The Life and Loves of a He Devil by Graham Norton, published October 2016 by Hodder.
Read: March 2017
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: Who wouldn’t want a friend like Graham Norton? A little bit naughty, full of frank advice, bursting with gossip about the world’s biggest stars – but most of all with an emphatic love of life and all its joys, big and small.
Join him – glass of wine in hand, faithful doggy friend by your side – and delve in as he shares the loves of his life.
Every year I threaten to take part in Reading Ireland Month hosted by Cathy @ 746 Books, and through sheer coincidence, this is the first year where I’ve managed to read Irish authors during the month of March. Check out my reviews for the other books I’ve read by Irish authors: Rockadoon Shore and Through the Barricades.
I’m pretty confident everyone in Ireland has heard of, and probably loves, Graham Norton. The first time I recall seeing him was during his time on Father Ted playing Father Noel Furlong. My entire family had tears tripping them watching his performance (we were laughing until our stomachs hurt).
I remember his early chat shows for being very rude/naughty/risque (delete as appropriate), and growing up I often wasn’t allowed to watch most of them. However, once I turned 16 or so, I fully immersed myself in all things Norton, and religiously watch his chat show to this day (let’s be real, he always has the best guests, and they’re usually really open and funny on his show).
When this book was first released, I was super interested in it, but I heard a couple of bad reviews that put me off. I’m a bit raging I listened to them. Norton’s memoir is sharp, witty, and poignant – everything I wanted it to be and more. He is very open and honest, giving us a good insight in to his world. Better yet, I found the memoir was really well written. I haven’t heard of a secret ghost writer, and as Norton has gone on to release his debut fiction novel, Holding, I can only say that this is a talent I didn’t expect him to have (as you can imagine, I’m now excited to read his novel, and ordered a signed copy as soon as I’d finished his memoir).
What is very apparent throughout this book is that Norton is super relatable to the “normal” person (albeit a hell of a lot richer). He makes mistakes, has bad relationships, and makes questionable decisions, just like the rest of us, and he doesn’t try to sugarcoat them, or gloss over them altogether. He has opinions and he isn’t afraid to share them. We always knew he was very funny, but along with that – something I never gave him enough credit for – he’s also very intelligent. Now, more than ever, I wish we were besties who had hilarious fortnightly catch-ups in the local pub.
This memoir didn’t just give me an insight in to the man, or the industry, it was a laugh-out-loud tonic that I couldn’t put down. A must-read for any of his fans.
“There have been various attempts at relationships but nothing has lasted very long… They have all drifted in and out of my life. I never blame myself but it is glaringly obvious that I am the common denominator in all these failed relationships. I have to ask myself if I really want the ‘happy ever after’ and the answer seems to be no. I like having someone around who will come out for dinner, go for holidays and even have the occasional fumble in the bedroom but I’m not sure I’m built for sharing my entire life and heart. Being with someone should double your joy and yet I find it halved. Nor is being alone something I fear; in fact, when offered the choice, I seem to embrace it… I must admit I feel fairly content being solo. I’m not pretending being alone makes me ecstatically happy but I’m not sad, and that already seems like quite a lot in life.”
“Always remember, if you decide to come to the showbiz party the dress code is ‘Thick Skin”.”
Have you read The Life and Loves of a He Devil, or any of Norton’s other books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!