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  • Before & Laughter

  • Written by: Jimmy Carr
  • Narrated by: Jimmy Carr
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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Before & Laughter

Written by: Jimmy Carr
Narrated by: Jimmy Carr
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Publisher's Summary

Self-help meets memoir in this deeply insightful, fascinating and entertaining audiobook about happiness by one of the country's most treasured comedians. 

A memoir and self-help manual by one of the country's most treasured comedians - for anyone who feels stuck in a rut but doesn't have the tools or self-belief to shake things up

In his mid-20s, Jimmy was bored, boring, unfulfilled and underachieving. He wasn't exactly depressed, but he was very sad. Think of a baby owl whose mum has recently died in a windmill accident. He was that sad. This book tells the story of how Jimmy turned it around and got happy, through the redemptive power of dick jokes.

Written to take advantage of the brief window between the end of lockdown and Jimmy getting cancelled for saying something unforgivable to Lorraine Kelly, this book is as timely as it is unnecessary.  

Because you might be interested in Jimmy's life but he's damn sure you're a lot more interested in your own, Before & Laughter is about both of you. But mainly him. It tells the story of Jimmy's life - the transformation from white-collar corporate drone to fake-toothed, donkey-laugh, plastic-haired comedy mannequin - while also explaining how to turn your own life around and become the you you've always dreamt of being. 

Before & Laughter contains the answers to all the big questions in life, questions like:

  • What's the secret to happiness?
  • Is Jimmy wearing a wig?
  • What happened with that tax thing? 
  • What's the meaning of life?
  • Is Jimmy's laugh real?
  • Can those teeth bite through vibranium?

And for listeners in the West Country: yes, there are pictures (actually, sorry, there are no pictures, but there's a book about a hungry caterpillar you'll love).

Because it's Jimmy Carr - recently scientifically proved to be the funniest comedian in the UK - there are jokes, jokes and more jokes throughout. If laughter really was the best medicine, the NHS would be handing out this book in Nightingale Hospitals.

Fascinating, thoughtful and insightful - are all words that appear in the book.

©2021 Jimmy Carr (P)2021 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about Before & Laughter

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  • SR
  • 2022-10-27

Excellent narration by Jimmy

Although I’m not a huge fan of autobiography, there is enough interesting topics that are excellently narrated by Jimmy Carr that makes it worth listening to.

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My favorite listen of the year

Brilliant! Surprisingly insightful for a guy with a Cambridge education. An elegant mix of stories, jokes, and a little wisdom. Warning - don't listen to it if you if you're offended by words like "dont be a fucking cunt". :)

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Hilarious

A palette cleanser for the soul. Very funny and yet powerfully insightful! Great roadtrip listening.

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SPOILER... ALERT ...

I would have given him 5 stars had he recorded his laugh. For f*ck sakes Jimmy, it's an audiobook...we're paying for the laugh.

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Pearls of wisdom with a side of dick jokes

Loved it! Wisdom mixed with comedy; what more could you want? Excellent marriage between memoir and self help book - I came for the wisdom but stayed for the dick jokes.

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  • Ru
  • 2022-06-15

A great listen.

I loved it, I learned a lot about the real life of a comedian. I'm aspiring to be one too so thank you for writing it. ^ ^

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Just what I needed

I got this book to use up a credit as I have an interest in comedy and didn’t realize it was a self-help kinda book. It was just what I needed. Bless Jimmy for sharing his formula for success in a way that is not condescending, nor repetitive, that had me grinning regularly. I think this book is the perfect blend of tough love, general advice and clear steps to help anyone move forward. I bought myself a hard cover version and will be recommending it to everyone in my life who is contemplating a transition.

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easy listen, but not as easy as Jimmy's mum

great book that will make you laugh and learn. when you read it you will get the joke about Jimmy's mum above

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Astonishingly practical (& good)

*warning* If you aren’t familiar with British humour or you are allergic to casual crudity, this book is not for you. Everyone else, you need to hear Jimmy Carr read his own book.
I’ve bookmarked about ⅔ of it, and I’m composing IG posts in my head. There’s so much wisdom in this memoir that’s worth sharing. While my Canadian sensibility was a little outraged on occasion, overall this is an excellent and worthwhile book. With the warning proviso I definitely recommend it.

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Great listen!

Very well read by Jimmy Carr and some great advice. Enjoyed the humor along the way.

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  • Sarah Cowden
  • 2021-10-08

This is one I'll come back to time and time again.

Jimmy Carr's stand-up and subsequent TV shows has helped me out of some dark places with a good ol ugly laugh.. I love this book.
I think this was exceptional, especially as it was read by Jimmy himself.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2022-10-16

Don't listen to Jimmy dont speed it up

An extremely easy listen, well researched but basically a self reflecting book. Jimmy has changed but his that same funny. very enjoyable but he races through the read so wouldn't suggest you speed it up as it will be impossible to absorb what his saying. Definitely something you would want to share or listen to again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2022-08-10

Really Enjoy This

This is a surprisingly thought provoking book. Filled with interesting insights and opinions on life. Loved the little jokes here and there and the upbeat but straight manner of delivery. Jimmys comedy is not for everyone but this book could be read by all. Really enjoyed this…but not as much as your mum.

Thanks Jimmy!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2022-05-04

Best Self Help Book 😂

There is so much good stuff in here that I wish my brain was better at retaining every single word I'm this audiobook to share with the world in conversation. I'll take the shortcut of just telling people to listen for themselves.

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  • will
  • 2022-03-25

Lucky find!!

Haven’t followed Mr Carr’s career aside from catching the odd clip. Then recently saw an excerpt of an interview with JP and thought this guy is clever with good insight.

The book was marvellous and filled with a lot of good advice on how to conduct your life, play to your strengths as well as being laugh out loud funny at times.

Jimmy comes across as a good c@nt. Bravo..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2022-02-14

Insightful and entertaining

Exceeded expectations
Honest, funny, pithy, inspiring and affirming
A bit sweary but still highly recommend it

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  • Thorgeir Olafsson
  • 2022-01-11

Delightful

Fun and insightful. Full of great tips for life and quite motivational. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys Jimmy Carr

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  • Duncan Lai
  • 2022-01-05

Self-Help made fun

This is the version of Jimmy Carr you don't really see.

The struggle and the progress of Jimmy, but not in a doom and gloomy way. Check out the interview of Jimmy Carr on a YouTube podcast called "Diary Of A CEO". You'll see him mention some things that he wrote here.

Very comical with many quick jokes, so make sure you don't listen too it too fast! You could do 2x but I ended up doing 1.8x and even then, I'm sure I missed out on a few jokes.

Would recommend to anyone who has been a fan of his. Although some core principles are repeated from other self-help books, he somehow makes it his own and I didn't feel like it was boring or repetitive. It felt new.

Great Narration from Jimmy and I hope to hear more like this in the future 😀

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  • Christopher
  • 2022-01-03

Insightful

I picked this up because I'm a fan of Jimmy's comedy and thinking it was an autobiography, which it is, but not realizing it was a self help book. The ideas and lessons are interesting and have given me a lot to think about. Also, as you'd expect, the book is funny.

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  • Tapio
  • 2022-01-01

Owerpoweringly life changing

If u have tendency To do as u r told then this book Will change ur life. Jimmy carr literally tell u what To do and what not, so go out there and be a better version of yourself. Highly recommend