Jimmy Carr (Hachette Australia: Quercus) 2021, 358pp, RRP $32.99 (paperback); $45.00 (hardback)

UK TV perennial Carr’s supposed autobiography is actually an attempt to combine bitingly comedic memoir, a how-to guide to being funny and a sort of pseudo-self-help book, and the results are somewhat all over the place.

However, the at times rudely amusing Carr (he of TV’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats, lots of raunchy stand-up, and so much more) is at his best here when he’s being almost serious, especially when he talks of the huge risk he took leaving a highly-paid but soul-sucking job with Shell in the late ‘90s because he desperately had to do something – anything – else. And then realising how depressed and miserable he had been, while also feeling terror at his sudden financial insecurity.

The would-be-self-help stuff is less agreeable, with lengthy and not so funny sections about the need to look after yourself, acknowledge that you’re like everyone else and yet you have unique talents, and how difficult it can be for many people to perfect a sense of humour. These interludes are certainly the worst bits here, and are pretty much free of Jimmy’s customary political jabs, snarky turns of phrase and joyfully harsh language.

And, once again, he’s forced to discuss the controversial tax evasion mess he got tangled up in back in 2012, and although his tone here is exhausted and has a do-we-really-need-to-do this-again? edge, at least he’s upfront about it, and not a “snowflake”, and he admits that, yep, he was a f***ing idiot.

Carr blimey.

Dave Bradley

This title is available through the Hachette Australia website. Click HERE to purchase your copy.

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