Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bonkers: My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders


Bonkers: My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders is a memoir worth reading, especially if you are a fan of Jennifer Saunders.  I love French and Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle, and Clatterford (a.k.a. Jam and Jerusalem).

The first half of the book is the funniest.  Saunders tells some hilarious stories about her childhood.  I liked learning the background of how she and Dawn French met and became friends, and the beginnings of French and Saunders. It was interesting to read about their experiences as they started out as comediennes, and how they wrote the material for their shows.  Along with French, other friends who are famous appear in this book like Joanna Lumley, Ruby Wax, Dolly Parton, Goldie Hawn, and Saunders' husband, Adrian Edmondson.

On the subject of her recent breast cancer and chemotherapy, other reviews have found Saunders to be detached or unemotional about this time of her life.  I didn't take it that way at all.  Saunders comes across as the sort of person who gets on with things, and the passages about this experience were poignant but straightforward.

Saunders follows a somewhat chronological structure in her memoir, but she does divert from that path several times to tell unrelated stories.  It gave me the sense that she was chatting about her life in an informal way rather than in a more formal style.

Bonkers: My Life in Laughs is a great book!  

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