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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle

"Always look on the bright side of life", such a short sweet clichéd mantra to live by.... that is until we are thrust into the wackadoo world of Eric Idle and his merry band of Pythons (Monty Pythons, to be exact) and learn where such a line is actually born. As stated before page one, ""Life has a very simple plot, /First you're here/ And then you're not."

As for summary, I quote the introduction titled "an apology":

Graham Chapman once said: ""Life is rather like a yacht in the Caribbean. It's alright if you've got one."" I have been traveling at the speed of life for seventy-five years now and I still don't have one, but then again, I wrote ""Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it"" while reminding everyone to look on the Bright Side, a line that I discovered recently is at least as old as Coleridge. This book is partly the story of that song and partly the story of a boy who became me--if you like the memoirs of a failed pessimist. I still remain foolishly optimistic, even with the threat of global warming, which worries me slightly less than personal cooling, and so I have written my recollections, before I forget everything and develop Hamnesia, which is what you get from being an old actor.

Of course I have faults, but you won't read about them here. I've glossed over all my shortcomings. That is after all the point of Autobiography. It is the case for the Defense. But I will own up to not being perfect. I have British teeth. They are like British politics: they go in all directions at once.

Writing about yourself is an odd mix of therapy and lap dancing; exciting and yet a little shameful. So here is my own pathetic addition to the celebrity memoir. On the advice of my lawyer I am leaving out the shameful bits, and on the advice of my wife the filthy bits, but as usual in my career, I will leave you wanting less. If this isn't exactly what went down, it's certainly how it should have happened.

Listening to the audio via Libro.fm, of course Eric Idle himself became my favorite character. Why? Well he self-admittedly tells all the embarrassing stories about his peers to make himself look good amongst them, and he knows how to deliver a punchline. Idle reads the audio in his wonderful British accent telling all the crazy misadventures of himself and his Python compatriots and their rise in comedy in a way that I could go on for hours and hours and hours listening. All of the stories are hilarious and wonderfully entertaining, however the one about Terry Brooks getting drunk and trying to give a crowd of legitimate Nazis a striptease stuck with me. I won't be forgetting that one anytime soon.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle is a work of art, beyond the works held in the Library of Alexandria and above those award winning dribbles we call "Pulitzer's" and "Newberry's". Well, maybe according to him.

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