In the original dustsheet. Maroon cloth binding with silver title on the spine.
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‘When I was nine, my mother gave all my books to the Salvation Army. I was distraught. “But you’ve read them, Barry,” laughed my mother as if it were the height of self-indulgence to retain books after a first perusal. “I hope you’re not going to grow up to be a selfish little boy.” Sadly, I did.’ Here begins Barry’s new book and also a lifelong struggle against occasional savage bouts of bibliomania. Elegant, wistful, utterly readable and memorably funny MY LIFE AS ME once again shows us that his career as a performer has been a mere preliminary before he fulfills his true vocation as one of the great writers of our time.
Review: Far superior to its predecessor “More Please”, this second autobiography by dada mastermind John Barry Humphries has witty prose on every page. This so called sequel has a fantastic rhythm where volume one was a rather dull antiquated affair I can tell by experience. Here, the reader gets pulled into Humphries’ gentleman of leisure lifestyle with tongue firmly in cheek. A particularly brilliant chapter where the author describes his struggle with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department due to a malignant manager is among the funniest stuff I ever read. The vocabulary is extensive, borderline pompous, but always serving a purpose – Mr Humphries seems rather pleased with himself but the reader gets a vivacious memoir in return. Buy on sight.
John Barry Humphries AC CBE (17 February 1934 – 22 April 2023) was an Australian comedian, actor, author and satirist. He was best known for writing and playing his stage and television characters Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson. Humphries’ characters brought him international renown. He appeared in numerous stage productions, films, and television shows. Originally conceived as a dowdy Moonee Ponds housewife who caricatured Australian suburban complacency and insularity, Dame Edna Everage evolved over four decades to become a satire of stardom – a gaudily dressed, acid-tongued, egomaniacal, internationally fêted “Housewife Gigastar”.
Humphries’ other satirical characters included the “priapic and inebriated cultural attaché” Sir Les Patterson, who “continued to bring worldwide discredit upon Australian arts and culture, while contributing as much to the Australian vernacular as he has borrowed from it”; gentle, grandfatherly “returned gentleman” Sandy Stone; iconoclastic 1960s underground film-maker Martin Agrippa; Paddington socialist academic Neil Singleton; sleazy trade union official Lance Boyle; high-pressure art salesman Morrie O’Connor; failed tycoon Owen Steele; and archetypal Australian bloke Barry McKenzie.
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