedians is that their "otherness", as children, led them to take on the mantle of class clown in order to deflect bullying. In truth, the reality is so much more difficult to unravel. In this book Alan Davies explores the complexity of events in his childhood whilst maintaining his trademark sardonic humour, warmth and intelligence. It's very, very sad at times, but a fascinating look at how childhood tragedy and trauma were treated in that era and how, leavened with humour, one individual/stand-up comic tries to make his way from the dark to the light -- Jo Brand A heart breaking but also uplifting memoir written with wit, wisdom and great humanity -- Ben Elton The book is written extremely well . . . There have always been many reasons to admire Alan Davies. Now we can add extraordinary courage -- Jake Kerridge * Mirror * Davies explores the complexity of his youth with warmth, intelligence and at times even humour. The narrative shifts seamlessly between the 1970s and the present day . . . important and insightful -- Emma-Lee Potter * Daily Express * Raw and compelling * Observer * Suffused with Davies's trademark dry humour, balancing heartbreak and hope with a steady hand * Radio Times * Surely the bravest memoir of the year * Sunday Times * An intimate, open-hearted book * Guardian * Required reading . . . fantastic -- Graham Norton A sad, brave and beautifully written memoir * Independent *
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