3.89 (3,231 ratings by Goodreads)
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Product details

  • Paperback | 318 pages
  • 160 x 240 x 34mm | 671g
  • ISIS Large Print Books
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type edition
  • 0753197960
  • 9780753197967

Review Text

We all know Billy Connolly from his years at the top of the comedy food chain and his legendary TV appearances on the likes of Parkinson. Few, however, can claim to know him as well as Pamela Stephenson, Connolly's wife, the erstwhile Antipodean comedienne and practising clinical psychologist who puts it all down on paper in this enjoyable although often harrowing biography. Conditions ranged from bleak to brutal in the reeking Glaswegian tenements where Connolly spent his childhood; his father was away at war when his mother left him and his sister Florence to be looked after by his two aunts. School memories are peppered with examples of the cruel corporal punishment that anyone educated in less liberal times can remember with a wince, and home life fared little better for the 'Big Yin'. The mental and physical violence meted out by his unhinged aunt was eventually replaced by his father's sexual abuse which he endured for five years from the age of ten. Salvation came at the hands of rock 'n' roll, and he went to work in the shipyards of the River Clyde. The merciless ribbing of his fellow shipyard workers was the perfect place for Connolly to sharpen his legendary wit, and coincided with the developing social conscience that would inform his comedy over the years. A gallery of great photographs enhance the text in this award-winning biography, ranging from the fuzzy images of the 1940s through some unfortunate '70s sartorial errors to a clearly delighted Connolly opening the new Glasgow Celtic grandstand in 1999. A bit wearing on the occasions when Stephenson forgets to remove her psychologist's hat, it's nonetheless the compelling story of a survivor, a true hero for many, who went from welder to world-renowned entertainer without ever forgetting where he came from. (Kirkus UK)
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Rating details

3,231 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 29% (925)
4 40% (1,280)
3 26% (824)
2 5% (155)
1 1% (47)
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