A memoir from national treasure Brian Blessed.
There is no one quite like Brian Blessed. He's an actor, film star, trained undertaker, unlikely diplomat, secret romantic, martial artist and mountaineer. He's also a brilliant storyteller who will - and you must brace yourself - simply leap out of the story at you.
Ready? Then listen to Absolute Pandemonium, and you'll be taken on a riotous journey from his childhood, growing up the son of a miner in Goldthorpe, to finding fame in Z-Cars. You'll see Brian falling for Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Trojan Women, suffering wires strapped round his wotsits as he was hoisted into the heavens on Flash Gordon, almost causing an international incident when meeting the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and winning round George Lucas to get the role of Boss Nass on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
Along the way he takes secret revenge on headmistress Mrs. Jarman and her very big bottom; punches Harold Pinter; loves and hates Peter O'Toole; woos his beautiful wife, Hildegard Neil; and braves the shocking death toll on cosy TV drama My Family and Other Animals.
Crammed with anecdotes from his illustrious career, this is a funny, warmhearted, life-affirming, LOUD, and unique memoir from a much-loved figure.
©2015 Brian Blessed (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
"After reading Blessed’s just-published autobiography, Absolute Pandemonium, CW thought that all bets were off for the book of the decade." "Caitlin Moran’s Celebrity Watch." (Times2)
"The pages of Absolute Pandemonium reverberate with the sound of that inimitable voice and his appetite for life." (Andy Miller, S Magazine)
Listening to Brian Blessed himself relay the story of his life with his gorgeously rich voice, his booming expression and passionate enthusiasm is pure indulgence. Well written, interesting. a fascinating journey through the life of a coal minors son, a typical boy who loved comic books and movies and who likes to show off and climb mountains.
A fantastic, thoroughly entertaining read.
They'll never be a voice finer than that of brian blessed. I was excited to locate this book, but I will admit to not knowing too much about him past him being a popular culture icon post flash Gordon and a seasoned Shakespearean actor.
Did not matter.
This book was a great listen! From talking about the mines of Yorkshire, the Bristol rep theatre and adventures with Peter o'tool to a close relationship with Catherine hepburn ... Climbing Everest?! Being a funeral director?! There is a life well lived Blessed. Great listen.
Marvellously told by Brian Blessed, this story recounts much of his life and career, with an enjoyably large focus of his growing up in Yorkshire. Chapters include his association with Peter O'Toole, a wholly odd chapter of this book, with Katharine Hepburn, his fascination with the world and art of boxing, Star Wars, a brilliant chapter on Z Cars and, of course, Flash Gordon.
It's told well, both in style and performance, but one can't help but feel that, although rightly, it's very much from the author's perspective. If you keep that in mind, it's a fabulous listen.
I was kept great company by Brian Blessed on my incredibly long road trip across the middle of Australia, and was never bored for a moment. I do recommend it heartily. Though more on I, Claudius could only have made it better.
I didn't know much about Brian Blessed when I purchased this book. I'm am so glad that I did buy it, such an inspiration. He is a terrific character. I really encourage readers of this review to Go For It.
Listening to Brian recount his life story, apocryphal or not, was an absolute blast. His infectious enthusiasm for life was a joy to be exposed to.
WHen he sang I thought to myself for the first time ever "If I had bought the actual book instead I would have missed out on this! Unthinkable!"
I liked... Brian's Dad. And Deep Roy was good too.
His voice, as always is boisterous & full of life. There are inflections & tones I would never have picked up in text only. Having the author of an Autobio read to you is like a private conversation. Intimate & personal.
I certainly wanted to listen to it all at once but at 13+ hours & with a small child in the house it was unfathomable.
"thoroughly enjoyable experience. loved it"
absorbing story narrated perfectly! it felt as if I were there in Brian's minds eye as he recounted events.
"The Riveting Tales Of The Blessed Mr. Blessed!"
The authors enthusiasm and heartfelt authenticity, make this, one of my favorite listens, from my library of over 200 audio books.
This gentleman's life is one of the most interesting and riveting tales I have ever heard. Every chapter is memorable.
I have seen many of his film and television appearances and the narration of this book is up there with his best performances.
The Riveting Tales of the Blessed Mr. Blessed!
I would like to thank the author and publisher for this wonderful autobiography.
"GORDON IS ALIVE BUT BLESSED IS VERY EXCITED INDEED"
I swear he narrated this book without having to read from the actual book, & also did it in a single breath!
The book is exceptional. Imagine you have Brian to yourself in a pub, he has had a few beers & you ask, so Brian what is life all about, & off he goes.
A proper laugh out loud one moment then gets you deep in thought the next. From his days of poverty as a young Blessed in a coal mining community all the way through his fantastical life as an actor, writer & explorer. I just loved this book, it will keep you amazed, amused & wanting so much to have his attitude to life. A true treasure of all that is British.
"A real journey and experience."
This book was an absolutely a heart warming journey into the life of one of my heroes and idols Brian Blessed. Thank you for an amazing experience and, GORDON'S ALIVE!!!!
this audio, read by the man himself, has to be the best way to enjoy this book. Gordon' alive!!!
"shouted at you by the man himself"
Absolute Pandemonium in person
Whichever chapter we were on at the moment. Brian brings wonderful enthusiasm to every story he tells.
Why read the book when you can have it shouted at you by the man himself?
Brian does enjoy his achievements and adventures and makes sure you enjoy them too. The cat at the birthday party had me almost in tears of laughter as I was driving. Probably a hazard!
"A delightful autobiography"
Brian Blessed is an immense talent that's not as well known in the United States but there's definitely a reason many in the UK call him a national treasure. He's Vultan from Flash Gordon, Boss Nass from Star Wars Episode I, The Duke of Exeter from Kenneth Brannagh's 1989 Henry V, among many other roles. As a fan of British film and television, I've enjoyed him immensely over the years with my favorite role of his being Augustus from I, Claudius and the aforementioned Duke of Exeter from Henry V. But I have seen many You Tube videos of various clips he's done over the years and honestly, he's a man I would love to invite over to dinner just to hear the stories he tells.
His autobiography isn't the best written but that is something that can be easily forgiven and overlooked with the delightful stories he tells from his childhood, to being friends with Peter O'Toole (which towards the end of the chapter caused me to shed some tears as it became clear he misses his friend and I suspect wrote the chapter shortly after O'Toole's death in 2013), for his most famous line ("Gordon's Alive!") and how he got his script for the Phantom Menace. He tells all of his stories with the booming gusto he's known for and he gives what I see to be sage advice on many occasions for how to live a happy and joyous life as he has. He seems incredibly grateful for all the opportunities he's been given. I found listening to this to be a delightfully humbling experience. So I would use this review to thank Brian Blessed for taking the time to write an autobiography that reflects the life he has lived: delightful and fun.
"better actor than writer"
I only know Brian Blessed from I Claudius (talented actor) and several interviews (amusing and entertaining character). Based on this limited exposure, I was keen to learn more about him. But disappointment set in from the start with his introductory scatological anecdote. Knowing that reviews for the book were overwhelmingly positive, I pushed on in the hope that the spark of interest would be lit. Sadly, no. As a narrator Blessed is unsurpassed - he never sounds as though he is reading, it always sounds as though he is just sitting in a comfortable chair chatting about highlights of his life and enjoying every minute of it. But to get much from this book you would have to be an aficionado (or at least have watched) Z-Cars and Flash Gordon, be a fan of boxing, and be amused by anecdotes about drunken actors and their property-destroying exploits (of which it must be noted that Blessed disapproves). And it isn't even particularly well written - surely he could have thought of an alternative to 'I remember', perhaps 'I recall' or 'I'll never forget' and other variations to avoid tedious repetition. Blessed is a marvellous ebullient lovable character, but I think his book will appeal mostly to people who are au fait with popular culture and sport and enjoy a bit of biffo.
"A joyful, irreverent, nine hours of fun!"
I suffer from depression frequently but still have to go to work like everybody else - but I kid you not, listening to Brian recanting stories covering everything from handling corpses at 15 to handing Hong Kong back over to China with Prince Charles - well, it pulled me out of a nasty bout of the blues as effectively as having the man himself grab me by the scruff of the neck and drag me onto a bouncy castle whilst growling " Gordon's alive! Did you hear me, man? GORDON'S ALIVE!!!!
The two hour drive to work was transformed into an unorthodox therapy session. I laughed throughout - but Brians description of revenge on a cruel headteacher by means of a homemade catapult had me choking. Highly recommended - like getting a big, sweary bear hug off the man himself!
"Forget who you think the author is...this is incredible."
Brian Blessed delivers an incredible story, his incredible story with honour wit and passion...mesmerising, funny and in turns shocking.
"The cheek muscles on my face ache"
What a brilliant book. Better than anything I've ever heard or read.
Read with gusto & aplomb, of course !
So interesting and matter of fact. Even the 'misery ' parts aren't so.
Be wary that during your every day life while listening you will be smiling and spontaneous laugher may make some people think you a little odd !
For goodness sake, just listen it's superb !
"a great first listen."
I have been toying with the idea of joining audible for a while. I have stated a job that has me driving long distances and after listening to lots of radio, I thought audio books might be a good change. Absolute Pandemonium has been a good start, I've always been a fan of Brian and he did not disappoint with stories from his early life in Yorkshire moving on to elements of his later life and relationships with Peter OToole and other famous names. Brian has fabulous anecdotes from his life on stage and screen, some will have you in stitches.
"A brilliant autobiography. "
Brian reads this book with so much enthusiasm. Fantastic audio book from start to finish.
This is a brilliant book made epic by being read by the legend himself. I've never met the bloke I'm sad to say, but after listening to his life story from his own lips I feel I know what makes the great man tick.
"Sheer hilarity will ensue"
This is an excellent audiobook made even better by the author Brian Blessed reading it himself and he is gregarious and over the top as ever yet this book is chock full of great anecdotes and wry observations and also some very touching monents too
it is also very very funny so beware if driving and also he doesn't hold back on his anglo saxon either
above all it is an most excellent tale
The book tells you lots of his early life and career and is very interesting
I liked the passion he brought to each section - his love of pugilism is very enlightening too as is his deep abiding love for his wife that is so very evident throughout
Brian has packed a lot into his life and he comes across as a very gracious and grateful person indeed
The part where he speaks of his father in Hong Kong is priceless and his interaction with the Japanese prime minister is also most amusing too
just get it for yourself and laugh 13 hours away
"laughed out loud"
I think this is the first book that had me laughing out loud! Absolutely fantastic!
I just did not want this book to end, I listened to Brian on many journeys in the car and people must have thought I had lost it having seen me smiling and laughing to myself, but who cares, Gordon is still alive and Kicking !!!!!
"Only shame is he skips his time in the Paras..."
Obviously Brian Blessed
His relationship with Peter O'Toole.
Er difficult as some parts were so intense that you need to step away and absorb what you have heard. Nothing wrong in this or did anything to ruin the story.
Yes I gave the story 4 stars as he skips his experiences in the Parachute Regiment and I am sure this would have filled some very enjoyable chapters - maybe it warrants a separate book as some people have done similar on their 2 years National Service.
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