Stand Up and Deliver - Andy Kind
(Monarch, £7.99, 2011, www.lionhudson.com)
When you pick up a book by a comedian, you expect to be entertained. You don't, however, expect to be made to think – or even on occasion to be moved by what you read.
Andy Kind's "warts and all" recounting of his first year on the comedy circuit is a fun read, with lots of good gags, quirky anecdotes of his larger than life friends, and intriguing insights into life as a comedy newcomer trying to build a career.
But there is more to Stand Up and Deliver than the usual quick and cheap comedy memoir. Andy's honest about his own personal journey – his friends, his relationships, his family and his developing Christian faith.
It's well written, so it's an easy read. It keeps you interested, so you want to know what happens to him on his journey, and what happens to the characters he encounters on the way. And it leaves the way open for a sequel, to bring his comedy story up to date.
Aspiring comedians will also find it littered with useful tips, handy insights and Andy's often tough experiences on and off stage. There's much more grit than glory, which is a good thing, and it's down to earth, so (for those of a delicate disposition) you'll find a bit of asterisked out swearing.
The only minor gripes I'd have are that not every Staffordshire expression translates easily in other parts of the country (I had to look one of them up!) and I struggled with some of the assumed knowledge of 80s kids TV shows. But these are passing quibbles.
A great read, and a good book to give to a friend. Highly recommended!
Russ Bravo, Editor