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Odd Boy Out: The ‘hilarious, eye-popping, unforgettable’ Sunday Times bestseller 2021 Paperback – 9 Jun. 2022
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The compelling, witty and remarkably honest autobiography from beloved star of Just a Minute, QI, Have I Got News For You and Celebrity Gogglebox
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'Hilarious, ribald, eye-popping, unforgettable, will make you laugh out loud' DAILY MAIL
'Warm, witty, charming. A moving and very affectionate family history. An enthusiast for life' THE TIMES
Enter the world of Gyles Brandreth - broadcaster, actor, writer, former politician - as he takes us on an extraordinary journey into his past.
From growing up in an apparently well-to-do but strapped-for-cash middle-class English family to his adventures in swinging London, Gyles encounters princes, presidents, pop stars and prime ministers, gets involved in everything from setting up Scrabble championships to examining Danish sex shops, and thrills us with countless tales of family, friends and acquaintances, both famous and infamous.
Filled with incredible and sometimes shocking stories, Odd Boy Out is the story of Gyles Brandreth's fascinating life told with his unique wit and charm.
'Staggeringly brilliant, funny and touching, I loved it' JOANNA LUMLEY
'Light-hearted and dark events alike are described with his customary jaunty style, making them funny, moving an sometimes deeply shocking ' Sheila Hancock
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A whirlwind of witticisms and of funny tales, both short and tall . . . 'I feel I have lived my life in a magic garden where the sun is always shining' he writes, and in Odd Boy Out he offers us yet another glimpse of that bright, shining sun ― Mail on Sunday
Warm, witty, charming. A moving and very affectionate family history. An enthusiast for life― The Times
A fabulous raconteur with a great many tricks up his sleeve. His infectious zest for life means he has a story for almost every well-known person you can think of ― Daily Telegraph
A magnificent raconteur. A witty account of a most unusual life ― Independent
Brilliant pen portraits of his father and myriad friends present a framework for Gyles's contemplation of his extraordinary life. Light-hearted and dark events alike are described with his customary deceptively jaunty style, making them funny, moving, and sometimes deeply shocking -- Sheila Hancock
Staggeringly brilliant, funny and touching, I loved it -- Joanna Lumley
A hilarious and revealing account of growing up and coming of age in an apparently well-to-do but always strapped-for-cash middle-class English family ― Eastern Daily Press
Brandreth has been an expert cheerer-upper for more than 60 years . . . Ebullient. Full of fun, famous names and sparkling facts ― Daily Mail
He's cheery, fun and has a fabulous grasp of the English language, so Gyles Brandreth's autobiography makes for a scintillating read. His hilarious - and sometimes moving - account of his life from early childhood days through to the adult world of politics and television is candid. It is also a story around his everyday family life, and about happiness, ambition and love. It offers a fascinating insight into a portrait of Britain, too ― People’s Friend Magazine
Hugely enjoyable. Engaging ― Choice Magazine
Full of fascination . . . Tantalising. Alongside his celebrity stories, his delightfully observed domestic portraits bring to life whole lost worlds ― Great British Life
Fascinating ― Telegraph
About the Author
Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, veteran of Just A Minute, QI and The One Show, former MP and Government Whip, now Chancellor of the University of Chester and founder of the 'Poetry Together' project bringing schoolchildren and older people together to learn poetry by heart. His many books include the best-selling poetry anthology, Dancing by the Light of the Moon, and the international best-seller about spelling and punctuation, Have You Eaten Grandma? With Susie Dent, the lexicographer from Countdown, he co-hosts the award-winning podcast, Something Rhymes With Purple. With Dame Sheila Hancock he presents Great Canal Journeys on Channel 4. With Dame Maureen Lipman he is a regular on Celebrity Gogglebox.
Gyles is married to writer and publisher Michèle Brown and has three children, seven grandchildren, and lives in London with his wife, his jumpers, and Nala, the neighbour's cat.
- Publisher : Penguin (9 Jun. 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0241483751
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241483756
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
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It was therefore with eager anticipation that I bought this autobiography. I was looking forward to glimpsing the man behind the theatrical mask. What deep experiences and soul-searching had produced a person of such seeming self-confidence? What aspects of early life had led by chance to his celebrity? Was he a shy boy who found himself stage-front and discovered he could do it? Was he motivated by insecurity, empathy, love, regret, passion, altruism… ?
The answer is: none of the above. It really does seem that, with Gyles, what you see is what you get…. a talented, supremely confident, self-absorbed, smiley person who is motivated chiefly by his own instincts and desires.
Of course, within the genre this was a “professional” autobiography and so the endless name-dropping and all-about-me anecdotes can be largely forgiven. I just wish that this had been made clear. Halfway through, I thought I would choke on yet another famous person who just happened to come across Gyles’ path. I am afraid not one of my old school friends, university chums, next-door neighbours, chance encounters or teachers were in any sense celebrities. It seems that Gyles never met or spoke to anyone who didn’t have a Wikipedia entry, or indeed a mention in Debretts. His passage through childhood and youth was largely dictated by parents who lived lives of constant stress and debt in order to place him on a path of privilege.
I have to confess to a bit of skim-reading. I guess all autobiographies are a bit self-indulgent – but this one takes the biscuit. There was a bit of soul-searching around mother and father, but it seems that the insight was a bit of an afterthought.
I will continue to tune in to Gyles – well no choice, he is rarely off the TV and radio – but I think that from now on I will be a bit more irritated than usual by his verbal effusions. I feel a bit disillusioned. Perhaps he could write another, more personal, autobiography in which he moves on from splashing around in the shallow end and treats us to the depth that must surely be there.
Sorry Gyles, this one is not for me.