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Publisher's Summary

Comedian Tony Martin has strip-mined his often unremarkable life to tell 16 small tales fraught with laughter and detail. Choosing to ignore his many dubious achievements in the world of Australian show business (Martin/Molloy, The Late Show) and a short-lived but torrid affair with Sharon on Kath & Kim, New Zealand-born Martin instead recalls dozens of tiny life-changing moments that, frankly, could have happened to anybody.

In a damning personal testimony spanning nearly 40 years on both sides of the Tasman, Martin wreaks havoc as an apprentice props man in amateur theatre, attempts to corrupt his school's "weird religious kid", tries vainly to seduce an unwilling babysitter, turns an entire tour bus against him, battles an addiction to Donkey Kong, seeks to master the art of "kerning" under the tutelage of a tyrannical Geordie, and is forced to donate an unfeasible amount of blood in an attempt to save his own life.

Reprinted five times since its publication in 2005, this cult classic is available for the first time in audio form, with the author doing all the voices, including his own.

"Everyone who reads it agrees it should never have ended. Brilliant and funny." (PopMatters, "The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2005")

©2020 Tony Martin (P)2020 Tony Martin

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What listeners say about Lolly Scramble: A Memoir of Little Consequence

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Get this book!

This is dizzy stuff, folks! Tony Martin is quite literally an Iron man. Entertaining as always, please narrate more books!

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Outstanding!

Tony Martin brings to life his classic collection of short tales in hilarious fashion. From amateur theatre to tour bus fights this is essential listening. Recommended by 4 out of 5 haemochromatosis patients.

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Hilarious

Legend has it Tony did the reading of this book while cocooned under a doonah, inside a perspex booth within his loungeroom, cooking up a veritable aural terducken seasoned with Martin's trademark wit and eye for detail.

Big fan of the book and it's great to hear these stories told by Tony himself. Hopefully he can find the time to get back under that doonah and record A Nest of Occasionals sometime soon.

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Fantastic!

Tony’s book is very entertaining and full of laughs. Definitely worth the admission price. He reads it hisself and the performance adds originality to the story. You’ll enjoy this book.

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  • El
  • 03-01-2021

Perfection

A work of comedic genius. Hilarious, moving stories with incredible characterisations. I'm telling everyone to read it. Excellent work, it was well worth the wait A++++++

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  • Emelius Browne
  • 24-12-2020

Superb and worth the wait

It has been an arduous 15-year journey to audio for Tony Martin's debut memoir, and it has still surpassed all expectations. If you are already aware of Martin and his work, you will already have bought this audiobook and this review is superfluous to requirements as you will be already sat down listening to the opening chapters. If you are not - Tony Martin is a multi-talented Antipodean humourist of some renown, and a household name amongst comedy connoisseurs on his own continent. It was obvious to his fans that Martin's established talents as a comedy performer, radio presenter and voiceover would transfer perfectly to the audiobook world, a fact which made the decision not to utilise him for the audio of his recent novel 'Deadly Kerfuffle' (currently available from Audible narrated by actor Mike Bishop who, to be fair, does an excellent job) hugely frustrating. Thankfully, a perfect storm of coincidences has allowed him to finally narrate his first book 'Lolly Scramble' in all its unexpurgated glory and bring some much needed relief to the closing moments of 2020.

'Lolly Scramble', like its sequel 'A Nest Of Occasionals' (which we will also hopefully hear on audio before too much time has passed), is a collection of autobiographical short stories. These are not victory laps for his comedy, television or radio careers, or tell-all confessionals about his innermost personal life. All of these expected subjects are completely avoided as the book instead aims to tell a complete picture of Tony Martin's life, psyche and sense of humour via the vivid recollection of small, seemingly inconsequential episodes from his past. Told through the prism of a man cursed with the gift of an overactive comedy writer's brain that he can never switch off, and a love of trivia and minutiae bordering on the obsessional, these apparently mundane slices of his personal history lift off and become stratospherically funny victories in comic storytelling.

You don't need to know any of Martin's previous work to get the most out of this title, as all sixteen of the stories and routines are completely self-contained. Comic highlights include 'Something Of Dreams', an uproarious recalling of a childhood encounter with a visiting film crew, 'The Doctor Is Out', detailing Martin's encounters with an enigmatic chiropractor, and war stories of surviving a matching pair of eccentric landlords in 'A Made Bed In Hell' and 'The Yeti'. The story 'Breakfast In Dubbo' will strike chords of painful recognition with any cinephile who has ever found themselves out of their depth when confronted with the fateful hand of democracy, and 'Any Old Iron', Martin's extended biography of his considerable struggles with the chronic condition haemochromatosis, is as unexpectedly humbling and moving as it is relentlessly funny, dense with jokes of all flavours, and surely as informative as any serious work of non-fiction on the subject.

The audiobook of 'Lolly Scramble' is beautifully performed and will surely make new fans of the thinking introvert's raconteur that is Tony Martin, particularly those who are already fans of the acidic wit of Clive James's journalism, the joyful weightlessness of Stephen Fry's memoirs, and the grounded, eternally bemused lyricism of the works of Victoria Wood and Alan Bennett. Hopefully we will see more Tony Martin audiobooks following in the wake of this one, whether that be the followup 'A Nest Of Occasionals', his anthology of columns 'Scarcely Relevant', or whatever new books may be brewing in that magnificent mind of his. I dare anybody not to enjoy this!

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