Sunday, 15 June 2008

The Sound of Laughter

Title: The Sound of Laughter

Author: Peter Kay

Number of pages: 368

Started: 12 June 2008

Finished: 15 June 2008

Opening words:

Ding Dong! Was that the doorbell? You can never be too sure. I didn't get up to answer it. I waited for it to ring again and confirm my suspicions. I waited and I listened. I listened by leaning my head forward and tilting it slightly to one side. Everyone knows that when you lean forward and tilt your head to one side the volume of life goes up.

Ding Dong! Now that made me jump, even though I was expecting it, like when I'm staring at my toaster waiting impatiently for my toast to pop up . . . when it does I jump, every time, never fails.

I've always disliked doorbells, but this has become worse since I got into showbiz. Most people who have experienced success have this fear of getting caught, found out, the-dream-is-over-type fear. My own version of the fear is that the Showbiz Police have come to take it all back. I imagine them stood at the door in green tights and holding a scroll like those blokes out of Shrek 2. There's two of them, one plays an introductory bugle, the other clears his animated throat:

'I'm sorry, Mr Kay, but I have orders to tell you that you've had a good run, sunshine, but the time has come for you to go back to your cardboard-crushing job at Netto supermarket.' He puts his hand out. 'House and car keys please.'

But I wasn't enjoying any kind of success when the doorbell rang in 1990. There was a completely different reason for my fear. It was my driving instructor ringing the doorbell and the time had come for my first ever driving lesson.

Raymond was his name. He was big burly fella, constantly tanned, like a cross between Bully from Bullseye and a fat Des O'Connor. If you can picture that, then I think you need help.

Plot summary:

Peter Kay's unerring gift for observing the absurdities and eccentricities of family life has earned himself a widespread, everyman appeal. These vivid observations coupled with a kind of nostalgia that never fails to grab his audience's shared understanding, have earned him comparisons with Alan Bennett and Ronnie Barker. In his award winning TV series' he creates worlds populated by degenerate, bitter, useless, endearing and always recognisable characters which have attracted a huge and loyal following. In many ways he's an old fashioned kind of comedian and the scope and enormity of his fanbase reflects this. He doesn't tell jokes about politics or sex, but rather rejoices in the far funnier areas of life: elderly relatives and answering machines, dads dancing badly at weddings, garlic bread and cheesecake, your mum's HRT...His autobiography is full of this kind of humour and nostalgia, beginning with Kay's first ever driving lesson, taking him back through his Bolton childhood, the numerous jobs he held after school and leading up until the time he passed his driving test and found fame.

Synopsis taken from Amazon.

What I thought:

I really enjoyed this book. It was very funny and even though it covered what could have been some very boring years of Peter Kay’s life, it was actually really funny reading about him growing up and ultimately getting on the road to stardom. Some really good observational comedy and he picked up on some of the most potentially mundane points like going to Rumbelows to buy a video player, which were just actually very funny. Very amusing book.

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