May I Have Your Attention, Please?

1 Feb

Love him or hate him, James Corden’s autobiography is a wonderful and easy read, and just pulls you along. When I first delved into this book, I managed to complete it in a day; it just carried me along, the narrative flowed that well!

Corden’s style of prose seems so natural and honest that it is truly heart warming. Corden takes us from the present day, a day or so after his son, Max, was born and then delves into the depths of his life. He talks about his school and home life, and the first time he made people laugh.

He talks us through his meeting with Ruth Jones, and the creation of Gavin and Stacey. It was lovely to take those trips down memory lane with him, and see how Gavin and Stacey came about and how he and Ruth Jones came together as comedy gold. We learn about his rise to the top of the fame game and then his fall from favour.

Corden’s autobiography is the sort of book that if you dislike him, you won’t pick it up, but you really should because it is a fantastic read.

I was really interested to find out about his childhood, having parents in the Salvation Army and trying to bag himself the most important role in the Christmas Naivety. The parts where he talks about having pinched his school report one year because he knew it would disappoint his parents is really quite something! Never have I heard of someone going to those lengths to hide their school report.

What was really delightful about the book was the way he didn’t hold back about most things; naturally he was a little sketchy about some relationships, but those were private.


It was also nice to hear him talk about his time in the play of Alan Bennett’s History Boys, and the time they spent over in the States, taking New York by storm. Ironically in a way because Corden was just starting another smash hit play, One Man, Two Guvnors as he wrote his autobiography which would also take him over to Broadway and earn him a Tony Award. If the book ever has another edition, I would like at least two chapters on his time in One Man, Two Guvnors. I was lucky enough to see it, and it was the most delightful romp.

I must say that I was in tears when I read how his parents saved him from himself, sitting down and talking him through the all the one night stands and the drinking he was doing because the persona he adopted was ‘larger than life’ and he was trying to live up to the expectations of that. And the changes that Corden put himself through to make sure that he was a better person in the end.

I’m not going to long this out and give away everything in the biography, so this will be a rather short post I’m afraid. However I will say that if you read nothing else this year, and love him or loathe him, you should give May I have your Attention, Please? a try. The book itself is wonderfully written and is just really easy to read and all this coming from someone who doesn’t like to read biography’s very much!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Other reads:

  • The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
    This book takes us on a journey of a man, Henry DeTamble who lives in Chicago and works as a librarian, but also has a big secret- he can time travel within his own time line. He revisits significant moments of his life, and eventually meets and falls in love with Claire. Claire has known Henry all her life because he materialised into her garden when she was six; since then he has popped in and out of her life ever since. Finally, they meet properly and begin a relationship together.
    Niffenegger meant this book as a metaphor for love and failed relationships. While the book covers all sorts of important questions, its not one you can read with ease and you need to be able to follow the complicated plot. In a big way the story seems to follow Claire’s timeline, which makes things easier.
    Overall this work is worth a read because I do believe it will become a classic of its time, and Claire’s pretty kick ass.
  • The 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie.
    One of my favourite Miss Marple cases and the characters are just marvellous. The Crackenthorpe family are trapped in  their home Rutherford hall over Christmas because one of Miss Marple’s friends witnesses a murder on the train to see her old chum, and Miss Marple hires Lucy Alyesbarrow to work for the Crackenthorpes over Christmas, and she discovers the body.
    It’s a wonderful who dunnit, in perfect Agatha Christie style. Of course it all comes together at the end like a jigsaw and you’re never quite sure who the culprit is. If you like murder mystery’s and have yet to read an Agatha Christie, this one is a must!

About the writer: Stef is a 21 year old graduate who has a lifelong obsession with books and reading who also loves music and live theatre. You’re most likely to find her in a book shop or out in London standing at a theatre stage door. She can be found on twitter and running The World of Blyton.


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