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Publisher's Summary

We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python - from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on a remarkable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theatre and film.  

Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the '60s and '70s, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie and Robin Williams, all of whom became dear lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout involving other close friends and luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels and many more, as well as the Pythons themselves, Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal parts hilarity and heart. 

In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named for the song he wrote for Life of Brian and which has since become the number one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humour that has delighted his audiences for five decades.  

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is marking the occasion with this hilarious memoir chock full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life featuring everyone from Princess Leia to Queen Elizabeth.

©2018 Eric Idle (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

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Not just an Idle fan

I found the story funny, reflective, sad, unbelievable & most of all enjoyable. This is a person who has lived & is living a great life. Hearing Eric’s voice, telling his story a slam dunk, back of the net, top shelf yarn. To borrow a couple of quotes “Say no more, now f-off & get it.”

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Loved this book

Monty Python was an essential par of my University Education although I confess I was perhaps more amused by their anarchic humour than their creative genius. Now the latter is more obvious. I had underestimated the contribution of Eric Idle to their overall success and this book establishes how important EI was in their success. In addition, he describes his elitist life with enough humility for you to really like him. He still sees his failings and yet became a friend to many great celebrities some of us who have left us. I imagine he is much loved back. I was so pleased to know that they were also loveable people in private through his eyes. A man with significant wealth, privilege and high level contacts but I’d be happy to invite him found to dinner just because he still sees how funny we all are. To my surprise this turned out to be a nostalgic autobiography that anyone with a send of humour, love of 60-70’s popular music and the cult of personality will simply adore. please write more Eric!

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Not Quite Idle

This is the second autobiography I have read from one of the Python legends. And like the John Cleese memoir this one also falls a bit flat. It is written almost like a series of sketches but with a great deal more laughs. There is a lot of name dropping going on but if if he leaves all of the experiences with other celebrities out I guess it defeats the purpose of an autobiography. So consider that a moot point. What I did find pleasing was that Eric made a point of letting the reader know that the Python guys and gals were and still are good mates. His chapter on Robin Williams was very moving written with great compassion and humour. If you were/are a Python fan you should enjoy this.

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Good in parts

I was looking forward to listening to this book as I have always been a fan of Eric Idle. Unfortunately, the more I listened to the book, the more annoying was the incessant name dropping interspersed with sketchy details of other events in his life. Disappointing and I was unwilling to finish it.

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Fantastic book & life story

I’ve always been a Pythons fan but had no idea of how much stuff Eric and his mates have done outside of the main gig. His biography is obviously funny, but also full of interesting passages of Eric’s life, work and friendships. And having himself narrate is just brilliant

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A winner, wonderful listen Python fan or otherwise

Thoroughly enjoyable book, self narrated by author Eric. Deeply funny at times, Eric knew a lot of people, notably among those George Harrison & his great friend, Robin Williams, about whom he writes very touchingly. .Very highly recommended

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The name dropping became tedious and tiresome

Although some good stories are peppered throughout, this book is basically chapter after chapter of name dropping. It got very boring very quickly.

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Alt title: Diary of a Self-confessed Name Dropper!

Idle confesses up front that he’s going to drop a LOT of famous names throughout his book. Why not I say?!?!?! What a remarkable life Idle has led and when one of your best friends was George Harrison, I think you’re entitled, nay - compelled - to list as many of your “connections” as possible. What’s remarkable about all this is that Idle still seems to view all these celebrities with a certain sense of awe - humbly seeming not to realise he is a bigger celebrity than most of them! This is a very warm, frank and above all human, self-reflection on a life that has had all the ups and downs we’ve come to expect of the “rich and famous” yet Idle never yields to self-pity or (worse still) self-loathing and his infectious sense of humour is ever present throughout. A brilliant book, brilliantly told by the funny man himself. Do NOT miss this one!

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Brilliant!!!

Loved it from start to finish, great insight to his life so far, funny informative. a light and entertaining book for all.

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What are you waiting for?

If you’re aware of Monty Python, know the name Eric Idle, have a love of comedy and have an Audible credit burning a hole in your smart phone then click purchase.
You won’t regret it and if you don’t find this enlightening, enchanting, educational, emotional and other e words, then tough shit, it’s a few more quid into the back pocket of a bloke who, with his friends, changed the face of comedy and entertained me throughout my life.
You’ve come this far, you should see it through!
Thank you Eric, I’ll get many laughs with each time I listen.

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  • Wendy McLachlan
  • 29-10-2019

Worst book I have listened to!

I am a huge Monty Python fan, but this book was all about name dropping. I battled listening to the end.

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  • TullochReviews
  • 02-08-2019

Fantastic read by a brilliant comedian

A fantastic review by a brilliant comedian, goes into the laughs, the sad times and the legacy he has built and left behind. Kind, caring and funny

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