Sorta-review of the Sortabiography
I have been a huge Monty Python fan for years. It started with watching The Holy Grail back in, geez, probably middle school. From there, I saw their other movies, the entire series of Flying Circus, side shows (such as Fawlty Towers), Spamalot twice and just a couple years ago, Mike took me to see Eric Idle and John Cleese on stage in Orlando.
Needless to say, I was very excited when I got a copy of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - A Sortabiography” by Eric Idle from Mike for Christmas. I just finished it and had a heck of a good time reading it!
The book is full of emotions. I was reading this in a quiet location and had to stop myself from bursting out laughing frequently and at some points, had to just stop reading it in public so I didn’t start crying. The chapters about Graham Chapman, George Harrison and Robin Williams’ deaths were just heartbreaking.
Going on about other people is why I believe Eric calls it a “Sortabiography”. He would spend pages telling you about places he went and things he did with certain people or even just talk about them and their lives for a bit, which makes it seem like he is going off on some tangents.
In fact, the book itself seems like one large tangent, like you are sitting down and having a conversation with Eric as opposed to reading a book. Sure, it follows a very basic order, talking about his years in school and then his early career, marriages and later career. There are points, though, that he would talk about something he had written in 1970 or a person he had met and spend a few pages about how it had affected his life in the 1990s and then start off in the 70’s again without warning. This happened frequently enough that I needed to reread parts a few times to make sure I was understanding what was happening.
Don’t let this rather sporadic writing scare you off though. Goodness, it was a fantastic book! I loved learning about how Spamalot was made, ways the sketches were written for Flying Circus and of all the different live shows that I need to watch on Netflix! (many of them are on there, you gotta check it out!) These men were very well educated and decided that their education would be put to good use making us laugh. Reading this has inspired me to look into reading John Cleese’s biography “So Anyway…”. (Plan on a review of that book as soon as I can get my hands on it)
I highly recommend you check out this Sortabiography. You can purchase “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by clicking the title. Thank you, Eric Idle and all the Pythons, for bringing so much joy to so many lives!
Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite Monty Python sketch? I could quote “Bruce” “Dead Parrot”, “Spam” and “Argument Clinic” in my sleep!