The Sound of Laughter - Peter Kay

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The Sound of Laughter - Peter Kay

Peter Kay's unerring gift for observing the absurdities and eccentricities of family life has earned himself a widespread, everyman appeal. These vivi...

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Review of "The Sound of Laughter - Peter Kay"

published 27/10/2010 | thedevilinme
Member since : 13/05/2008
Reviews : 2540
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About me :
I came on ciao to write and be published. It seems most wrote for money after-all. Well there is no money in writing and a vocation
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Pro Funny family chap
Cons No celeb stuff
very helpful
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"Peter Kaye : volume 1?"

The book, like the retro comic in question, is a simple and honest read. No long words or pretentious reasoning, just one man telling his story. They say you should only write what you know, and that is exactly what Peter has done here, quite literally! Everything he ever did, however mundane, seems to have ended up in this book, and for that reason alone I don’t think this will appeal to all, especially as he doesn’t include his rise to fame and celebrity, the reason why most people would spend a preposterous £18.95 on it, the autobiography abruptly coming to halt just as we get going.

Maybe its part one of his autobiography. Who knows? Maybe he feels guilty about his fame and fortune and by telling more funny stories on his homely normal life is enough for the Jolly Bolton boy for now, working class guilt getting the better of him. He certainly hints that way at the start of this limited but friendly tome, quipping that ‘he feels someday soon someone will knock on his front door and take it all away from him, announcing the money and success was all a big accounting error, your going to have to hand it all back son’.

For those who want to know about the best loved comic in Peter Kaye (the man Phil Jupitus will never be) then this book may not be interesting enough to spend your well earnt on. Like the man himself it’s not a remotely celebrity or a parochial journey. At times it reads like his sketches as we learn about his life leading up to his first paid stand-up through those familiar stories and routines. If it’s the time when he worked in an ESSO station handing out Tiger Tokens or his learning days at Salford University (cough!), everything is laid out in this extremely easy to read book like one of those hilarious stage performances that got him here. For some that style will get tiring very quickly, whilst for others it’s what they like about the man and the reason they bought his musings. I was in the middle somewhere on that one as it did begin to get tedious, especially to the point where you saw that the 300 odd pages were running out fast and he was still telling us about a chubby twenty year old Peter (he’s now 30) working in a Bolton bingo hall.

Driving lessons, rather surprisingly, are the backbone of the book, Peter weaving in his journey to learn to drive as some kind of metaphor from toddler to stand-up. Right from a young age Kay is recalling that cruel but honest Northern humor that would shape his act. His old aunt used to tell him that when the ice cream van siren is on they have run out of ice cream!

Growing up as a Catholic kid in Bolton (his mum had a font of Holy water in the hall) there’s no doubt that the young Pete Kaye was a bit of a tear-away, especially in a school full of nuns. Indeed his first experience on stage craft would be amongst that embattled holy order, given the role of Inn Keeper in the school nativity play. Fearing the role lacked depth and character , his one very well known line of:”sorry, there’s no room in the inn”, the only thing to work with, draped in a tea-towel, poetic license was deployed and a 10 year old Peter turned to the audience and replied: There’s plenty of room love. Would you like the full English too!”, much to the enjoyment of the crowd, the applause Peter’s first “sound of laughter”.

In his early teens his love of observational humor was beginning to take seed, often taping his family with hidden cassette machines. It was funny when I read that because I used to save up my pocket money and buy all my family note pads and pencils, my calling... If nothing else this book does bring back that sense of nostalgia, Kaye dropping in iconic moments and memorabilia from the eighties to stir you even more, setting the scene. I think it’s that wholesome delivery in his act on real things and situations that makes him as funny and likeable as he is. There is a lovely line where he remembers his dad watching the first Shuttle launch, his old man telling him to be quiet as he wanted to see this bloke land a rocket with his feet.

By mid way it becomes clear that Kay’s life really is those sketches, the characters in them people he knows. After leaving school we hear all about his part-time jobs, everything from a cash n carry worker, a steward at the Manchester Arena to a cinema attendant in Bolton. At the local ABC in question he would enjoy deliberately giving away the twists to the punters as they crept in to watch the Sixth Sense and the like, pretending conversation with his fellow ushers.’ “You could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized Willis were a ghost”.

After turning down a runners job at the Granada Studios for pittance, he chose Liverpool University (an oxymoron in anyone’s book), faking qualifications to get in, before dropping out just as cowardly, deciding to take up the more suited BTEC drama course at Salford University (see trade descriptions act), an early example of those Mickey Mouse courses, as an appropriate seat of learning as you can get to learn to be a stand–up comedian, which the course had a module for. It was here that he would win the North West comic of the year, beating none other than Johnny Vegas in the process.

And there ends the book, although I haven’t given away the best bits or jokes. This is a book for hardcore fans; you are not going to learn much about what he’s doing now or how he got there.

Summary: Playing it safe for his fans..

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Comments on this review

  • jb0077 published 06/06/2015
    VH review, thank you.
  • jo-1976 published 06/06/2015
    I liked his recent Car Share series
  • CelticSoulSister published 31/05/2014
    Nice one!
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Product Information : The Sound of Laughter - Peter Kay

Manufacturer's product description

Peter Kay's unerring gift for observing the absurdities and eccentricities of family life has earned himself a widespread, everyman appeal. These vivid observations coupled with a kind of nostalgia that never fails to grab his audience's shared understanding, have earned him comparisons with Alan Bennett and Ronnie Barker. In his award winning TV series' he creates worlds populated by degenerate, bitter, useless, endearing and always recognisable characters which have attracted a huge and loyal following. In many ways he's an old fashioned kind of comedian and the scope and enormity of his fanbase reflects this. He doesn't tell jokes about politics or sex, but rather rejoices in the far funnier areas of life: elderly relatives and answering machines, dads dancing badly at weddings, garlic bread and cheesecake, your mum's HRT...His autobiography is full of this kind of humour and nostalgia, beginning with Kay's first ever driving lesson, taking him back through his Bolton childhood, the numerous jobs he held after school and leading up until the time he passed his driving test and found fame. See all Product Description

Product Details

Type: Non-Fiction

Genre: Biography

Title: The Sound of Laughter

Author: Peter Kay

ISBN: 009950555X

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since: 11/11/2006

The Sound of Laughter - Peter Kay - Review - Peter Kaye : volume 1?

thedevili... 4

thedevilinme

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About me: I came on ciao to write and be published. It seems most wrote for money after-all. Well there is no money in writing and a vocation

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Peter Kaye : volume 1?

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27.10.2010 (03.04.2017)

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Funny family chap

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No celeb stuff

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26 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (97%):
  1. jb0077
  2. jo-1976
  3. CelticSoulSister
and 25 other members
helpful by (3%):
  1. littlewiggle

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The book, like the retro comic in question, is a simple and honest read. No long words or pretentious reasoning, just one man telling his story. They say you should only write what you know, and that is exactly what Peter has done here, quite literally! Everything he ever did, however mundane, seems to have ended up in this book, and for that reason alone I dont think this will appeal to all, especially as he doesnt include his rise to fame and celebrity, the reason why most people would spend a preposterous 18.95 on it, the autobiography abruptly coming to halt just as we get going.

Maybe its part one of his autobiography. Who knows? Maybe he feels guilty about his fame and fortune and by telling more funny stories on his homely normal life is enough for the Jolly Bolton boy for now, working class guilt getting the better of him. He certainly hints that way at the start of this limited but friendly tome, quipping that he feels someday soon someone will knock on his front door and take it all away from him, announcing the money and success was all a big accounting error, your going to have to hand it all back son.

For those who want to know about the best loved comic in Peter Kaye (the man Phil Jupitus will never be) then this book may not be interesting enough to spend your well earnt on. Like the man himself its not a remotely celebrity or a parochial journey. At times it reads like his sketches as we learn about his life leading up to his first paid stand-up through those familiar stories and routines. If its the time when he worked in an ESSO station handing out Tiger Tokens or his learning days at Salford University (cough!), everything is laid out in this extremely easy to read book like one of those hilarious stage performances that got him here. For some that style will get tiring very quickly, whilst for others its what they like about the man and the reason they bought his musings. I was in the middle somewhere on that one as it did begin to get tedious, especially to the point where you saw that the 300 odd pages were running out fast and he was still telling us about a chubby twenty year old Peter (hes now 30) working in a Bolton bingo hall.

Driving lessons, rather surprisingly, are the backbone of the book, Peter weaving in his journey to learn to drive as some kind of metaphor from toddler to stand-up. Right from a young age Kay is recalling that cruel but honest Northern humor that would shape his act. His old aunt used to tell him that when the ice cream van siren is on they have run out of ice cream!

Growing up as a Catholic kid in Bolton (his mum had a font of Holy water in the hall) theres no doubt that the young Pete Kaye was a bit of a tear-away, especially in a school full of nuns. Indeed his first experience on stage craft would be amongst that embattled holy order, given the role of Inn Keeper in the school nativity play. Fearing the role lacked depth and character , his one very well known line of:sorry, theres no room in the inn, the only thing to work with, draped in a tea-towel, poetic license was deployed and a 10 year old Peter turned to the audience and replied: Theres plenty of room love. Would you like the full English too!, much to the enjoyment of the crowd, the applause Peters first sound of laughter.

In his early teens his love of observational humor was beginning to take seed, often taping his family with hidden cassette machines. It was funny when I read that because I used to save up my pocket money and buy all my family note pads and pencils, my calling... If nothing else this book does bring back that sense of nostalgia, Kaye dropping in iconic moments and memorabilia from the eighties to stir you even more, setting the scene. I think its that wholesome delivery in his act on real things and situations that makes him as funny and likeable as he is. There is a lovely line where he remembers his dad watching the first Shuttle launch, his old man telling him to be quiet as he wanted to see this bloke land a rocket with his feet.

By mid way it becomes clear that Kays life really is those sketches, the characters in them people he knows. After leaving school we hear all about his part-time jobs, everything from a cash n carry worker, a steward at the Manchester Arena to a cinema attendant in Bolton. At the local ABC in question he would enjoy deliberately giving away the twists to the punters as they crept in to watch the Sixth Sense and the like, pretending conversation with his fellow ushers. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized Willis were a ghost.

After turning down a runners job at the Granada Studios for pittance, he chose Liverpool University (an oxymoron in anyones book), faking qualifications to get in, before dropping out just as cowardly, deciding to take up the more suited BTEC drama course at Salford University (see trade descriptions act), an early example of those Mickey Mouse courses, as an appropriate seat of learning as you can get to learn to be a standup comedian, which the course had a module for. It was here that he would win the North West comic of the year, beating none other than Johnny Vegas in the process.

And there ends the book, although I havent given away the best bits or jokes. This is a book for hardcore fans; you are not going to learn much about what hes doing now or how he got there.

Summary: Playing it safe for his fans..

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Comments about this review »

jb0077 06.06.2015 18:12

VH review, thank you.

jo-1976 06.06.2015 17:57

I liked his recent Car Share series

CelticSoulSister 31.05.2014 11:22

Nice one!

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Product Information

Manufacturer's product description

Peter Kay's unerring gift for observing the absurdities and eccentricities of family life has earned himself a wide...

Product details

Type Non-Fiction
Genre Biography
Title The Sound of Laughter

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since 11/11/2006

Show all Product Information

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This review of The Sound of Laughter - Peter Kay has been rated:

"very helpful" by (97%):

  1. jb0077
  2. jo-1976
  3. CelticSoulSister

and 25 other members

"helpful" by (3%):

  1. littlewiggle

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.



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