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Publisher's Summary

The Sunday Times Best Seller

James Acaster has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award five times and has appeared on prime-time TV shows like Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Russell Howard's Stand Up Central.

But behind the fame and critical acclaim is a man perpetually getting into trouble. Whether it's disappointing a skydiving instructor mid-flight, hiding from thugs in a bush wearing a bright red dress, or annoying the Kettering Board Games club, a didgeridoo-playing conspiracy theorist and some bemused Christians, James is always finding new ways to embarrass himself.

Appearing on Josh Widdicombe's radio show to recount these stories, the feature was christened 'James Acaster's classic scrapes'. Here, in his first book, James recounts these tales (including never-before-heard stories) in all their glorious stupidity.

©2017 James Acaster (P)2017 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic Reviews

"James Acaster has a brilliant comic mind, crackling with energy every bit as much as his corduroy slacks." (Milton Jones)
"I don't think I've ever read a book that has made me cry with laughter as much as this one. It was very difficult reading it in public as I looked like a madman." (Richard Herring)

What listeners say about James Acaster's Classic Scrapes

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I will never read an autobiography again.

This is the first audio book I’ve ever listened to. I really wanted to hear James tell his scrapes in his own voice and it was as amazing as I hoped it to be! Really funny, really well read. I must say I would have liked some good scrapes too. Part way I was just picturing James as a sad old cat man living alone having scrape after scrape!! Surely something good must happen soon James!!

From now on I will only listen to people read their own autobiography, you get a lot more out of hearing it in their voice. Loved it!!

4 people found this helpful

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Heartwarmingly funny

Pure goodness. Acaster is top-shelf of current British comedy; whimsical, loveable, intelligent, self-deprecating etc.

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Very funny

We listened to this on a 14 hour road trip. We laughed, we cried, we gasped. This book has everything you need for a long road trip. Very entertaining! 👌🏻

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I could be biased, but...

This is a delightfully genius book, and an even better audiobook. Hearing James tell these stories himself is like reading the bible from the perspective of Jesus Christ. It’s utterly hysterical from start to finish. The sort of content that leaves you weeping openly through your face mask on the train on a work night and ruining your really nice eyeliner. In my experience. As a particularly scrape-prone person, it was nice to feel seen - and also quite uncomfortable at times. If Mr. Acaster happens to be looking for a partner in failure, I’m now a little bit in love with him.

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Funny and insightful

I enjoy James Acaster's stand-up so purchased this book and I'm very glad I did. It made me laugh out loud but, more than that, I enjoyed hearing his musings on life and his self-analysis. This is a very enjoyable, light-hearted read that picks you up after a tough day.

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Bloody brilliant

Hey James, just finished listening for the second time. Really enjoyed it both times. Hope you’re well.
- Emile Ryjoch

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amazing and thank you

i cringed, i laughed, i learnt. well worth a listen for any solo car trip!

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I LOVED IT!

I almost crashed my car (how appropraite=) because i was laughing to much while driving!

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There are indeed classic scrapes

James Acaster is a comedic genius and this proves it. The Skydiving story made me laugh so hard I had to take a rest to recover.

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Funnier than Tolstoy

Silly, odd, childlike stories that don’t even really sound like comedy, but had me wheezing with laughter. Best audio book I’ve bought in ages.

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  • Brendan S.
  • 31-01-2018

Tales worth listening to.

This is a book that I would argue is better listened to rather than read. Part of what makes James Acaster's scrapes so great to experience is the delivery of his memories. He's a great story teller, and while reading this would still be a true laugh, to hear him recount his awkward situation ridden life thus far is certainly the best way to experience them.

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  • Susan Thomas
  • 27-09-2018

Best book in the whole world ever!!

Laughed until I cried.

11 more words to meet requirements of this review. Thank you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Geoff in London
  • 26-01-2018

Bright and enjoyable

A pleasure to listen to. James sees the nuances of his goofy predicaments, and delivered a steady stream of smiles for me. His Northamptonshire accent has a rambling and mumbling lack of pretence, the opposite of the superior attitude of some comics who want you to know how clever they are.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kathryn English
  • 14-05-2018

Hilariously Honest and Endearing

I found James’s book after watching his comedy special Repertoire on Netflix and I’m so glad I did. I listened to it over a weekend road trip and was laughing out loud at the situations James found himself in.
As a twenty-something myself, I identified with James at that time in his life when he sought meaning and purpose and decided a good way to find that was by simply saying “yes.” James’s honest telling of his experiences, are framed as mistakes to be avoided. But they clearly shine as endearing examples (however cringe worthy they may be) of someone who isn’t afraid to try, to fail, and to be open to whatever life places in front of them.
There is also a very relatable dichotomy in someone who is too self-conscious to return to a restaurant or use a public toilet, but who will also put themself out there whether it be alone at karaoke, with an egg shaker in hand, or on stage performing comedy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-05-2021

"what a life!" indeed

The only person I would really believe that spent the night in a bush would be James Acaster. And how can a person have so many bad times doing charity?

I think this audiobook was really the right place for these ludicrous stories while "repertoire", for example, works to develop connected stories.

His comic time is incredible here and being told by him and the way he tones each sentence only contributes to having a joyful time FULL of nodding in disbelief. But then again, I trusted every word.

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  • John C.
  • 15-05-2021

Very funny

I recently saw James special on Netflix and wanted more so I read this book. I loved it and the funny stories he tells.

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  • Holly
  • 07-05-2021

You'll think he's making it up, until you don't

The incidents James talks about are so absurd that you initially think there's no way a rational person would do this. But then James clearly illustrates his rationale and it suddenly doesn't seem so absurd. And he does this with his wonderfully self-deprecating and surprisingly insightful story telling genius.

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  • James Anderson
  • 26-04-2021

Funny Funny.

Very Funny, but before purchasing, check out James Acaster to see if his style of comedy and storytelling is for you. If it is, you won't be disappointed.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-03-2021

Fantastic!

Amazing book! James Acaster is absolutely brilliant! Now I have to buy the rest of his books!

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  • nevet1212
  • 07-03-2021

Great stories!

When life seems to do nothing but throw punches you have to roll with them. James Acaster does that in spades with this book. Hearing these stories makes you question their validity, but the performance is such that you know they are all true.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-2017

Brilliantly funny.

James Acaster is easily my favourite new comedian. As someone the same age as James who also spent his 20's in playing in bands and making terrible decisions I can completely identify with his scrapes. In my opinion there's nothing enjoyable or entertaining about a 'funny story' about things going wrong that are rooted in pure stupidity. However, there is something joyously endearing when blind optimism and oddly logical decision-making lead to undesirable outcomes, particularly when retold by one of the best comedians in the UK. Very very funny and plenty of laugh out loud moments.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Edwards
  • 17-01-2019

series of witty anecdotes

It's exactly what you'd expect: a comedian telling silly anecdotes. Acaster's performance is great, the stories vary in zaniness and irony, overall, well worth a listen.

Do note though that the anecdotes all appeared on Josh Widdecombe's radio show, and several were also used on Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You and in Acaster's stand-up. So if you're a fan who follows his work, expect some repetition.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-2017

Classic Scrapes

Classic scrapes, Brilliant simply brilliant. I have to write fifteen more words, so here they are, oh and cabbage. Brilliant

28 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-07-2020

So, so good.

I finished this 6 hour audio book in 3 days. that's with a full time job and a busy home life. It was so funny I listened to it whenever I could... Whilst driving, washing up, cooking and yes, on the toilet! I can't wait til next month when I allow myself the treat of James 's next book.

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  • Andrew Collings
  • 30-06-2020

Very Acaster

A really enjoyable book told by the author. If you're a James Acaster fan, you'll love hearing about his childhood scrapes.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-06-2020

classic scraps

loved this audio book, all the scraps are told with so much enthusiasm and love,really recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nic
  • 21-01-2019

The voice makes it!

Listening to this book, I couldn't imagine it being read by anyone else. James' voice is half the joke!
Not all of the scrapes made me laugh, but those that did would've had me on the floor laughing, if I wasn't driving! Parrot soup is by far the best bit!

1 person found this helpful

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  • M. Gilroy
  • 30-08-2017

If you only listen to one audiobook, make it this one.

Had this recommended via several friends. Utter, delightful comedy gold. All the way from a tiny internal smirk (primary school kids and socks) to a full blown belly laugh (Humpty Dumpty) - this has it all. Buy it - now.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Culshaw
  • 27-08-2017

Funny as!

Not bad for someone from Kettering 😂😂
Such a funny book with so many tales, it will have you in stitches

7 people found this helpful

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  • Dan Travers
  • 30-08-2017

Great book, great stories and a great storyteller

I can relate (horribly) to a number of these tales but quite how James gets himself into these situations and then resolves them i am sure is unique on this planet. I had heard some of these on the XFM radio show but there were some beauties in here that were not.
I have loved every cringing moment

Its also a fun insight into the world of a certain number of comedians

2 people found this helpful

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