Title: Is it just me?
Author: Miranda Hart
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 11th October 2012
Paperback: 336 pages
Stand alone or Series: Stand alone
Why did I choose to read this book? I love Miranda!
Where to read? A bit fancy perhaps but afternoon tea for two for one at Claridges
Refreshments: Lots of pots of tea and chocolate, caramel digestives
The autobiography of the comedienne Mirada Hart famous for appearing in her self-titled TV show Miranda and who has since been crowned the Queen of Comedy at the British Comedy Awards. Her self-deprecating and endearing style of honest comedy has made her a national treasure and definitely a woman after our own hearts.
The book is structured as a three-way (naughty) dialogue between Miranda, her 18 year old self and the reader. The chapters centre around different life topics like holidays and dating and are written in the style of a self-help book. Each chapter is punctuated with Miranda’s own personal embarrassments, interruptions from her younger self and frequent tea breaks culminating in a ‘to-do list for her ‘dear reader chum.’
The book reads as a literary adaptation of her TV show and similar to the Miranda show her humor sometimes misses the mark and borders on the unbelievably cringe. There were legitimate laugh out loud moments and I did recognize myself in some of the descriptions of her thought processes, especially in regards to the office stationery cupboard. However, I expected her autobiography to have more substance. The continual slapstick content became quite monotonous and also came across as slightly implausible that so many calamities could afflict one individual.
The upside to the novel is that Miranda is attempting to make women less self-conscious about the pitfalls of social situations. She successfully does this in the trademark style that has endeared her to the female nation. Her frank and at times brutal honesty effectively highlights the fact that things like, toilet roll on your shoe or your skirt tucked into your knickers, will all happen to the best and most coiffed of us eventually.
However, the second downside, for me, were the frequent breaks in the story for Miranda to have a dialogue with her younger self. I wasn’t expecting these and quite honestly they were unnecessary and rather awkward. A lot of the time I skimmed over these sections to get back to the main point of the chapter.
There were high expectations for this debut novel and as much as I love Miranda and feel that she is a fantastic role model for women I wanted more of the ‘real’ Miranda and less of the character. This book was ‘what I call’ disappointing.
Rating: 5 out of 10 – missed the mark.