BE­LIEVE ME: A MEM­OIR OF LOVE, DEATH, AND JAZZ CHICK­ENS

ED­DIE IZ­ZARD (MICHAEL JOSEPH, $40)

North & South - - Review -

Born in the Bri­tish colony of Aden, in the Mid­dle East, UK co­me­dian Ed­die Iz­zard has been one of the tow­er­ing fig­ures in the world of stand- up com­edy for the past two decades. While he’s known for his transvestism and pen­chant for run­ning mul­ti­ple marathons in the name of char­ity, here fans fi­nally learn more about his route to star­dom. Iz­zard’s mother died from can­cer when he was six, and he’s spent much of his life “try­ing to get her back”. While work­ing his way up the show­biz lad­der, he has also dealt with dys­lexia and re­veal­ing his sex­u­al­ity. The pace of the open­ing chap­ters is slowed by the in­clu­sion of some very long foot­notes, a bit like a live show that strug­gles to get going. But by the fi­nal page, the reader has had both heart-strings tugged and funny-bone banged.

MATT EL­LIOTT

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