Can't Stand Up For Sitting Down by Jo Brand

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Can't Stand Up For Sitting Down by Jo Brand

Category: Autobiography
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Jo Brand is well known for her laid back stand up comedy performances, entertaining guest appearances on panel shows and also as an actress. Can't Stand Up for Sitting Down is her second collection of memoirs where she reflects on her progress as a professional female comic up to the present day. She describes the book as 'a collection of the bits and pieces of my existence that I can remember' rather than being a typical autobiography.
Buy? No Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: September 2010
Publisher: Headline Review
ISBN: 978-0755355266

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I am a big fan of Jo Brand and I love her inimitable droll style of comedy. I always enjoy her stand up performances as well as her appearances on my favourite panel programme QI. As a consequence I was really interested to read her second autobiographical book – Can't Stand Up for Sitting Down. As she states at the beginning though, this is not really an autobiography but a collection of thoughts and experiences that have resulted due to her life as a stand up comedian. The book covers the period from her first professional gig up to the present day. Her early life and career in psychiatric nursing are covered in her earlier book Look Back in Hunger.

I found the way that the book was written both interesting and frustrating in equal quantities. It was interesting to read about her life on tour, the best and worst venues, and funny things that had happened. However, I felt that many of these incidents were skimmed over with most only being allowed a paragraph or two. I kept finding myself wanting more from her, particularly more details and more personal reaction. I couldn't understand why she didn't expand on the storytelling more. When I finished the book I did not really feel that I had got to know Jo Brand the person at all.

She does state many times in the book that she is an immensely private person and that she does not court publicity. For that reason, she does not provide many details of her life with her husband and daughters and that is fair enough. She seems most comfortable in the chapters when she talks of her politics about which she is very passionate, or where she writes about favourite books or films. There are some good recommendations for books particularly as she is obviously very widely read.

I did enjoy the book in as far as it went but I would have liked more. Also I think I expected it to be funnier than it actually was. There are amusing anecdotes and some very funny throw away comments but these are not liberally scattered throughout the book. These were some of the better moments especially as it was at those points that I could imagine her delivering the words in her laid back manner. There is also unfortunately a great deal of swearing throughout the book which might be off-putting for some.

This is not a bad book though and it is a very easy read with its short chapters and conversational tone. You do get a taste of Jo Brand, but you might end up feeling a little short changed, like I did.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If you enjoy reading about funny ladies, you could take a look at Dear Fatty by Dawn French.

Buy Can't Stand Up For Sitting Down by Jo Brand at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Can't Stand Up For Sitting Down by Jo Brand at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Can't Stand Up For Sitting Down by Jo Brand at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Can't Stand Up For Sitting Down by Jo Brand at Amazon.com.


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