Thursday, 6 March 2008

Russell Brand: My Booky Wook

I'm not much one for autobiographies normally, they're kind of a mum thing, aren't they? But I read this pretty fast for me. I have got a bit of a Russell obsession at the moment... I can't stop listening to his radio 2 podcasts. They have cheered up my journey to and from work no end. Not so keen on his stand up though... I find it a bit contrived. I think he's best off the cuff. He's just naturally very quick and funny.
So, the Booky Wook. The language it's written in seemed heavily Russell-fied at first, almost labouredly so, yet by the end, it seemed to be written in perfectly plain English, so either he relaxed a little, or you just became totally immersed in his world. Personally, I find his phrasing of things quite amusing, and I enjoy his surreal take on life. For a book that covers a whole spectrum of human horror, it's told in such a jaunty manner that you may as well have just been told an overly-long dirty joke.
I think at times I found myself wanting more information about something, maybe wanting to know more about how he felt after he hit the big time, or how it really felt coming OFF heroin. I mean it wasn't exactly 'A Million Little Pieces'- Russell just went in and conquered it, and merrily went on with life. The flippancy of the narrative style engaging and funny, but I also felt like he was skirting over massive, massive aspects of things that would have been interesting to delve further into (but I don't think that was the sort of book Russell wanted to write). But he should be applauded for conquering his demons, it can't have been easy.
I think my favourite chapter was where he detailed the truth about the horror of his heroin addiction, the places he went to, the people he hung around with, the lengths that he would basically stoop to. It just felt genuinely honest, and I could picture the scene with ease. It felt like it could be my world, or a friends world, pretty easily. I also liked the bit where he told Ricky Gervais a story about sleeping with two obese hookers and Ricky hung up on him.
Russell Brand has done some AWFUL things... things you wouldn't even want to admit to. He's been a disgraceful human being in many ways. The way he treats women (or has in the past) is pretty outrageous, let's be honest. But he never really apologises, or asks why. And I quite like that. It's almost as if all the stuff that happens to him is out of his control.
Anyway, he's unspeakably smart, and he has good taste (Morrissey!)
But I think he's still searching for something. Anyone who needs to sleep with that many people just to prove themselves attractive is obviously missing something. I don't think he's that bothered though. Will he settle down and behave? I think it's pretty unlikely.
PS. I wish I knew if my bus was coming or not. I wish I had half that self-belief.

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