Eddie Izzard's memoir

Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens - Eddie Izzard

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

                Back when BBC America show actually British shows instead of movies and Star Trek, I saw my first Eddie Izzard show.

 

                He made me laugh so hard.

 

                To call this book a straight forward autobiography or memoir is slightly incorrect.  While the progression in the work is somewhat linear, there are digressions, and in some places, you go two steps back after one step forward.

 

                This doesn’t mean the book is bad.  It isn’t.  In fact, it is like Izzard is there talking just to you.  So, it is really nice.

 

                The other thing is that Izzard is not one of those stars who celebrate or shoves his celebrity in his face.  He does not make himself sound extra special or anything like that.  He is, in fact, every day, everybody.  So, when he discusses his struggles to come to terms with himself, to find himself, to succeed, he is in many ways just like you.  Look, I don’t know what it is like to be transgender or TV as Eddie Izzard calls it.  Yet, for a straight woman who doesn’t like to wear heels, there is much here.  Izzard’s writing lacks that self-inflation that sometimes infuses memoirs.  In part, the book feels like he is still trying to figure himself out, and on another level, it gives me the same feeling that reading Pancakes in Paris did.  Everyone struggles to discover who they are and make peace with it.  Most struggles are different yet similarly.  (Yes, I know it is oxymoron).

 

                There are funny insights here too – for instance “Wasps are actually like The Borg from Star Trek” or how real football is more American than people think it is.  “Stinging nettles are the Nazis of the  weed world”.

 

                And he is so right about warm milk.  Warm milk is just wrong in so many different ways.

 

                And Mr. Izzard, you are not the only vomiter, just saying.

 

                The book isn’t just humor – though Izzard’s humor is on full display, it is full of introspection and touching passages.  When Izzard discusses his relationship to his step-mother, in particular his attending concerts with her, the emotion shines though.   It is a rather intimate and touching story.

 

                Even if you are not an Eddie Izzard fan (and you should be), you will enjoy this touching memoir.