Sunday Book Club – Jimmy Carr: Before & Laughter, Jimmy Carr

Every Sunday we are taking a look at the world of books. I read a lot and always want to share my opinions on what I read, so I thought it would be fun to write reviews. Today we are going to look at a book by Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr: Before & Laughter (2021)

Jimmy Carr


Before & Laughter contains the answers to all the big questions in life, questions like:
· What’s the secret to happiness?
· Is Jimmy wearing a wig?
· What happened with that tax thing?
· What’s the meaning of life?
· Is Jimmy’s laugh real?
· Can those teeth bite through vibranium?

And for readers in the West Country: yes, there are pictures (actually, sorry, there are no pictures, but there’s a book about a hungry caterpillar you’ll love).

Because it’s Jimmy Carr – recently scientifically proved to be the funniest comedian in the UK – there are jokes, jokes and more jokes throughout. If laughter really was the best medicine, the NHS would be handing out this book in Nightingale Hospitals.

Fascinating, thoughtful and insightful – are all words that appear in the book.

– from Amazon

Positive Points

This book came across as a really sophisticated autobiography, it was also a book that I was not expecting a comedian like Jimmy Carr to release. The book feels sort of like a part of his life mixed with a sort of self help guide which is really unusual but also very good in some places. The parts of the book that really stood out to me were the stories about how he got into stand up, the stories about working in television and the lessons you learn on the way. I really like the way that he dissects the concept of comedy and he says some great points but not just about stand up but Improv as well.

Negative Points

I only have a few – I would say the tax chapter goes on for too long (I skipped it), yes we all know that Jimmy had tax issues but it is a bit of a long chapter that feels like ‘poor me’. I wish there were photos of Jimmy, even if it was just from early career to now as it is something that really paints a picture in an autobiography. Also, even though the self help idea is a good idea, it seems to work better when it is intertwined with his own narrative. Later in the book it can feel a little preachy when it has chapters that are standalones. 

Overall Review

I really enjoyed this book, I was not sure I was going to and it engaged me a lot more than expected. I think it could do with a bit more detail about the behind the scenes of shows or working in stand up or television but there are quite a few scattered in and quite surprising about Stephen Hawking. It is a book that is easy to get into and stick with but there may be a few sections that feel a bit of a drag. 

Rating : **** 4 Stars

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