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  • So, Anyway...

  • The Autobiography
  • By: John Cleese
  • Narrated by: John Cleese
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (369 ratings)

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So, Anyway... cover art

So, Anyway...

By: John Cleese
Narrated by: John Cleese
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Publisher's Summary

Candid and brilliantly funny, this is the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend.

En route, John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter's Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic homelife, with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work, as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman. And so on to his dizzying ascent via scriptwriting for Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Feldman and others to the heights of Monty Python.

Punctuated from time to time with John Cleese's thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the relative merits of cricket and waterskiing and the importance of knowing the dates of all the kings and queens of England, this is a masterly performance by a former schoolmaster.

©2016 John Cleese (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about So, Anyway...

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great for Cleese fans

A friend liked this because you can just let it wash over you. It does not require close listening (though there is enjoyment in that too.) The great pleasure is that it is John Cleese reading his own words in a rather conversational way.

Described as an autobiography, the book actually is Part 1, perhaps without intention of a Part 2.

Cleese describes his childhood, his relationship with his parents, and his schooling. His arrival at Cambridge opens the door to his professional career which seems carefully traced until Python starts production.

Whatever followed Python is occasionally mentioned but not given the detailed treatment of the pre-Python period. Those who want blow by blow of Python or Fawlty will be disappointed. Those who know the work of his 1960s contemporaries and predecessors will be very pleased.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stopped too soon.

I enjoyed every minute of it as Mr Cheese gets personal and can’t help himself but be funny. I felt a bit cheated as I would have liked it to go on and on.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

John Cleese has missed with this audiobook

What did you like best about So, Anyway...? What did you like least?

I did not enjoy much of this audiobook.
I was delighted that John Cleese narrated it himself, and there are several smile-worthy parts, but not once did I laugh out loud, or even chuckle.... although John Cleese quite often laughs at himself, in an odd kind of Precious Pup wheeze.
I am at a loss to know how one of the funniest people on the screen can get it wrong with this book, I found it quite boring.

Would you be willing to try another book from John Cleese? Why or why not?

I don't think I would read another of John's books

Was So, Anyway... worth the listening time?

Not worth the listening time.

Any additional comments?

I don't want to hurt Mr Cheese's (yes, that's his real name) feelings, and will continue to watch anything he has on big or small screens but for me this book was a dud.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Please Mr Cleese can we have MORE!!!!

Mr Cleese is wrong we do care about his youth and his struggles and what made him one of the most influential entertainers of his generation.
I have to agree his voice started out unsure and I was slightly disappointed having really looked forward to this audiobook. But as other reviewers have pointed out he warmed up and it was such a pleasure to listen to him laugh at the memories and sketches.
I have no idea how time consuming and painful it is to write an autobiography and I understand as a fan of his work I can't really ask for more than the pleasure he has already given so many BUT I am asking for more please. Listening to this audiobook is as close as I'll get to sitting down with him over a coffee and asking questions about his life. I just want a few more hours please.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Cleese's narration is outstanding

a very enjoyable journey through Cleese's earlier life, a fair bit of time is spent on the process of writing comedy. I enjoyed this book and the narration was excellent.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

Loved almost every minute. Thanks John, for being frank and funny. Recommend for everyone except if you are one of those weirdos who doesn’t like John Cleese in which it’s not for you.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful and highly entertaining look into the mind of a complete loony

God I love John Cleese! This was such a fun and very thoughtful analysis of his early years - which I find extremely interesting. I loved his breakdown of ‘why’ people behave the way they do - it is a fascinating occupation that helps me appreciate his work even more. Thanks for sharing, John! Hope the money help pay for one or more of those nasty bothersome debts!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good yarn of the early days

A good yarn if the early days. Made me laugh out loud. A little disappointed that it didn’t go far it the Monty Python days.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Enlightening

One of the UK’s best comedians. I really got to know a sense of what makes this great man tick. He doesn’t suffer fools but comes across as a truly decent bloke. Oh and some parts of this are exceptionally funny!!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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So, Anyway….

What an extraordinary life John!
Thanks for the memories, the laughter and sharing it all with us.
Wishing you health and happiness for 2023
🤗

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