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Growing Up With Comedians

Roger Lewis
Authors:
Roger Lewis

A collection of portraits of some of the finest comedians of our time. From the author of the acclaimed The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, as made into an award-winning film by HBO, and the dark and scabrous Seasonal Suicide Notes, which everybody loves, here at last comes the definitive book about comic genius by a man whom the Sunday Times has hailed as 'brilliantly funny... a comic genius.'Growing up in South Wales, the precocious Roger Lewis longed to lock himself away from the world and listen to bootleg cassettes of The Goon Show and count the fucks (144) and cunts (89) uttered on the Derek and Clive Live LPs. He screamed with horror at Jimmy Clitheroe. He was a connoisseur of Norman Wisdom and Terry-Thomas. He lapped up Marx Brothers films, Ealing films, and On the Buses, which to him was as sinister as Strindberg.Once he reached university, Lewis' love for the art of comedy never waned, and he could never fathom why the grisly hairy-nosed academics considered comedy trivial, comedians frivolous. In Lewis' view, comedy has more lasting significance than tragedy - the supposed pinnacle of art - because comedy, like real life, admits to misrule and incapacity, accepts the inconsequential, harbours extravagance and eccentricity, and endorses the fact that, in the end, nothing quite adds up.This book contains incisive portraits of the world's most treasured performers and complicated personalities - from Chaplin to Tati, Hancock to Hawtrey, Laurel and Hardy to Spike Milligan, Terry Gilliam to Barry Humphries, and Arthur Lowe to Benny Hill, amongst many others. The chapters comparing Kenneth Williams with Francis Bacon, Leonard Rossiter with John Reginald Christie, Groucho Marx with A.J. Ayer, Morecambe and Wise with Gilbert and George, and Joyce Grenfell with Kathleen Ferrier, in particular, will be heralded as criticism and commentary at their most profound and creative.Growing Up With Comedians asks what lurks beneath the public face; where does talent end, ego begin, and periods of madness take over? From pompous control freaks to unpredictable originals, Lewis, as only he knows how, examines the strangeness and hidden sorrow found behind the excrutiating facades.By turns lyrical, poignant, and always insanely perceptive, Growing Up With Comedians is another unforgettable high-heat masterpiece by Roger Lewis.

Charles R. Cross

Charley Cross has lived in Seattle for many years, is the former editor for the Rocket and writes for Rolling Stone and Esquire.

Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom is known and loved by millions for her book, THE HIDING PLACE, which tells how her family protected Jews during the Nazi occupation of Holland. The book launched her into a worldwide ministry of speaking, teaching and writing, which lasted until her death in 1983.

Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet is an essayist, novelist and translator. He is the author of Thinking in Numbers, Embracing the Wide Sky, and the Sunday Times bestseller Born On A Blue Day. Tammet is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He lives in Paris.

Elizabeth Sherill

Elizabeth Sherrill is a prolific Christian writer, based in the USA. She often collaborates on books with her husband John.

Ella Mills (Woodward)

Ella Woodward is the author of must-read food blog www.deliciouslyella.com. She has created a hugely successful app to accompany the blog, opened her own deli in central London and launched her own line of energy balls. Ella's debut book Deliciously Ella was a number 1 bestseller when it was first published in January 2015, becoming the fastest selling debut cookery book since records began. It was also named as Amazon's biggest selling book of 2015. She was awarded a prestigious Observer Food Monthly award for Best Food Blog 2015. Her follow-up book, Deliciously Ella Every Day has been another hit bestseller. Ella discovered her passion for plant-based recipes after being diagnosed with a rare illness called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS). She couldn't walk down the street, slept for 16 hours a day and was in chronic pain most of the time. Conventional medicine failed to help her, so she decided to completely overhaul her diet and overnight the self-confessed 'sugar-monster' gave up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar and all processed food. The results were incredible. Though initially far from confident in the kitchen, Ella started blogging about her new approach to food and posting recipes, and quickly amassed a huge online following.

Emily Rapp

A former Fulbright scholar and graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon and Slate among other pubblications. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award, a James A. Michener Fellowship at the University of Texas-Austin, and the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence fellowship at Bucknell University. She is currently professor of creative writing and literature at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and a faculty member in the University of California-Riverside MFA Program. For more information on Emily, visit her website, http://emilyrapp.com.

James Bowen

James Bowen is the author of the bestselling A STREET CAT NAMED BOB and THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BOB. He found Bob the cat in 2007 and the pair have been inseparable ever since. They both live in north London.

James Frey

James Frey is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His books A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning and The Final Testament of the Holy Bible have all been bestsellers around the world. He is married and lives in New York.

James Lovell

James Lovell is much in demand for his skill in turning film scripts into novels. He is based in the US.

Jeffrey Kluger

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior writer at Time magazine. He is co-author of the best-selling Apollo 13, which served as the basis of the film. His other books include Moonhunters and Splendid Solution.

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. is a neuroanatomist affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She is the national spokesperson for the mentally ill at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Brain Bank) and the consulting neuroanatomist for the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute.Jill Bolte Taylor was named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008 and has been part of Oprah Winfrey's Soul Series, where Oprah invites inspirational thinkers on to her show to talk about matters of the soul.She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

John Connolly

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2.In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.

John Sherrill

John Sherrill is a prolific Christian writer, based in the USA. He often collaborates on books with his wife Elizabeth.

Julia Baird

Julia Baird has an MA in Philosophy of Education and first worked as a teacher of French and English before going on to work as a special needs teacher for 15 years with excluded adolescents in the most deprived areas of Chester. She has three children and is now a director of Cavern City Tours. She has written one previous book, JOHN LENNON: MY BROTHER, now out of print.

Julian Rubinstein

Julian Rubinstein has written for the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Details, Sports Illustrated, Salon, and other publications. His work has been selected for the Best American Crime Writing anthology and has been cited twice by the Best American Sports Writing. Raised in Denver, he now lives in New York. The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber is his first book.

Michael Caine

Sir Michael Caine CBE has been Oscar-nominated six times, winning his first Academy Award for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters and his second in 1999 for The Cider House Rules. He has starred in over one hundred films, becoming well-known for several critically acclaimed performances including his first major film role in Zulu in 1964, followed by films including The Ipcress Files, Get Carter, Alfie, The Italian Job, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Educating Rita, and more recently The Dark Knight, Is Anybody There? and Harry Brown. He was appointed a CBE in 1992 and knighted in 2000 in recognition of his contribution to cinema. Married for more than 45 years, with two daughters and three grandchildren, he and his wife Shakira live in London and Surrey.

Michael Parkinson

Born in Yorkshire, Michael Parkinson left school at sixteen with the ambition to play cricket for Yorkshire and England and to write about cricket for the Manchester Guardian. Although, he didn't manage to fulfil the first half of his ambition, he has since become one of the most successful journalists of his generation. He wrote a sports column for The Sunday Times for fifteen years and has also written for the Telegraph. He is also a legendary TV and radio presenter - his long-running chat show Parkinson was hugely popular for many years.

New International Version

The New International Version is the world's most popular modern English Bible translation. Developed by Biblica, formerly the International Bible Society, the New International Version is the result of years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, overseeing the efforts of many contributing scholars. The translators are drawn from a wide range of denominations and from various countries and they continually review new research in order to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance and authority.www.hodderbibles.co.uk www.facebook.com/NIVBibles

Nichi Hodgson

Nichi is 28, a journalist and lives in London.