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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.

2 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

1 person found this helpful

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Jimmy Carr rockstar

Awesome book sooooo much gold and so many laughs! Loved it! Have a notebook next to you to take notes it’s that good

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very humorous read

After not knowing much about the past of Jimmy. This book is a great autobiography aswell a self help book that is very funny. only downside i found the story line abit odd

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absolutely brilliant

best audio book I've had, just wow. so relatable, fantastic to listen to. I'll be listening again.
give the man best seller

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Will listen again

This book is something I see myself revisiting once every 5-10 years to help keep myself in check and reinforce jimmy’s message to strive to be the best version of myself in whatever capacity it looks like.

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great listen.

great listen, great laughs , great fun, i could listen to jimmy tell stories for hours. and did.

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Inspirational

A cracking good listen. Have already recommended it to several friends, and family. Thanks Jimmy, I now have an even stronger appreciation for you. Not only do you make me laugh, you also make me think.

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Jimmy Carr tells a great story.

I just loved listening to this amusing but also insightful book by Jimmy Carr. I will probably listen to again. I totally recommend this book

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Humorous, down to earth and honest

Loved this book for so many reasons. And dear oh dear I was not expecting to see Jimmy in the “self-help” genre or to know he is such a down to earth bloody nice guy!

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 22-11-2021

This Book was: Your Mum.

Easy. I smashed this out in about a day. I’m flabbergasted by the amount of wisdom Jimmy has vacuum-sealed, stack and packed into this beauty of a read. Never manages to get boring.
A more relevant book for me, a new comic 28, doesn’t exist.
I think I love you Jimmy.
Also, somehow I expect after reading this, to walk away with an emasculate set of teeth.

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  • MrWestLondon
  • 11-11-2021

Not what I expected - and it was delightful

I’m a fan of Jimmy Carr’s comedy and expected this to be an autobiography rammed with punchy jokes and some self depreciation. It is.

What I hadn’t expected is the pseudo self-development tome which it also is. It’s a very funny, self reflective way to spend 6 or so hours and thoroughly enjoyable. A key theme is that you can have anything but not everything.

You’ll get an overview of jimmy’s life (he worked at shell, dontcha know?!) and how his mid 20s had a profound impact on him and his future living… and tax affairs.

The performance, as with many audible titles, is also a bonus.

If you’re a fan of Jimmy’s you’ll enjoy, if you’re here because you like self help guides, I’ve no idea how the algorithm works but it’s played a blinder.

Thank you!

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  • Barbara
  • 09-11-2021

I was not expecting this!

So Jimmy Carr wrote a book. I love Jimmy Carr! He is so funny. I expected his book to be a 6 hr stand up show. What I didn't expect is an amazingly insightful, clever, HELPFUL, touching, emotional self-help book that hits all the right marks. This book is way more than I expected - and it is still laugh out loud funny. I can't recommend this book enough!

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  • Mim
  • 30-10-2021

Laughter is the best medicine

Have always liked Jimmy’s witty and clever delivery of all sorts of stories. His management of Talk Shows is masterly. Not at all surprised that this ‘biography’ come life management book read by the author himself is a wonderful if slightly exhausting listen. His delivery means that a little break between chapters allows time for processing all the information. Looking forward to re-listening to it all, so glad I was able to buy this so soon.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-10-2021

Entertaining take on self-help books

Part life hack, part biography story
Jimmy is great commedian, it is very clear in this book. Kinda generic life advices wraped in humor really helps to get the point across. Other life advices tend to be pushy, and that makes me usually reject it just on principle of being forced to do something. Jimmy makes it fun and that made me actually listen.
The only joke that did not land, was claim about "amy schumer is commedian". Except for that every joke is good. Overall life story is funny and touchy at the same time. Relatable topics (sh*t im gonna die, be lucky, focus on later, find/use your edge).
Some jokes are just taken from his stand ups, so you know them when he sais first word.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-10-2021

Great on many levels

Funny, honest, classic Carr cutting insight, but also heartfelt, genuine and warming. Well worth coming back to.
'If you could take a drug like laughter, you would.'

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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!

5 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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

2 people found this helpful

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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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  • 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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-11-2021

Motivational one liners

This is more of a self help or motivational book than an autobiography.
A good read for those that want to dip in for a few pages when they've got time.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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