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  • So, Anyway...

  • Written by: John Cleese
  • Narrated by: John Cleese
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (193 ratings)

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So, Anyway... cover art

So, Anyway...

Written by: John Cleese
Narrated by: John Cleese
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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“John Cleese’s memoir is just about everything one would expect of its author—smart, thoughtful, provocative and above all funny. . . . A picture, if you will, of the artist as a young man.”—The Washington Post

The legendary writer and performer of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame takes listeners on a grand tour of his ascent in the entertainment world John Cleese’s huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected now seem written into comedy’s DNA. In this rollicking memoir, Cleese recalls his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town, his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), and the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown.

Cleese was just days away from graduating Cambridge and setting off on a law career when he was visited by two BBC executives, who offered him a job writing comedy for radio. That fateful moment—and a near-simultaneous offer to take his university humor revue to London’s famed West End—propelled him down a different path, cutting his teeth writing for stars like David Frost and Peter Sellers, and eventually joining the five other Pythons to pioneer a new kind of comedy that prized invention, silliness, and absurdity. Along the way, he found his first true love with the actress Connie Booth and transformed himself from a reluctant performer to a world class actor and back again.

Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions—with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what’s funny and why—this story of a young man’s journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.

©2016 John Cleese (P)2016 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“So, Anyway... ambles along in loose fashion, taking its time, stopping to admire the view here and there, dispensing a little social commentary...and otherwise taking the scenic route through a mostly sunny landscape. The effect is a bit like having a long lunch with an amiable, slightly loony uncle. Who also happens to be John Cleese.” —Michael Ian Black, The New York Times Book Review

“John Cleese’s memoir is just about everything one would expect of its author — smart, thoughtful, provocative and above all funny… a picture, if you will, of the artist as a young man.” —Washington Post

“Give John Cleese points for candor...Give him additional points for graceful writing and sly humor..” —Philadelphia Inquirer

What listeners say about So, Anyway...

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    5 out of 5 stars

A fine swan song

Not as good as Eric Idle's audiobook, but quite good nonetheless.
One found oneself laughing out loud on several locations. Chuckles were had at a rate of at least three per chapter.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cleese at his witty best.

Short on Python but lots on his early career. Some rare original recordings of early sketches are included.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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love it!

I love monty python, and any monty python related things really makes me happy, and this book makes me that. very excellent book, I loved John's voice, really brought out the book itself.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A book you need to listen to

You could read this book but Cleese brings his own skill to this wonderful recording.

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2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Lovely performance from Cleese himself

Lovely hearing the story of John Cleese, read by the man himself. Thoroughly enjoyable and funny, I only wish there was more Monty Python content. Most the book is pre-Monty Python, with tidbits here and there and the last couple chapters left for Python/post-Python.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent, as expected.

I'm Canadian, and I'm not a critic so I won't shit on it. loved it.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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That was fascinating and funny

You have to listen to this book. Read by the author, you get the inflection and much more meaning. The bonus audio clips are much appreciated.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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John is a great narrator!

I loved that they did not edit out when John broke with laughter when reading his own book. Make the book more human and like you are listening to a friend tell you a story about what happened to them once.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Half hilarious memoir, half love letter to Graham Chapman

I could listen to John Cleese speak all day long which makes this audiobook amazing. He’s insightful, hilarious, and modest. But most of all, you understand his love for his late grate friend, Graham Chapman. This book is clear in the influence he had on Cleese, which adds to the overall book. Highly recommend.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • L.
  • 2018-02-10

Great read with a few exceptions

As an ardent and passionate MP fan going back to my teenage years in the 1970s I was very excited when I discovered this book on Audible. Of course John ’s delivery was perfect Cleese!
The only reservations I have are that there was too much time and detail spent on his early life and school days. I would have liked to hear more about the time during and after the Circus period. Such as his time and characters from Faulty Towers and some anecdotes of his MP movies and his later years since Flying Circus. After all it was meant to be an autobiography of his life up to now.
Oh well! Maybe he’s saving these for the sequel😜.
Overall I would definitely recommend this book for any Python and Cleese fans. It gives you a great look behind the scenes of their early years.

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