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How I Escaped My Certain Fate Paperback – Oct 26 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (Oct. 26 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571254802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571254804
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #865,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Stewart Lee began stand-up in 1988 at the age of 20, and won the Hackney Empire new act of the year award in 1990. In 2001 he co-wrote the libretto for Richard Thomas's Jerry Springer: The Opera, which went on to win four Olivier awards. His most recent stand-up shows have been Vegetable Stew (2010) and Carpet Remnant World (2011). In December 2011 he won Best Male TV Comic and Best Comedy Entertainment Performance at the British Comedy Awards and his BBC show Comedy Vehicle won a BAFTA in 2012.

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gringo Steiner on Dec 26 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
An exceptionally insightful book. Lee's essentially transcribed three of his best shows... with a ludicrously detailed set of footnotes and phenomenal introductory chapters attached to each. A great insight into the creative mind, to be sure.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Brilliant Study by a Genius Comic Artist Dec 24 2010
By Adam Saint - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Stewart Lee is without a doubt one of the most important and thoughtful artists working in comedy today. Reading his breakdown of specific shows so carefully wrought with such a literate and artful manifesto is an inspiration and education about the art form of comedy, and ultimately of his particular continuing significance in it. Not only compelling to anyone who loves comedy, it is a book for anyone who is interested in art, an artist's process, and the culture in which we live. (I highly recommend watching some of his DVD's before reading this to truly appreciate the stunning work he has done -- all of which is overshadowed by the shockingly funny outcome of his process. Though not necessary to enjoy this book, it will undoubtedly enhance the experience.) Lee is a comedian working at the highest levels-- by any index you choose -- of the artform of comedy, and this book is a treasure for both those who already appreciate it as well as those who may not yet understand the richness, depth and breadth of what the form of stand up comedy is capable. It makes me appreciate his unique brilliance even more than I already have - and that is saying quite a lot. I wish every comedian on earth would read this book, if only that they might begin to aspire to the kind of artistry that Stewart Lee brings to every word, every idea and every powerful, meaningful laugh in his work. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Moon on a stick June 30 2011
By Ian - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Listen to a fat, middle class comedian complain about how the world unfairly treated him. What does he want?

The wit that Stewart Lee brings to things is a joy, his extensive foot notes let you see inside jokes you've probably heard him perform on TV. The back story stuff is great, as is Stewart moaning on that everything post the 80s was derivative of him or one of his select uber-comic's-comic friends.

Ultimately you shouldn't buy this book, that would just make Stewart popular, which he'd hate.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"Audiences, in my experience, are like cats..." Jan. 8 2011
By Your helpful anon reviewer. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"...They don't respect you if you seem too desperate for their affection, but disguise your desperate need for their love as a kind of bored indifference, and soon they will be eating out of your hand."

Entertaining and insightful, Stewart Lee is a comedian's comedian. As if his standup wasn't self-annotating and metatextual itself, the book offers consistently interesting anecdotes about the formation, mutation, and performance of his material, and bits of ethos about standup as an artform. A pleasant surprise was his reflections on past and current management, a topic rarely discussed openly by professionals. His recollection of seeing Gervais perform should resonate with anyone who has experienced professional jealousy.

Reading this book alongside Simon Pegg's laborious Nerd Do Well, made it clear just how much I appreciate Stewart's candor but also self-censorship to keep this book on track with relevant and intriguing information about his career and life as a standup. It's not about his parents, life as a teenage runaway train-hopping junkie tuba player, or whatever his past may have held. "The personal is absent from my work," as he says.

You won't end up like Ted Chippington, stew, not if your fans have anything to say about it. Can't wait for series 2 of comedy vehicle.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One of the most important books about comedy ever written Sept. 22 2011
By Alexx - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely essential to anyone who is highly interested in stand-up comedy or who wants to be a stand-up themselves.

The above two categories are quite narrow, but if you fall into them then this book is a must have.

I would also recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Stewart Lee, however this book concentrates less on the man himself and more on his art and experiences related to his art.

If you are looking to find out "Who is the real Stewart Lee" perhaps you may be disappointed. You see into the man's mind but not into his heart.

That said, for anyone seriously into comedy, this book is one of, if not THE most important book ever written about comedy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Comedy Insight Oct. 25 2010
By RB Furlong - Published on
Format: Paperback
A great read. For anyone who has ever wanted insight into the comic mind, or wondered how the material is formed. A must for any Stewart Lee fan.

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