Adventures in Books… Him and Me

jack-book

Him and Me by Jack and Michael Whitehall

“This book is a portrait of the pretty odd relationship I have with my elderly father. It’s given me an opportunity to share memories of him losing his temper with foreigners on holidays, being rude to my mother’s family at Christmas and failing epically during the fathers’ race at my prep school. He’s also written some stories about me, but can I just say, before you read anything, that I recall being a calm, well-behaved and learned child, not the intellectually subnormal, mal-coordinated dipshit that he paints me as. Nor am I, as he suggests inside, a sex addict, a flasher or a Scientologist.’ Jack

‘How dare Jack refer to me as elderly! People always tell me how young I look for my age. In this book, I have at last been able to recount the many occasions when I have been let down by my only son. He failed on the stage, the sports field and he even screwed up the interview for his first boarding school by pretending he had mental health issues. Despite being practically illiterate, he tells stories about me, strewn with grammatical errors and peppered with endless exaggerations and lies. I was a kind, doting father, who guided his son through his formative years with love, care and respect.’ Michael

‘I’m not your only son, what about Barnaby?’

‘Oh yes, I forgot about Barnaby.’

Packed with anecdotes, some embarrassing and indiscreet, many warm and touching, Him & Me is lavishly illustrated with family photographs and Jack’s original illustrations. Friends, relatives, neighbours, teachers, actors, none are safe once Jack and Michael have opened up the Whitehall archives and shared their hilarious memories with us.”

This was the last audiobook I got at the end of 2013 and it’s taken me a while to read it as I haven’t been in the car anywhere near as much as last year, so I’ve been listening in bed (often falling asleep in the middle of a chapter) as a way of not watching TV in bed.

I really enjoyed this book as I loved how it showed children and parents see and remember the same things differently. It was fun to listen to the banter between Jack and Michael. I actually preferred this format of comedy (and with Miranda Hart’s book) to stand-up comedy. It was more laid back than a TV show.  It also didn’t feel like a book. It was more like being privy to someone else’s conversation and that made it weirdly enjoyable.

I can’t say I learnt anything from this book other than people we think of as famous, have very similar lives to us. They go through the same growing up stages and deal with the same issues at school. The same goes for parenting.  It was funny listening to the different perspectives and understands the relationship between father and son. It was totally different from what I was expecting, but in a good way. I was expecting a more current affairs type books, rather than an autobiography, but it wasn’t quite that either. It was something along the lines of autobiographical, relationship, comedy (if that makes sense?).

I would definitely recommend this book as an audiobook to listen to and enjoy. It was funny and set at a nice pace. I could have carried on listening for a lot longer, so I hope they do another one!

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