Author: Frankie Boyle
Nationality: British (Scottish!)
So having concluded January’s theme of “published in 2015” with the ordeal that was A Brief History of Seven Killings, I was faced with the decision of what to do for February. Being interested as I am in many areas of popular culture, I settled on “entertainment biographies” to give me a little more insight into some of the figures who rule our screens. I happily already had a store of these to delve right into, with the intention of alternating male and female personalities (soon to become difficult).
The first book of the month turned out to be Frankie Boyle’s My Shit Life so Far. My mother bought this for me for a present many years ago, convinced as she is that I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy. I started reading it at the time, but for whatever reason I stopped about half-way through and promptly forgot everything I’d read so I thought it best to start again from the beginning this time. After fighting to the end of Seven Killings I was after a much easier read to rest my poor brain, and this was an ultimately successful mission. Frankie Boyle, for those of you who don’t know him, is an oft-controversial comedian best known for his appearances on topical panel show “Mock the Week” and his expletive-laden rants against political correctness, the nanny state, etc. etc. (hence My Shit Life So Far). He announced his departure from the show which made him a household name the day after the publication of this book in 2009 and has since faded into relative obscurity; such is life.
As it turns out I’m finishing this review a long time after I read the book. I guess I’ve been busy. Anyway, it’s pretty much a chronicle of Boyle’s life up until joining “Mock the Week”, from his moderately-poor Glasgow upbringing through the early stages of his stand-up comedy career at dingy bars and on strange tours. It also discusses his use, abuse and subsequent disavowal of alcohol and other illicit substances along the way. I might be forgetting some of the content but I suspect there wasn’t an awful lot more to it.
It’s worth a read if you know who Frankie Boyle is, if you’re a person who reads autobiographies, and if you’ve got a couple of days to spare. I put it in my work’s book-swap box when I finished it at the beginning of February and it’s still there. But hey, I’ve read worse. Go figure.
My rating: 6/10