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Believe Me
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens | Eddie Izzard
132 posts | 87 read | 8 reading | 141 to read
Critically acclaimed, award-winning British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard details his childhood, his first performances on the streets of London, his ascent to worldwide success on stage and screen, and his comedy shows which have won over audiences around the world. Over the course of a thirty-year career, Eddie Izzard has proved himself to be a creative chameleon, inhabiting the stage and film and television screen with an unbelievable fervor. Born in Yemen and raised in Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, he lost his mother at the age of sixa devastating event that affected the rest of his life. In his teens, he dropped out of university and took to the streets of London as part of a comedy double act. When his partner went on vacation, Izzard kept busy by inventing a one-man escape act, and thus a solo career was ignited. As a stand-up comedian, Izzard has captivated audiences with his surreal, stream-of-consciousness comedy lines such as Cake or Death? Death Star Canteen, and Do You Have a Flag? have the status of great rock lyrics. As a self-proclaimed action transvestite, Izzard broke a mold performing in makeup and heels, and has become as famous for his total clothing rights as he has for his art. In Believe Me, he recounts the dizzying rise he made from the streets of London to West End theaters, to Wembley Arena, Madison Square Garden, and the Hollywood Bowl. Izzard is arguably one of todays top comedians. At the time of publication, he is still performing his Force Majeure showso far in more than forty countries worldwide and in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish. With his brand of keenly intelligent humor that ranges from world history to historical politics, sexual politics, mad ancient kings, and chickens with guns, he has built an extraordinary fan base that transcends age, gender, and race. Writing with the same candor and insight evident in his comedy, he reflects on a childhood marked by the loss of his mother, boarding school, and alternative sexuality, as well as a life in comedy, film, politics, running, and philanthropy. Honest and generous, Izzards Believe Me is an inspired account of a very singular life thus far.
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Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick
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My guy and I are taking a road trip about 5.5 hours away to celebrate my grandma's new husband's 90th birthday. I'm hoping we can finish this audiobook on the trip and if I can finish week 4 of A Million Junes before Tuesday I'll consider it a win.
@Andrew65 #20in4

Andrew65 Good luck. The Eddie Izzard book sounds good. 7mo
39 likes1 comment
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lahousewyfe
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Pickpick

I've been a fan of Eddie Izzard for years, but it took me forever to pick up her book. I'm so glad I did! This memoir contains inspiration for the creative life - including the fact that soooo much of it is about just not giving up! She discusses her coming out and navigating that process, as well as the marathons she runs for political causes. Stamina is her friend.

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runswithscissors007
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#integrateyourshelf

Looking forward to seeing everyone‘s posts for new TBR in this category.
Eddie Izzard has been one of my fav comedians for over 20 years.
It was so good to read his memoir. He has always been an enigma to me. So I recommend his stand up as well as this memoir!

WhatWouldJaneDo Love Eddie Izzard; that book has been on my TBR for ages so this is another reminder I need to get to it! 3y
runswithscissors007 @WhatWouldJaneDo if you know his comedy you will hear his voice so clearly in this. He deals with his tangents in a pretty cohesive way but it probably helps if you are used to his tangents. 😂 😬) 3y
WhatWouldJaneDo @runswithscissors007 I've seen some of his stand up so I think I will really enjoy his voice. I love doing memoirs on audio, just added this to my Libro queue 3y
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Catherine_Willoughby Currently listening to his autobiography. It has extra content (ie rambling extra footnotes) . So far it good - Chapter 5 3y
runswithscissors007 @Catherine_Willoughby I wondered how they would handle the footnotes in audio form! 😬💚 3y
Catherine_Willoughby @runswithscissors007 listened to Stephen Fry Mythos. Similar style but easier to know the extra long footnotes are (kinda) over lol 3y
23 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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RebL
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Maybe I also like the promise of a funny #memoir written by a comedian/comedic actor/humorist.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This book was passed along out of the blue by a British acquaintance who left it on my porch. Not sure why. My brain tends to whirrr on such questions, so I just hope I got from it what she hoped I would. She probably just did it because I always have a book shield in public.

RachelAmphlett I haven‘t read the book but I love his sense of humour - seen him live twice now and laughed so hard! 3y
RebL @RachelAmphlett I also like Izzard's stand up and his acting. This was an interesting approach to memoir. I'd hand it off to someone interested in following a similar career path as there is a ton of good advice. Based on what I've read, if you decide to read this memoir, the audio version may be the way to go. 3y
RachelAmphlett @RebL thank you, I‘ll do that! 3y
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goodbyefrancie
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Listening to Eddie Izzard on #Overdrive and making a few masks for work. At least they're fun prints. Hope you've all had a great weekend!

britt_brooke These are fabulous!! Enjoyed this book, too. 💚 3y
runswithscissors007 I 💗 Eddie!!! 3y
runswithscissors007 Such a hard worker! 3y
allureofbeauty I adore Eddie Izzard. 3y
96 likes1 stack add5 comments
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MinnieTimperley
Mehso-so

There are some lovely moments in this autobiography and Eddie Izzard comes across as a very normal guy. Listening to the audio came with bonus footnotes and the kind of leaving the main path wanderings of thought Izzard is known for.

PurpleTulipGirl I wanted to like it more than I did, which made me sad. 3y
runswithscissors007 Same. I did love to see just how freakin hard he worked. 3y
32 likes2 comments
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Sunraven
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💜 “I've come to the conclusion that if you can find the center of your creativity, you can use it to create almost anything.“ 💜

#inspiration

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Sunraven
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“There is a repeating motif in my life of trying to do something and being told no.“

I can so identify with that and with a surprising amount of the other stories in this memoir.

It's like an extended version of his stand-up comedy, full of silly tangents, parentheticals, and down-to-earth stories about life, school, childhood, and family. Plus, I'm learning more about everyday things in the UK, which is always interesting.

Sunraven @ImperfectCJ You caught my first version of this post, before I deleted it because I noticed I had one word wrong despite checking it repeatedly. I don't know where my head is, but it's not all here today. 😂 3y
ImperfectCJ @Sunraven I hadn't noticed anything about the first version... I mostly keep my language pedant hat off while on social media. We're all typing distractedly most often on tiny keyboards, wrestling with predictive text. I just noticed your review and that I liked it. 😁 I ❤️ Eddie Izzard! 3y
Sunraven @ImperfectCJ It was a misquote — I had “recurring” instead of “repeating.” 😌 And I also love Eddie Izzard! I had to read his book once I discovered it was a thing. 3y
20 likes3 comments
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Kaila-ann
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this look into one of my favorite comics lives but I understood going in that it was probably going to be a bit slapdash - kind of his style. It was fascinating to learn about the things that shaped him, the way he operates and how has made himself into the person that he is today. I lost my mom when I was fairly young (16) but thank my lucky stars when comparing it to a loss at the age of 6. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

Hooked_on_books I listened to this on audio and it was great. He went off on tangents several times and I was just in stitches. 3y
Kaila-ann @Hooked_on_books I will probably revisit this on audio at some point, I‘m sure it was a great 😊. 3y
24 likes2 comments
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uwak
Pickpick

Yes, I finally finished this...audiobooks aren't for me. As entertaining as Izzard is, I read faster than I listen and reading doesn't have to compete with podcasts 😅 I admire Izzard's personal drive and his penchant for doing odd things on his own whims. I do wish he talked a bit more about some of his acting career but it was interesting to hear how he worked through his stand-up career.

#libby #audiobook #nonfiction #memoir

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uwak
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my first audiobook 😊 I've been hesitant to get into audiobooks for a while given my habit of zoning out while listening to podcasts so I'm focusing on nonfiction audiobooks for the time being. Honestly, I'm only familiar with Izzard because of his appearance on the Hannibal TV series but his narration is pretty hilarious especially when he tries to discuss his footnotes 😁

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

I have never followed Izzard‘s comedy and am aware of him as an actor but not sure I could name what he‘s been in. But I heard this audiobook is great and it is! His life has been interesting and he goes on these hilarious, rambling asides while reading that I gather are not in the physical book. This was a negative for some other reviewers, but I just loved it. Oh and be aware that he repeatedly mentions that god doesn‘t exist, FYI. 👇🏼

Hooked_on_books I would suggesting skipping this one if that would bother you. 3y
Soubhiville Another one I‘ve been intending to listen to at some point! 3y
Zelma His stand-up is brilliant. Check out Dress to Kill first. 3y
42 likes3 comments
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Hooked_on_books
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Audiostitching! I‘m just loving this memoir and starting a new craft branch of my business to sell alongside the flowers at the farmers market. I need to finish/frame it, of course, but what do you guys think?

Librarybelle That looks great! 3y
ravenlee Nice! 3y
audraelizabeth Awesome 3y
44 likes4 comments
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ReadingEnvy
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 151: The Stories They Tell with Karen (bonus memoir recommendations)

Karen reads memoir for connection; Jenny reads memoir to live her alternate lives. We discuss favorite memoirs, memoirs we've read recently, and memoirs we are excited to read. It's all memoir, and we hope we can recommend something for you! (Please leave a comment to tell us which memoirs are your favorites.)

https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy151

ShyBookOwl Born a Crime and The Girl With Seven Names ❤ 4y
Lindy I guess I really like memoir in comics format because the favourites that come to mind are: Hey Kiddo; The Best We Could Do; Spinning; Everything Is Teeth; and (edited) 4y
Lindy Also Deborah Levy‘s autobiographical work, like 4y
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Prairiegirl_reading Definitely going to listen to this today! 😄 4y
Prairiegirl_reading I haven‘t read any Ruth Reichl but have been considering getting save me the plums on audio. Do I need to have read her previous books? 4y
ReadingEnvy @Prairiegirl_reading I think you can start anywhere.she provides enough context but you will know there are other memoirs with more info on those time periods. 4y
ReadingEnvy @ShyBookOwl One of those was on my last episode! And Born a Crime is great 4y
ReadingEnvy @Lindy graphic memoir can be so powerful 4y
ShyBookOwl @ReadingEnvy I'll have to check that out 🙂 4y
mreads I read two good graphic memoirs this year too; My brother's husband and 4y
ReadingEnvy @mreads I loved My Brother's Husband 4y
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annamatopoetry
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Pickpick

Overall good! I didn't care much for the latter chapters about the marathons etc (maybe listen more to the actual story, the blood tests, the nephrologist, etc. than the words "people are made for running") but I've always loved Izzard's standup, so reading about his childhood and early career was very interesting. I'm also glad he pointed out how boarding school fucks people up. (NO JAZZ CHICKENS THO??)

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annamatopoetry
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Liking this book a bunch - enough that I made an effort to read it on the couch earlier. Oh yeah, I'm home sick again, for the second time this year 🤧

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AllenTStClair
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Pickpick

I‘ve followed Eddie Izzard‘s career since I first saw “Dress to Kill” in the late 90s. Just like his one man shows, Izzard discusses the most heartbreaking and harrowing topics with intelligence, wit, and poignancy. Also like his one man shows, take your time. Read. Reread. There are stories and allegories, all meant to be relished and savored. I adored this! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

goodbyefrancie We saw him present this book a few months ago, and he was great. We've been to several of his shows, and it's interesting to know more of his story. Great guy! 4y
KarouBlue Love Izzard!!! 4y
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NatalieR
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Mehso-so

I like Eddie Izard, but this memoir wasn‘t that good. The audiobook isn‘t for everyone; as Eddie narrates he adds TONS of extra material not in the physical book. I appreciate that, but it makes the book super long. He also annoyingly states “footnote!” every time he does this. I enjoyed learning about his sexual identity and career path. It takes a lot of courage to share your life with the world. #MountTBR #LitsyAtoZ

VeganCleopatra I had the same issues. He went crazy with the audiobook! 4y
RamsFan1963 His insistent footnotes is one of the reasons I bailed on the book. 4y
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annamatopoetry
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Mr Izzard is delightful as always, and I'm working my way through this one quickly, although I feel like the text loses something on not having his distinctive delivery. Coffee was great.

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AllenTStClair
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Who better to read on New Year‘s Day? Going to snuggle in with this one.

goodbyefrancie We saw him present this book in St. Louis, and he was funny as always, but also very touching and real as he told the stories. Love Eddie! 4y
Maria514626 Eddie! ❤️❤️❤️ 4y
bookishbitch I was so sad the reboot of the Munsters with him didn't get past the pilot episode. It looked promising! 4y
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Bookworm54
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Mehso-so

I love Eddie Izzard as a comedian, and he has done some tremendous physical feats. But this memoir didn‘t really do it for me.

Parts were quite interesting, but the jumpy narrative that works so well in his stand up just made this tricky to follow.

#Autobiography #Memoir #StandUpComedian

TieDyeDude I wonder if it would be better in audio. I'm a big fan of his standup. 4y
Bookworm54 @TieDyeDude I imagine it would be :) 4y
49 likes2 comments
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AllenTStClair
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@TricksyTails - I couldn‘t fit EVERYTHING in the picture. 🤣 Thank you so much! I‘m so excited to read all the books and eat all the goodies! Merry Christmas!🎄🎁 #FeedAReader

CoffeeNBooks Aristotle & Dante is such a great book! 4y
AllenTStClair @CoffeeNBooks A lot of my Twitter writers friends have been hounding me to read it, so this is perfect. 😃 4y
CoffeeNBooks @AllenTStClair Have you read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life? I was afraid I wasn't going to like it as much as Aristotle & Dante, but I liked it even more! Both are really great books! 4y
AllenTStClair @CoffeeNBooks AHHHHH! No! That‘s on my TBR, though. 🤣 There are so many great books I need to read. I have a couple MS‘s to read, then I‘m going to get back on my TBR big time. 4y
77 likes4 comments
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britt_brooke
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Eddie Izzard is a trip! This audiobook is kind of bonkers. He rambles adorably and has an insane amount of footnotes - some improvisations for the audio version - but I grew to love the craziness. It‘s so conversational which I love. He‘s funny, thoughtful, and honest. From the loss of his mom at a young age to his “alternative sexuality” (his term) to running 27 marathons in 27 days, his story is truly unique and inspiring.

RamsFan1963 I'll have to go back and try this in audio form. I tried reading the book and the incessant footnotes drove me to bail. 4y
britt_brooke @RamsFan1963 On audio, it took me a bit to get used to the footnotes, but his delivery really started growing on me then I just got used to his style. I think it would be a tough one in print. 4y
RainyDayReading I saw him come through on his book tour and he was great! Hands down one of my favorite comedians and I had no idea there was an audiobook for this! 4y
britt_brooke @RainyDayReading How fun!! I was very unfamiliar with him until reading this. It‘s a great listen! 4y
melbeautyandbooks I‘ve done one full marathon. I can‘t imagine doing 26 more immediately after. 4y
118 likes10 stack adds5 comments
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britt_brooke
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New hat; cute photo bomber! Heading into the Y - our favorite spot - for exercise and playtime.

▶️🎧 Starting the tagged audiobook.

Chrissyreadit I love your hat!!!! I need one!!!! 4y
tammysue Great hat! 4y
saresmoore You look gorgeous, as always! And I bought the same hat! My kids intercepted it and wrapped it for Christmas, though. 😂 4y
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britt_brooke @saresmoore You are too kind - thanks! 🥰 And that‘s too funny. 4y
britt_brooke @Chrissyreadit Thanks! It‘s from Out of Print. 💚 (edited) 4y
LeahBergen 😍😍😍 4y
Velvetfur That's a fab photo, full of happiness! 😊 4y
britt_brooke @Velvetfur Thank you! 🥰🥰🥰 4y
GripLitGrl 😍😍😍 4y
Reviewsbylola 🥰🥰🥰 4y
121 likes1 stack add11 comments
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annamatopoetry
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December is crazy, what with parties and holidays and international presents to send and cookie exchanges, and I somehow got listed for Thursday treats this coming week, but I decided to take 45 minutes to sit down and read and have a coffee at BCW today. Book has barely started, but the coffee is nice, and they have some new pastries. (later I have to get groceries, make dinner, start a gingerbread dough, wrap presents and sew a cat bed)

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goodbyefrancie
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We had a great time watching Eddie Izzard present his book last night. It was hilarious, very touching at times, and made me want to move it up my #TBR quickly!

Sace It's been on my audible wishlist forever so I finally used a credit for it. 4y
Mariposa_Bookworm Jazz chickens?!?! 4y
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RamsFan1963
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Bailedbailed

Very disappointed. I think Izzard is a very talented comedian but this memoir is just boring. I've been reading it for a month and haven't made it past 100 pages, which have all been about his time in grade school. I had to walk away.

Smrloomis I‘m sorry you didn‘t get to the jazz chickens - whatever those are - but 100 pages about grade school just sounds way too long 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4y
14 likes1 comment
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RamsFan1963
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Today's additions from Books-a-Million to my TBR shelves. I had planned to just renew my membership, foolish of me to think I could get out without buying more books.

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PatternsOnWalls
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“Death by stinging nettles!”

Eddie is carrying me through packing today. His extra footnotes and asides are totally making this. If you‘re a fan of Eddie‘s roving, rambling style and his snappy historical knowledge, I absolutely recommend this, and I‘m only 45 minutes in.

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Mr.Okada
Pickpick

Inspirational
Witty
Thoughtful
Hilarious

Reader should follow the words of Eddie reading this though and read it well rather than fast. Cause what is the point in that?

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Lauren_reading
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed it, but the audio was all over the place. The long, rambling footnotes threw me off and made me forget what he was even talking about. #audiobook

LiteraryinLawrence I read this one as a physical book and had the same reaction. For me, I‘ll stick to his standup from now on! 5y
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SiriGuruDevSingh
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Pickpick

LOVED IT!!❤️💞❤️💞🎂🎯

Lindsy I love Eddie Izzard so much 5y
SiriGuruDevSingh @Lindsy Me too!! And he‘s awesome live as well😍 5y
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IamIamIam
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Bailedbailed

I'm just going to return this but I don't want to give it an unfair review. It was good, but it was a LOT of information. The "endless footnotes" were usually more distracting than funny but some had a lot of interesting info. I skipped a few parts and I just don't have it in me to get through the last few hours of this. BTW, it's 14 hours long!!! If you like Eddie, you should probably watch the documentary.

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TrishB
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#dontbelieveanymore #marchintoz
Not read but brought for a friend last year for her birthday - she‘s a big fan!

Cathythoughts Great pic for this prompt 👍🏻 5y
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mypoesoul
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Bailedbailed

Arrrggghh! I had to throw in the towel on this one...😞 As much as I love Eddie, the audiobook just wasn‘t for me. Maybe the book itself would be better, but “footnote, blah, blah, blah, end of footnote”, every 15 seconds just tore me down. I‘m still trying to recover, almost the way the guy in the photo being consoled by the referee feels. My drives to and from work were excruciating, so it‘s time for me to find something else. Sorry, Eddie... 😕

GarthRanzz I‘ve never been one for audiobooks but I did want to give this a try. I stopped while listening today because I couldn‘t focus on work, for the exact same reason. Like I said, I don‘t due many audiobooks but if they all do this breakout footnote thing I‘ll stick to ebooks. 5y
mypoesoul I know Eddie loves talking a mile a minute and I think that‘s why I like his comedy, but I couldn‘t keep up with the story. At times, I didn‘t know what was the book and what was a footnote because it changed so rapidly. It works perfect in his standup, but not here, unfortunately... 5y
readordierachel Aw, that's too bad. 5y
40 likes3 comments
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mypoesoul
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I‘m struggling, I really am. I‘m wanting to hit the ‘kill switch‘ at any given moment, but something tells me to keep going, like fighting through some sort of pain. I don‘t know how long I‘m going to be able to last. I‘m a big fan of Eddie, and he‘s a very intelligent man, but the audiobook ‘footnotes‘ he keeps breaking to are slowly killing me. Wish me luck my fellow Littens. I‘m on chapter 6 of 31... 😕

GarthRanzz Oh hell! Not what I wanted to hear! I just loaded this to my phone last night so I could listen at work tomorrow and possibly Saturday. I love Eddie and was so looking forward to the audiobook because he did it himself. 5y
mypoesoul I‘m loving the story he‘s telling (some deep emotional things from his childhood) and a bit of his style of comedy is there, but his constant footnotes are getting a bit distracting. I‘m a big Eddie fan too, so I‘ll probably stick with it. I feel I owe it to him to stay with it, because he‘s made me laugh so hard in the past. It may pick up as I get deeper into it. I‘m just 6 chapters in, and the first two were just commentary and not in the book. 5y
mypoesoul @GarthRanzz I have to say, his Stonehenge routine was one of the funniest things I‘ve ever seen. Talking about the BC/AD cutover and pushing stones 200 miles and not remembering where you live... 😂 Classic! I‘ll admit, I never saw Believe, but I think I‘m going to have to go back and watch it now, especially with listening to this book. 5y
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GarthRanzz His birthday was two days ago so I had to rewatch Dressed to Kill. Still the best standup ever that wasn‘t George Carlin. That‘s what made me decide to add the audiobook to my phone to listen to. I‘m still going to give it ago, probably after my last meeting tomorrow. 5y
IamIamIam Hahaha, I'm having an issue with the endless footnotes so I'm trying to take it a little at a time instead of hours on end like the other audiobooks I've listened to. He's great but in smaller doses, I suspect! Lol 5y
mypoesoul @IamIamIam Well said, I‘ve always thought the same thing. I enjoy his comedy, but things can get repetitive sometimes. It can be funny the first 5 or six times, but the 15th or 16th in just a matter of a few minutes starts to bore me... 😖 5y
21 likes6 comments
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Devidou
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This finally came in from the library today!!

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SkeletonKey
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Pickpick

Even though some of the terminology is out of date, this is an excellent audiobook and just what I needed to read about the trans experience right now.

I suggest audio rather than written mainly because Eddie adds so much life and off the cuff banter in the reading. So good!

#memoir #comedian #actor #transbook #transbooks #lgbtq

Booksnchill I did this on audio when it came out- the digressions are so Izzard! 5y
shendrix413 I ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ Eddie Izzard!! 5y
SkeletonKey @Booksnchill - They really are!! @shendrix413 - I 💜 Eddie so much too! 5y
28 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

I loved this affirming book. Izzard is funny and real. It feels like having a conversation with him. Hi recommend as an audiobook.

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SkeletonKey
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Just started this audiobook. Can't wait 💜

#lgbtq #transbooks #transbook #memoir #comedian

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katjapants
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katjapants
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katjapants
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fmcgeough
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I don‘t know quite how you play Venezuelans and Martians, but I think you spend most of your time arguing about socialism and the lack of oxygen.

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ssravp
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Pickpick

The only way to read this is in audiobook form, it‘s so good! Just like having a one sided conversation with Eddie for 17 hours. 😁

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katjapants
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katjapants
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