Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Struggle

1995, first edition, from Boxtree
Paul Merton
My Struggle
Bought new for £7.99
Hardcover in good condition, with signatures from the Comedy Store Players of Spring 1996

Comedian Merton was one of my favorite performers on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, so when I went to London to see live impro(visation) with the Comedy Store Players, I brought along this recently purchased book.  I hoped to get his autograph, but the techie who took it backstage for me afterwards got every Player to sign: Paul, Josie Lawrence, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey, Lee Simpson, and Jim Sweeney.  The show was good, too.

As for the book itself, I think it starts out very well, with Merton adopting a persona of a show-biz vet (also named Paul Merton) who's nearly three decades older than his real self.  (Merton was about 38 at the time.)  The part about his ancestors being in show business, including how his father "attempted to enlist [in WW I] but was turned down on the medical grounds that he had sawdust in his blood," is very funny, as is the career of Baby Paul.  Things become less interesting and less funny as Merton grows up.  And while it might be amusing to have him kill one wife, if done creatively, four is a bit much.

I didn't find out until a few years after first reading, the title is a translation of Mein Kampf.  

On that odd note, let me once again thank all of you've read at least some of this blog.  I don't have dazzling stats, but they've been gradually increasing this summer.

And I've now completed another one hundred books.  At the last count, three months ago, I had

1 F
4 F+s
2 D-s
5 D's
12 D+s
22 C-s
43 C's
146 C+s
246 B-s
164 B's
48 B+s
7 A-s

I've added only one each of D+ and C-.  There are four new C's but 24 C+s.  Nearly half of the new posts-- 48-- got B-.  Nineteen B's, two B+s, and, yes, a new A- came along.

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