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  • Before & Laughter

  • By: Jimmy Carr
  • Narrated by: Jimmy Carr
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,002 ratings)

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Before & Laughter cover art

Before & Laughter

By: Jimmy Carr
Narrated by: Jimmy Carr
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Publisher's Summary

Self-help meets memoir in this deeply insightful, fascinating and entertaining audiobook about happiness by one of the country's most treasured comedians. 

A memoir and self-help manual by one of the country's most treasured comedians - for anyone who feels stuck in a rut but doesn't have the tools or self-belief to shake things up

In his mid-20s, Jimmy was bored, boring, unfulfilled and underachieving. He wasn't exactly depressed, but he was very sad. Think of a baby owl whose mum has recently died in a windmill accident. He was that sad. This book tells the story of how Jimmy turned it around and got happy, through the redemptive power of dick jokes.

Written to take advantage of the brief window between the end of lockdown and Jimmy getting cancelled for saying something unforgivable to Lorraine Kelly, this book is as timely as it is unnecessary.  

Because you might be interested in Jimmy's life but he's damn sure you're a lot more interested in your own, Before & Laughter is about both of you. But mainly him. It tells the story of Jimmy's life - the transformation from white-collar corporate drone to fake-toothed, donkey-laugh, plastic-haired comedy mannequin - while also explaining how to turn your own life around and become the you you've always dreamt of being. 

Before & Laughter contains the answers to all the big questions in life, questions like:

  • What's the secret to happiness?
  • Is Jimmy wearing a wig?
  • What happened with that tax thing? 
  • What's the meaning of life?
  • Is Jimmy's laugh real?
  • Can those teeth bite through vibranium?

And for listeners in the West Country: yes, there are pictures (actually, sorry, there are no pictures, but there's a book about a hungry caterpillar you'll love).

Because it's Jimmy Carr - recently scientifically proved to be the funniest comedian in the UK - there are jokes, jokes and more jokes throughout. If laughter really was the best medicine, the NHS would be handing out this book in Nightingale Hospitals.

Fascinating, thoughtful and insightful - are all words that appear in the book.

©2021 Jimmy Carr (P)2021 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about Before & Laughter

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Just excellent…like your Mum

Jimmy has managed to distill his insight to a successful life into a funny, heartwarming and generous book. Just when you think it’s about to go deep, here comes another hilarious quip. Really worth the time.

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6 people found this helpful

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Fantastic.

Try it. You’ll like it. It’s great. Nough said. Apparently I have to right more words to submit my review. Fascists.

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4 people found this helpful

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Incredible listen

Amazing the way you make people realise the lows and bring them back with a great joke at the end, truly brilliant listen from someone struggling and will serve to motivate going forwards

Thanks and keep up the great work Mr Carr

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3 people found this helpful

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What exactly what I hoped it would be

A funny cross between his autobiography and a self help book, it ticked all the boxes for me

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Jimmy is very intelligent and knowledgeable ....

Some very thought provoking ideas show that he is well read. He has found his calling.

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Jimmys humour can turn the shitest days into awesome ones.

Start the day with a good laugh, love listening to extraordinary people talk about their seemingly average lives.

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Terrible

We are massive fans of Jimmy but think he should stick to live shows. Just a terrible listen. Sorry Jimmy

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Perfect!

Everyone should listen to this! Life advice with a giggle chucked in with it, everything/everyone seems to be too serious these days, Jimmy is simply putting some what of a brighter outlook on everything.

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Brilliant & life changing

Jimmy, this was brilliant. You are a class act, an incredible comedian and now also author. I loved this audiobook and this is my first ever review on here, because I absolutely wanted to share my thoughts. Quite simply a review to say, thank you for writing and also reading this memoir/self help book, it’s been life changing.

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insightful and funny

Really enjoyed it, love Jimmy Carr as a comic and I find myself agreeing with him on almost all his takes in this book.

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  • Sarah Cowden
  • 08-10-2021

This is one I'll come back to time and time again.

Jimmy Carr's stand-up and subsequent TV shows has helped me out of some dark places with a good ol ugly laugh.. I love this book.
I think this was exceptional, especially as it was read by Jimmy himself.

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  • EmiDubai
  • 15-01-2024

Exceptionally honest & funny at the same time

Best life advice book I’ve listened to
Jimmy gives honest & direct steps to living a better fulfilled life while making the book so funny
Loved it

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  • Rho A.
  • 14-11-2023

funny, and unexpectedly motivational

I have seen his comedy shows, but now know him better, and it's a self help book

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  • kingsley
  • 21-08-2023

I guess covid did produce something good

this is a book written by someone who truly wants to make your life better, be it via his lessons from life or the laughter that is his life's work

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-07-2023

Must listen!

Absolutely amazing. Jimmy is the comedy GOAT! Finished it in one day, was too addictive to put down !

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  • Trudy Rothman
  • 24-06-2023

Excellent

Love jimmy Carr as a comedian and now that I’ve listened to his book , love him as an author as well ..very engaging

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  • Nighteyes
  • 25-05-2023

carr is carr

this is a fun 7 hours where you get to learn a bit about the man behind the ridiculous laugh, I enjoyed it, but if you are here for self-help, he himself condenses this entire book to "Prioritise later"

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  • darren
  • 30-04-2023

The kind of advice I wish I'd heard when younger

A great listen and an unexpected one. I have always been a fan but didnt think I'd see this side of Jimmy Carr. So much good advice that, although referencing it to his chosen career path, could be used whatever your path is or what you want it to be. How great would it have been to have had Jimmy Carr do a career presentation at school rather than those dull, uninspiring jobs worthy "career advisers" (anyone who grew up in the 80's will agree with this) There are also some very funny stories and some great insights to Jimmy's life growing up. Definitely worth a listen

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  • Nigel
  • 09-01-2023

Absolutely loved this book

Smart, true, helpful and funny. Lots of respect Jimmy! You really nailed it with this book :)

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  • Jenny Internet
  • 28-11-2022

Best self help book I've ever read.

Don't let the authors comedy make you think this book does not have substance. It's substance delivered in a comical way!

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  • mr c j skirving
  • 05-10-2021

borrows quotes, No original ideas of his own

Jimmy has decided to do a self help book using things that other people have said and just throws them at you instead of writing something that anyone wants to listen too.

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  • Kit
  • 07-10-2021

great

very rarely write a review, but this book was great. very engaging. funny. thought provoking. better than, dare I say it... your mum.

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  • Juice
  • 06-10-2021

Not what I was expecting but thoroughly enjoyable

Not your normal comedian's take on a book. There's mention of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Belbin's team roles and Neuro-linguistic Programming. An inspirational and honest book of how Jimmy Carr worked to become so successful, and how to apply this to your own goals. Arguably leaves the listener with a better idea of who the author really is than a warts and all biography ever could.

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  • crochetdiva
  • 02-10-2021

Amazing and unexpected

I expected this book to be all about one liners and being a comedian. Well I am happy to say that I was so wrong. Yes, there were a few one liners, and an interesting story of how he became a comic. The rest was about life, living, and how to succeed, what a surprise. If you don't read this you might make it, but if you do read it you have a far better chance of making it. Everyone should read this brilliant uplifting book. Well done Jimmy Carr, and thank you.

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  • Shane Crawford
  • 14-11-2021

Self Help for those that don’t need it

Jimmy Carr touts this as a self help book, written to guide a person to a successful, fulfilling life by following their dreams using his own success as the blueprint. He quotes a wide range of great thinkers and entertainers to provide richness to the wisdom. All his advice is spot on. But ultimately, it’s feels like a self help book for people that don’t need that much help….. for highly intelligent, middle class white guys with massive ambition and few obstacles in life. For everyone else it was the equivalent of telling an anorexic to “just eat something” or an addict to “just say no to drugs”. Pretty funny all the same.

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  • Smclark45
  • 05-10-2021

Absolutely flawless, brilliant!

Like him or loathe him this is an insight into Jimmy Carr and the way he tries to live his life and how he got there. It reminds me of Moab is my wash pot by Stephen Fry - stories, reflections and advice all backed up by well chosen insightful references. Best self help book I have ever read! Listening to it again straight after the first listen!

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  • liam pritchard
  • 02-11-2021

Don’t waste money or token

The whole book is rubbish

Don’t waste time or money on this

I do like Jimmy Carr but this is shocking

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  • W.Fenlon
  • 16-10-2021

Great

Great audiobook and surprisingly not what I expected: more self-help than autobiography. But that's not to say there isn't plenty of gold in here. In fact, it works really well. What I liked was how straight to the point he was on so many things: imposter syndrome for one, but mainly just how he talked about getting things done and how to stand out from the rest. I didn't know he suffered panic attacks, either. That was quite interesting. Okay, so like most of these kinds of books, there isn't really much beyond common sense, but it's still nice to hear it from the horse's mouth, and of course, there are a few jokes scattered around. There are a few funny stories, too. Loved the Bruce Springsteen one.
I'd highly recommend it.
4.5 rounded to 5

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  • Nadders
  • 01-12-2021

Arrogant, judgemental nonsense

Massively disappointed in this. I used to be a fan but he seems to have turned into an arrogant and judgemental A hole of late. There's nothing of any value in this book, it's mostly his opinions and values which have clearly worked for him but are unlikely to work for anyone else without the same level of self-delusion.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-2021

The book I wish I had had when I was in my 20s

Thank you for this wise, poignant and hilarious book. So much rang true! Cried and laughed my way through a (slow) Virtual London Marathon today with your voice for company. Lost my Dad to pancreatic cancer earlier in the year and long held tears and sadness flooded out as you relayed your experience. Listening to your voice, and take, on some pretty brutal times was so uplifting. I also howled with laughter at your honesty and no holds barred comments on the rubbish that, through no fault of our own, life throws at us all. Your approach to ‘life’, in what could wrongly be described as a ‘self help’ book, (it’s so much more than the usual trite offerings), is so refreshing, and the wisdom and humour of your experiences will stay. Can’t imagine what people thought of a crying and cackling woman running by but - no ***** given! Thank you, and truly rate this as the best book I’ve listened to for years.

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