Book Review: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle

Idle’s book begins with him being crucified, about to begin his performance of the song that closes Monty Python’s The Life of Brian and gives this book it’s title and recurring theme.

Idle looks on the bright side continuously, from his early years at a depressingly grim boarding school through various obstacles and problems, always finding some humour along the way. Idle writes with silly, fizzing energy that rattles along pleasantly, dropping names left and right, but why not? Idle and the rest of the Pythons became icons of comedy and rubbed shoulders with the great and good.

There are times when it feels superficial and Idle quickly glides past his first divorce with a small moment of remorse. There isn’t much insight, and reflection and examination is kept to a minimum, with the story always moving forward and Idle discussing his life and career in a captivatingly brisk manner.

That’s not to say there are no emotions, his love for his wife, affection for his fellow Pythons and friends is clear throughout and two sections where he talks about lost friends, George Harrison and Robin Williams, are rather moving and tender. But even here, it is humour that Idle gravitates too, reminiscing about the good times.

It’s an entertaining read and Idle is rather good company, funny, warm and not afraid to poke fun at himself. It might lack depth in places but it amuses frequently, and does prove that Idle’s advice to Brian is still worth following.

Verdict: 8/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO

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