Review: Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade

AyoadePublished by: Faber (Allen & Unwin)
ISBN 13: 9780571316526
Published: December 2014
Pages: 307
Format reviewed: Paperback
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Three out of Five

I’ve been a fan of Richard Ayoade like I’d expect most of his fans have since the IT Crowd first began airing. From there I’ve mostly enjoyed him on the Gadget Man and various British quiz shows, but other than that, haven’t seen much of his other work. I’ve liked what I’ve seen though, so as soon as I saw this book, I knew I had to get it. Written in a style where he interviews himself, the book is quite intelligent and satirises the general nature of interviews most people in the entertainment industry must be so sick of. If you get the chance, look up some of the interviews he’s been part of to advertise this book (or not advertise it, as on the BBC you can’t directly promote things like this) – it’s hilarious. His very, very dry, blank humour is excellent.

But onto the book. As said earlier, this has Ayoade interviewing himself – with one of him in bold and the other not, literally just a back and forth over the page. It gets a little complicated and deep at times, Ayoade’s intellect far surpassing my own. This isn’t a simple and light autobiography that recounts childhood through discovering comedy and the famous people he’s met, no, this artfully mocks the drudgery of interviews and has quite black humour at times – pure Ayoade to a T, also showcasing that he’s a master of self-deprecation. This makes it a little hard to read at times (in a ‘I need to concentrate’ kinda way) but it’s gold throughout.

This book is full of footnotes (and an appendix which takes up a good fifth of the book, I’d say) which may make it a little hard to read on eReader, much like Neil Patrick Harris’ autobiography, incidentally. Best buy this (well, both of them) in print.

Like a lot of well known comedians, he was part of the Footlights in Cambridge which just goes to show his talent. It may seem odd for someone so new to the scene to have an autobiography out already, but this actually works. If that doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure what will.

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