Sep 11, 2017

[Books] Is It Just Me? - Audible Audio Book Review

Tobie and I are big fans of Miranda Hart's self-titled sitcom Miranda and so I was pretty curious to explore what sort of an autobiography she'd craft for herself, especially as a self-read Audible audio book experience.

Miranda Hart's Is It Just Me? is a quirky piece that perfectly reflects the Miranda a lot of us have come to know through her comedy work on television and film. That sort of quick wit and awkwardness translates beautifully in this exploration of her life and that just reinforces how much of her personality really shines through her acting work.

The audio book experience also feels somewhat more tailored as this was originally a written work and I appreciate that a lot. They may seem like small changes made to the overall work, but they go a long way.

Synopsis: Is It Just Me? is an autobiography written by Miranda Hart talking about her life and the many colorful experiences she's had in her life. She also read the Audible audio book.

You may have heard of Miranda Hart because of her sitcom  or maybe her work on Call the Midwife or at the very least you saw her in the movie Spy. She's always the awkward, surprisingly tall woman (often mistaken for a man) who is adept at telling a joke or making one about herself. You may also know her because of her Twitter account, but that's hardly all there is to know about her.

This audio book is a guided journey through her life as we all get to commiserate with her embarrassing instances and celebrate her moments of triumph. And the whole piece is clearly written in her voice and read aloud in her voice, at least in the case of this audio book.

What I Liked: I don't think it's immediately apparent what a wonderful control over the English language Miranda Hart has. And it's unmistakably British English and thus she often manages to dredge up the most perfect terms for this or that using terms that are far outside what we'd consider to be conversational in the rest of the world. And I love the whole experience as her unique brand of wit clearly comes from an open and honest place with a lot of smarts and a lot of heart (pun intended!)

And the book is such a lovely journey indeed - one where Miranda makes every audio book listener feel all the more welcome as she christens us all as "My Dear Listener Chum" or MDLC, a change that is made to the entire text as she reads it aloud. The audio experience also involves Miranda playing a younger Miranda as of course biographies do come with some degree of introspection and reflection on what had come before. But Miranda's musings remain distinctly Miranda, which means they're funny because they're true and so relatable.

What Could Have Been Better: Well this is not a book with a firm structure as we follow Miranda's points of interest and have to trust her to guide us through. This is the case of all biographies of course but there are times when it feels like we're jumping around a bit more than anticipated. This is a minor quibble, but I did feel like things were a bit more loose in this book versus some other biographies.

I also sort of wish she had zeroed in more on her acting work like further exploring how her sitcom came to be instead of mostly just making references to it as being in-progress at the time. She does share parts of it, but maybe from a greedy perspective I was hoping for more, and even more on her time on Call the Midwife. But again this is a small thing.

TL;DR: Is It Just Me? is a lovely celebration of all things Miranda Hart and her joyful approach to life. If we do have an inner child, she has clearly embraced it and this book is a bit of a guide as well to show us how not to take things too seriously and still have fun with things. Thus the audio book gets a full 5 funny lists that Miranda makes to act as advice for all her MDLC's out of a possible 5.


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