Format Kindle (for ipad)
My rating 2 /5
I downloaded this book when it was free a week or so ago. Ravenscroft starts the book by saying that it is a series of diary entries that were made as and when humourous things happened. The diary excerpts cover a five-year period (up to 2011 I think) when Terry was 65-70. Terry does also note that he did embellish some of the stories. I would think he embellished them a lot in some places.
There are some very funny moments in the book, the trip to the Charity Shops in York made me smile, but I found that as the book went on the stories became more and more outlandish and unbelievable (the swimming lessons ones, the zimmer frame olympics to name just two) and Ravenscroft comes across, to me, as a bitter and grumpy old man. At numerous points throughout the book he criticises well-known British ‘personalities’, seemingly for the sake of it. Peter Kay, Tom Jones, Parkinson, Jonathan Ross and Cliff Richard are slated by Ravenscroft, but no real reason for it is provided, other than that they are more famous than he is (Ravenscroft was a script writer for the likes of Les Dawson and is keen to point out when more contemporary comedians recycle his work – although we only have his word on this).
The book is very un-PC, evidenced through his descriptions of ‘The Poles’ (and his subsequent (alleged) patronising parodies of them at the expense of a rail conductor), his fellow learner swimmers, his abused of an already ill-treated dog and his description of Manchester as ‘a city of dark satanic gay bars’.
I wanted to love this book. I wanted to find it funny. In the end I found it distasteful, disappointing and Ravesncroft immensely unlikable. There were whole sections I skipped through and I’m afraid that, for me, the odd gem that I did find wasn’t worth the time I spent reading the rest.