Thursday, 28 June 2018

Book Review - HOPEFUL - an autobiography by Omid Djalili - Bookish World Cup - Iran

Amazon UK
Title: HOPEFUL - an autobiography
Author: Omid Djalili
Format reviewed: Hardback
Source: Competition Win
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 28th August 2014
Rating: 4 Stars

Omid Djalili's childhood was unconventional, to say the least. He was raised in a beautiful, chaotic, cramped, colourful and legally dubious guesthouse where his parents fed and watered Iranian nationals flocking to the UK. Over twenty years almost 2000 'cousins' passed through the Djalili's doors and the young Omid played translator to each. Although these years taught him a lot about the rich tapestry of life, this parenting by committee led to a slightly chequered school career which saw Omid taking his A levels a record six times and eventually fake his own university entrance papers. Desperate to be free of his cramped living quarters he escapes to the University of Ulster where he lives a life of wonderful solitude.

Full of the warmth and intelligence that makes Omid such a successful comedian and sought-after actor, this memoir takes us on an incredible and laugh-out-loud funny journey through an unusually British life.

Very funny autobiography of a man who is in fact now a stand up comedian, so I would have been upset had it not been funny!  I was laughing out loud from the first few chapters and generally there was a joke or a laugh or two to be had in each chapter. 

The book focuses of Omid's life growing up as a British born Iranian man,  whose parents ran an incredibly worthy guest house that meant that there were strangers in and out of Omid's life the whole time.  

There are chapters detailing his love of football, I will forgive him being a Chelsea fan as it was his local team and it sounds as though he was a useful player too.  His experiences with education  were fascinating, honest and what struck me was the level of determination this man has and arguably his delusions of grandeur. 

There were chapters involving visits to Iran as a child and his extended family, and I really enjoyed delving into this different culture.  

Overall this is an incredibly insightful, interesting and entertaining look at the life so far of a comedian I enjoy watching, split into easy to follow chapters, detailing his childhood, education, assorted jobs and attempting to become an actor amongst other elements.   I really enjoyed reading this. 

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