Let me preface this book review by saying that if you don’t watch the show or at least have some appreciation for British culture you might not find this book as funny as I did. It is Miranda Hart to a tee – and if you’re familiar with her on-screen presence you will find yourself reading the book with her voice, tone, facial expressions and general personality in mind.
Similarly, if you have seen the show and have decided that Hart is not your particular cup of English Breakfast Tea then you probably won’t like the book. But if, like me, you are a bit of a fan you will thoroughly enjoy it.
Miranda Hart takes her ‘Dear Reader Chums’ on a small journey through some of the challenges of life, from dating to career, from staying healthy to navigating the world of technology.
She describes a series of embarrassing moments and talks openly and honestly about a lot of realities of life, or awkward social situations that she is sure, or a least hopes, other people have experienced before as well.
Her technique of having at times quite extended conversations with her younger self is somewhat off-putting at first but you quickly get used to that.
She has a number of funny anecdotes, stories and insights into trying to get by in life when you lack a little direction as she did in her teenage years and early 20s.
I found myself laughing out loud at times which is always a good sign and I could really get the feeling that she was standing right in front of me having a conversation. I liked the fact that she used techniques like addressing you directly and daring you to take up certain challenges to make you feel like it was a two-way conversation rather than one.
When I was a few chapters in, C asked if it was the same as the show or different and I know I said at the beginning of this post that if you’ve seen the show you’ll be more likely to ‘get it’, but this isn’t a literary version of the show per se. There is no Gary, no Stevie, and while she does make reference to her ‘on-screen mother’, her mother in this book is not one and the same.
It’s not set in the same surroundings and not a ‘fictional’ show. Instead this is more the person detailing some experiences of her life, and while one does get the sense that it’s still not quite the ‘real’ Miranda Hart and that some of the stories might be exaggerated for comedic value it is still an incredibly hilarious book that you can relate to.
Important to note – although the book explores some harsh, and some trivial facts of life and how one goes about navigating their way through them, there is a common theme throughout that I found refreshing. Be yourself, don’t get caught up in what society tells you to be like, be nice to other people and honest with yourself. Basically, don’t be a twat! Unless of course you are a twat, in which case, refer to the point about being yourself and the rest of the world will just have to get over it!
In this book Miranda laughs at some of the silly traditions and expectations of today’s world and laughs just as much at herself and her way of dealing with things. It’s no philosophical masterpiece but I like her outlook on life; simplicity, fun and happiness.
Worth a read!