Title: How I Escaped My Certain Fate
Author: Stewart Lee
First Published: 2010 (August 8)
Where to buy: Amazon, Waterstones, Book Depository
As a hard-core comedy and Stewart Lee fan this book was a delight for me to read and really gave a fascinating insight into the workings of comedy by the best comedian in Britain.
This book is a perfect demonstration of how brilliant a comedian Stewart Lee is. Every word has been thought about, pondered, challenged, wrestled with, changed and then accepted. Only to be changed back again. He puts more detail, more passion and more genuine understanding of his art than I think any comedian has living or dead.
There are sections of the book in which there is merely a sentence of the main text. Yet the footnote linking it at the bottom is the size of a paragraph. This just shows the immense care and attention that is put into his comedy.
In a world in which the only kind of British comedy is shallow, apathetic shit comedians like Michael McIntyre and Russell Howard on every other third-rate panel show, we need people like Stewart Lee who can craft comedy in the most intelligent and sublime way possible without the lazy, cheap tactics of the aforementioned comedians.
Some comedians are like demolition people who go at the world with sledgehammer. These people I'd say are comics like Doug Stanhope, Bill Hicks, George Carlin. But Stewart is different. He's more of a surgeon, rather than destroying he more dissects and dismantles. Looking at one ugly organ of the mainstream, analysing and discussing it, throwing it away and then picking up the next organ.
All in then. A very enjoyable, insightful read from one of the best comedians ever to grace this shit hole we call a planet.