On the cover:
Under the Microscope is Dave Spikey’s autobiography. But – as usual when it comes to Dave – it’s not your standard, run of the mill, A-to-B celebrity tome. Written in his own inimitable style, the book is a free-wheeling masterclass in observational comedy at its best, taking in Dave’s Northern childhood, schooldays and working life along the way.
From ‘the best medicine’ practised by his parents, to the class clown, no story is spared Dave’s comic touch. Centred on his personal experiences, Under the Microscope is a down-to-earth memoir filled with poignant and hilarious anecdotes, including tales of his family, his medical career and – of course – his experiences in the crazy world of professional comedy, from his worst-ever gigs to co-creating the genius Phoenix Nights.
Self-deprecating, revelatory and told with real heart, this is an unmissable treat for fans of Dave and good, solid comedy alike.
What I thought:
Dave Spikey is one of my favourite comedians, not only because he’s a local lad (he’s from the same town as me) but because his observations on life quite regularly make me laugh, a lot. This book was no exception. Whilst not all of it is geared towards comedy, it’s obviously scattered throughout and the first few chapters in particular had me struggling to stop myself from laughing out loud whilst reading in bed when the rest of the house was asleep.
The book shows just how funny Dave is and I learned a lot about him that I didn’t know before, much of which is probably public knowledge but I just hadn’t come across it. What I loved about this book is how it showed him to be just a regular down-to-earth bloke who is actually very intelligent (his role before becoming a comedian went as far as Chief Biochemical Scientist) and happened to get the right breaks in life. He’s very honest about his role in the break-up of his first marriage and is honest in general throughout the whole book. It’s very clear that he cares a lot about his family, friends and animals (he’s actively involved with a number of charities) and he’s generally an all-round great guy. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes observational comedy.
Source: Review copy from Amazon Vine
Publisher: Michael O’Mara Books, 2010
My rating: 4 stars