Izzard reflects on a childhood marked by the loss of his mother, boarding school, and alternative sexuality, as well as a life in comedy, film, politics, running, and philanthropy.
Critically acclaimed, award-winning British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard details his childhood, his first performances on the streets of London, his ascent to worldwide success on stage and screen, and his comedy shows which have won over audiences around the world.
Over the course of a thirty-year career, Eddie Izzard has proved himself to be a creative chameleon, inhabiting the stage and film and television screen with an unbelievable fervor. Born in Yemen and raised in Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, he lost his mother at the age of six—a devastating event that affected the rest of his life. In his teens, he dropped out of university and took to the streets of London as part of a comedy double act. When his partner went on vacation, Izzard kept busy by inventing a one-man escape act, and thus a solo career was ignited. As a stand-up comedian, Izzard has captivated audiences with his surreal, stream-of-consciousness comedy— lines such as “Cake or Death?” “Death Star Canteen,” and “Do You Have a Flag?” have the status of great rock lyrics. As a self-proclaimed “action transvestite,” Izzard broke a mold performing in makeup and heels, and has become as famous for his “total clothing” rights as he has for his art. In Believe Me, he recounts the dizzying rise he made from the streets of London to West End theaters, to Wembley Arena, Madison Square Garden, and the Hollywood Bowl.
Izzard is arguably one of today’s top comedians. At the time of publication, he is still performing his Force Majeure show—so far in more than forty countries worldwide and in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish. With his brand of keenly intelligent humor that ranges from world history to historical politics, sexual politics, mad ancient kings, and chickens with guns, he has built an extraordinary fan base that transcends age, gender, and race. Writing with the same candor and insight evident in his comedy, he reflects on a childhood marked by the loss of his mother, boarding school, and alternative sexuality, as well as a life in comedy, film, politics, running, and philanthropy. Honest and generous, Izzard’s Believe Me is an inspired account of a very singular life thus far.
Advance Galley Reviews
I desperately wish I had the audiobook because as I read, I can hear Eddie Izzard's voice in my head. I mean that in the best possible way.
While Eddie has mentioned his childhood and sexuality during his standup performances, he is more detailed here and as a result, more vulnerable and more intimate. It made me feel very cozy, as if we were sitting in a corner together, having milky coffee and maybe a biscuit.
I have read a lot of celeb autobiographies over the years and I was pleasantly surprised to find this wasn't the typical fluff piece. The book definitely has humorous stories throughout but for me the real strengths of the book are when Eddie writes about the death of his mother and deciding to live life openly as a transgender person. I couldn't help but tear up when he wrote about learning that his mother used to call him Edward. Given his strong work ethic, it is obvious that he put a lot of time and effort to be as openly candid as possible in the hopes of inspiring others.
Thank you First To Read for sending me a free advanced digital copy of this book! I knew very little about Eddie prior to reading this book but I walked away with genuine respect for him as an entertainer and as a human being.
I received a digital advance reader edition of this book for free from firsttoread.com.
Eddie Izzard’s memoirs are enchanting. He has welcomed us into his mind, made us a cuppa, and asked us to stay a while. Izzard opens his life to us with a graceful honesty that makes you ruminate on the innocence of childhood, the tragedy of those teenage years, and the contradiction of absolute freedom and societal restriction that is young adulthood alongside him. When he describes a moment, he does so in a manner that you experience first-hand, but also with the wisdom of age and hindsight. He does this in a way that does not take from the memory, merely sprinkles a touch of self-awareness into the stories.
Izzard has given us a beautifully honest and entertaining glimpse into his life story. It is devoured easily in a single sitting and endlessly quotable. I hope you do spend a few hours of your life with this story and laugh, hurt, and grow alongside one of the best entertainers of our era.
-A Bookish Girl