Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Eric Idle

Eric Idle, known for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python, shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humor that has delighted audiences for five decades.

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From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candor

We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python—from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on a remarkable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theater, and film. Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie, and Robin Williams, all of whom became dear lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout involving other close friends and luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, and many more, as well as John Cleese and the Pythons themselves, Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal parts hilarity and heart. In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named for the song he wrote for Life of Brian and which has since become the number one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humor that has delighted audiences for five decades. The year 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is marking the occasion with this hilarious memoir chock full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life featuring everyone from Princess Leia to Queen Elizabeth.

Advance Galley Reviews

What you would expect from a memoir from a Monty Python original. Some goods laughs were had and it was a great first-hand account of the fellow comedians that Eric Idle has interacted with and become friends with over the years.

What hasn’t Eric Idle done? There was Monty Python, of course. But he also wrote movies, made music, appeared in operas, hung out with celebrities, made a rock mockumentary, has managed to stay married to the same woman since the 1970s, and was BFFs with a Beatle. And there is no better way to hear all about his adventures than by listening to his Sortabiography, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. From his early school days through his early comedy and television work, through the Monty Python years, and on through everything else he’s done, Idle’s memoir tells so many wonderful, funny, and moving stories about the chances he’s taken, the friendships he’s built, the adventures he’s gone on, the jokes he’s told, and the times he’s gotten to sung his signature song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” for fans around the world. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is a must-listen for fans of Python, anyone who loves a good celebrity memoir (especially about comedians), and everyone who loves to hear a really good impression of George Harrison. But know that while you listen laughing and amazed through most of the book, there is heartbreak also. Listening to Idle talk about the funeral of Graham Chapman, the attack on George and Olivia Harrison, and the loss of Robin Williams brought tears to my eyes (and my cheeks). Still, worth every single minute and every single penny. So highly recommended I almost want to buy everyone a copy and deliver them myself. Listen to this book!! Galleys for Always Look on the Bright Side of Life were provided by Penguin Random House’s First To Read program, with many thanks, but there was no way I wasn’t going to buy the audiobook of this one on my own, thanks to Audible.

A fun read for Monty Python fans. It's definitely an interesting read. 4 stars.

As a long time Monty Python fan, I greatly enjoyed Idle's "sortabiography". He alternates between straightforward recounting of facts and experiences, and discussing how they built his career and influenced his life.

I don't usually read biographies because the people end up disappointing this reader. However, I really enjoyed reading Eric's escapades. It was offbeat and had great behind the scenes stories. No reverence for anyone or any event. Thanks, Eric

I'm a big Monty Python fan, and this was a fun read! There's nothing groundbreaking about it -- it's really just anecdote after anecdote, name drop after name drop. But it's a celebrity memoir - that's what they almost all are. The anecdotes are hilarious though, and Eric Idle has fascinating famous friends, so it's all in good fun. I did enjoy learning about how some of my favorite Monty Python pieces came about, and the book flew by.

It took me a long time to read this book, but I think that's because I didn't want it to end. I discovered Monty Python's Flying Circus as a teenager. By then Graham was gone and once I had consumed their episodes and films, life was pretty much all downhill for me from there since you can only watch Monty Python for the first time once. This book brought me not only new stories about Eric Idle and Monty Python, but a reminder of why I love them so much. It's so rare to find comedy so smart and absurdly funny. For me, the entertainment in the book is the warm reminder of why I love Python. I don't know how someone would feel about the book if they were not already a Python fan, but I'm already sad for anyone who isn't a Python fan and we will probably never be great friends anyway. At times, I felt like an alternate title of this book could be, "Here's Some Stuff You Might Want To Know About Me Before I Die" But that's kind of dark, so Bright Side is way better. Eric Idle doesn't tell anything that's earth shattering or ground breaking. He mentioned Terry Jones losing his memory in the book, but doesn't go into great detail, so after I finished the book, I did a Google search for "How's Terry Jones Doing?" and learned that he was diagnosed with the same form of dementia that my father suffered from for years before he died in 2016. Knowing this, and having seen my father struggle for words and unable to talk for years, sheds a whole new light on what may have inspired Eric Idle to put a bunch of funny bits and photos into a book. I am so glad he did.

This was, hands down, one of the funniest books I've read. I literally laughed out loud numerous times, and have recommended this to several people. Learning the history behind the different movies was fascinating. I especially loved hearing about Idle's relationship with George Harrison. The anecdote about Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher was great!

My favorite anecdotes were of Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels, and Carrie Fischer. Eric's witty prose kept me chuckling. Definitely would recommend!

Eric Idle's memoir is charming, smart and funny. He takes us through his life, from his childhood in a British boarding school, all the way through the end of Monty Python. Although his adventures feature a lot --really, A LOT-- of famous names, it never feels like he's namedropping just to impress the reader. Instead, we feel like he's giving us insight into his travels, from the the UK to seemingly, everywhere. And, his accounts of his ham Chapman and Robin WIlliams are so touching. He owns up to some funky behavior fairly early in his career, but even then, you always cheer for such a genuinely nice guy.

Wonderfully funny with lots of information about Eric Idle, his life, and his experiences. So much more than just a book about the Monty Python era. Loved it!

This is an incredibly funny book about Eric Idle’s life from childhood to present day. It has lovely heartfelt moments like the failure of his first marriage and the meeting of his current wife. But mainly, this book is just funny. The kind of book you shouldn’t read in the quiet car on the train. It’s just wonderful laugh out loud humor that just about any Monty Python fan would love.

Eric Idle has been everywhere and done everything and knows everyone. He tells many sweet stories about it all.

I have been a Monty Python fan since I was a little girl, so when I saw that Eric Idle had written and autobiography about his life, times with the other pythons, and his career in general. I knew I had to read it. I’m happy to say this book did not disappoint. Eric Idle is a wonderful story teller and his comedy transfers to the page seamlessly. There many times while reading this book where I found myself laughing out loud. At one point I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. If you enjoy comedy and are a Monty Python fan, definitely pick this one up.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. If you are a fan of Eric Idle or the Pythons, then this is a book that you must read! Eric Idle tells tales about how they make the movies, the shows, his personal life, the people he knows, and he knows a LOT of famous people! This is a fun read and one that I enjoyed.

I received a free advanced-release copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the early history of the Pythons and Idle's childhood remembrances. Unfortunately, personal circumstances prevented me from finishing the book. I will be buying a copy to discover what happened next!

I received a free advanced-release copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the early history of the Pythons and Idle's childhood remembrances. Unfortunately, personal circumstances prevented me from finishing the book. I will be buying a copy to discover what happened next!

This is an occasionally enjoyable, conversational account of Idle's life; while his humor certainly makes it more interesting, this felt more obligatory than particularly inspired. As someone who is only a casual Python fan, it was fun hearing some of the stories behind the creation of some of their best works but it felt like he name-dropped for the sake of name-dropping a lot of the time. I'm not a huge fan of autobiographies in general as a self-indulgent and rarely necessary genre and this is one is no exception.

This isn't the book for very dedicated Monty Python fans, as this likely wouldn't provide them much new information. But for people who've enjoyed the movies and shows, this is a great, upbeat exploration of Idle's life, meandering through his childhood to adulthood and fame. Though he does touch on trials--mistakes made, hearts broken, friends lost, it is overwhelmingly upbeat. The song in the title isn't just referenced (though it is brought up often), but the outlook the song captured is, too. Though he never intended for it to catch on as it did, Always Look on the Bright Side became a source of hope and wry humor, which resonates throughout this book. Fans will have a chuckle often, and possibly learn something new.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoy autobiographies and this did not disappoint! It was interesting and fun to read. Monty Python fans will love this book.

I really enjoyed this book. I grew watching Monty Python, and it was always the running joke when I was in school amongst the theater nerds. I would highly recommend it if you love Monty Python. Eric Idle is hilarious and some of the behind the scenes stories are wonderful for the fan. It's fun to see how the group met, their early inspirations, and see Eric Idle move from boarding school kid, university, and on to comic genius. The only caution that I would raise is that I would definitely not recommend it if you're not a Monty Python fan. I do not think some of the stories will resonate. For example, you have to know what the Lumberjack is to get the references made to its early origins. It is a fantastic and funny. It feels like you are sitting down with Eric Idle, and he is right beside you telling the stories, making you laugh and taking you on the journey. Every Monty Python fan will love.

Eric Idle started this book with a bang and I was immediately laughing hard but as the book progressed, I did much less laughing. Unfortunately, it was a lot less funny than I expected it to be especially considering the author. This book is a biography and is a telling of Eric Idle's life from his childhood in boarding school to the present day from his perspective. There is a significant amount of name dropping (which I found at times to be tedious) but it was very interesting to hear about the history of Monty Python. Reading this book inspired me to re-watch Monty Python's Life of Brian so I did get in some laughs as a result of reading this book. Just be warned that it isn't half as funny as any of the other entertainment Eric Idle has created.

I enjoyed this book but probably would have liked it more as an audiobook with Idle narrating. Much like I enjoyed John Cleese's So...Anyway with himself narrating. Adds so much more fun and flair and personality! But this was a good, short sorta autobiography of one of Monty Python's most recognizable members!

I really enjoyed this book. It is an interesting look into Idle's life and interesting stories from his career.

A tiny and entertaining memoir, this book by Eric Idle is sure to be enjoyed by fans of Month Pythons Flying Circus. I found his upbringing was very interesting and his rise to take just as informative in the book. Very good read.

A fantastic autobiography! As a lifelong Python fan, Eric Idle’s Book was a joy to read. I learned a lot about his personal life, including a number of friendships I had no idea he had. While at times the name dropping slowed the book down, I found it a very fun read. Definitely a must for Python fans!

Most well-known for his role on Monty Python, Eric Idle paved the way for comedy in the sixties and seventies. Through his memoir, he shares of his triumphs and trials in a hugely humorous and self-deprecating way. With a perfect balance between history, narrative, photos, and story-telling, Idle gives the readers a unique glance into a time where black and white suddenly turns to color, and British comedy leaves it's mark on the world. This light and enjoyable read takes the reader on a ride through history as told through the eyes of Eric Idle.  I hate to admit that Monty Python is not something that I am super familiar with, though I have heard of it. After reading this smart and hilarious memoir, I spent an unhealthy amount of time looking up Eric Idle, the Monty Python, and other such memorable pieces from his time. Idle is a hoot, and it definitely shows through in his writing. This is such a beautiful tribute to his successes and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Monty Python. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who loves memoirs, laughing, comedy, and British fame and history. The added pictures inserted throughout the novel made this more of a diary than anything else, and I absolutely loved catching a glimpse of Idle's past.

Thank you to Penguin Random House and First to Read for the Advance Galley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. If you are a fan of comedy, Monty Python, or fun biographies in general, this is a great book for you. Eric Idle tells his story and not just the story of the Pythons, which is refreshing. He also tells the story of the comedy scene in his youth and how it came to make him who he is today. I really enjoyed his conversational tone, wit, and how he organized things not by time but by subject. This is a great read that will make you glad you read it.

I enjoyed the personable writing of Eric's autobiography. It was insightful to learn about his outlook and how his life progressed inside and outside of Monty Python. I like how he followed a connecting theme throughout, rather than organizing purely by the timing of events. I would recommend this book to any fan of this group of comedians.

This was a wonderful book that felt as fast paced and exciting as Eric Idle’s life became througout the years. The title is beyond aptly named and made the book difficult to read at times from singing the song!

What a fun book!! I am a bigger movie than television fan of the Python Boys, so must admit that a fair bit of the book sent me scurrying to Google and YouTube - but I'm a better person for it, by far... What Idle et al. managed to accomplish was nothing less phenomenal than what four lads from Liverpool did: changed the face of an art form. Idle writes exactly the way he speaks/acts, and his tales of the ups and downs of his career (and those of his friends - who are legion) made me laugh out loud on a frequent basis. The book was a deliciously dishy and hilarious romp through the history of the Pythons and of London/UK counterculture over the years, and it was fun and funny and touching and an exceptionally enjoyable read.

When we were children, my big brother, Gene loved humor, all kinds of humor, he would regale us with jokes at the dinner table or whenever he thought it was needed. He loved Mad Magazine feature Alfred E. Newman, anything that made him laugh or lampooned reality, especially Monty Python and the Flying Circus, and then all the Monty Python movies. I want to say that Monty Python's Life with Brian might have been his favorite. So when I had the opportunity through Penguin's First to Read, to read Eric Idle's 9th book, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life I jumped at the chance. I knew I was going to be reliving so many funny memories. Little did I know that I would learn more than just that Eric is funny. One of a kind, a real nutty guy. Mr. Idle's history was fascinating at times, outside of my element at other with all his partying, varying bed partners when he was younger and his seeming lack of morals then he grew out of it and settled down with the love of his life Tania. He didn't let me down with his way of writing that resembled how he and the other Python's wrote their skits and shows -- hilarious and filled with rolling on the ground stomach pain from all the laughing mixed with truth. Mr. Idle has a way of making everything relatable. Would most people understand the hobnobbing that he did with George Harrison, Carrie Fisher, Steve Martin, and Robin Williams partying, jet-setting on vacations, playing music and just goofing off with his friends? I sure didn't relate, however, Mr. Idle made it so I could see that he was just a normal person, hanging out with famous people who were also just normal people with their flaws, their humanity and their incredible opportunities to do the things they love so much. I love that Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from Monty Python's Life of Brian became his life theme, it sure is a good song to lighten the mood and a great standard to view life with. It definitely uplifts your smile and it's plain funny irony, men being crucified and trying to find the good and bright side while going through it. I enjoyed reading about John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and their ever returning honorary cast members, Carol Cleveland, and Connie Booth. I enjoyed it so much I had to go back and watch a few episodes of the Flying Circus just to remind myself of the genius and irreverent way that they acted in the episodes. I laughed, I cringed, and then I laughed some more. Thank heavens for Youtube and the ability to watch clips from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, my favorite Python movie. I laughed so hard I cried when the Knights are traipsing through the forest clapping coconuts together and galloping and encounter the black night. One of my favorite scenes commences and I just cry and cry and cry. A laughing cry is good for the soul. I truly believe this. Now, my kids would only remember Eric as the bad guy in the movie Casper and I would tell them there is so much more this man has done. The book reminded me of how much Eric Idle really has accomplished in his 75 years on earth things I didn't even know about such as The Rutles, the mockumentary about the Beatles. If you haven't seen it you really should. Mick Jagger playing himself is the best. George Harrison and the rest of The Beatles loved it. It's a hoot. I've watched sections on Youtube. Again, thank heavens for Youtube. I could go on and on about Always Look On The Brightside Of Life, but then I would ruin the book for you and what fun would that be for you? If you are a Python Fan, an Eric Idle Fan, a reader in need of juicy details about celebrities this book is for you. If you are squeamish of the 60's and its whole lifestyle this book isn't for you, sorry, it's downright British dirty. Thanks to Penquin and First to Read for the opportunity to read this book in leiu of my honest opinion. I give this book a 4 1/2 for humor, writing style and just the pure love of Eric Idle and the other Pythons.

A fun romp through the excesses of celebrity from someone you wouldn't even think of as a huge star, but a great comic/musical talent. Great insight into Python decision-making, writing, and the lifestyle -- amazing how much they were able to do with the material. Great relationships and and easy read.

A delightful insight into an idle life including the colaboration of pythons and interspersed with witty celebrity meetings. Marvelous Not—o- biography:)

For the most part it's gossipy fun and full of completely unrepentant name dropping. There are a number of touching moments when Idle reminisces about late friends, especially when he's discussing George Harrison.

This was such a fun read for any fan of Monty Python. It provided an inside look not only at the rise to fame for the group, but also includes fun behind-the-scenes stories of the making of particular sketches or movies that will truly give the reader a deeper appreciation for the Pythons, their legacy, and the impact they had on the comedy world.

Monty Python's Eric Idle, a multihyphenate (comedian, actor, author, singer, playwright, director and songwriter), calls his latest book a "sortabiography," an apt description for his breezy account of what appears to an outsider to be an amazing life. It makes sense he would name his memoir after the cheeky song that was used at the end of Life of Brian. That jaunty tune has effectively become the theme song for Idle's life, appearing in numerous films and becoming, apparently, the number one song played at funerals in the UK. He has performed it in a dizzying number of venues, from Prince Charles' sixtieth birthday (wearing a tutu) to the London Olympics closing ceremonies to a tribute to director Mike Nichols, where he upstaged Simon & Garfunkel. He's even sung it in Japanese on Japanese TV, learning the translation phonetically. "I have met many people in my life and, sadly, many of them were not famous. I agree it's not their fault, though they might have tried harder," Idle writes at the beginning of Chapter 20. Calling Idle a name-dropper would be unfair. He became friends with celebrities like George Harrison (who mortgaged his house to finance The Life of Brian), David Bowie, ELO's Jeff Lynne, and Robin Williams and had more than a passing relationship with Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Stephen Hawking and Professor Brian Fox, Steve Martin, Carrie Fisher, and Paul Simon. Prince Charles dropped in at comedian Billy Connelly's house and asked Idle to become his jester. He claims he made Queen Elizabeth laugh out loud when he performed at The Royal Variety Show. The book is frequently hilarious, and generally humorous, although Idle does sometimes try too hard by relating occasions where he dropped the perfect "bon mot" during a conversation, although he generously praises his colleagues when they did something similar. The unusual aspect of his rise to fame (if not fortune—for all his celebrity, he says the first time he had serious money was after Spamalot began its highly successful run) is that it originates with a television program that wasn't particularly special at the time. For Idle and his co-stars on Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam, it was just another gig, one of many sketch comedies they were doing in various configurations in the late sixties. They were relegated to a dead spot on BBC's late-night schedule and were generally ignored and allowed to do whatever they wanted. They didn't realize how famous they had become, though, until their first tour of Canada, where they were greeted by screaming fans at the airport. The Pythons understood that what they wrote was more important than how well they acted. The material spoke for itself, which was why instances where two or more Pythons were hired to appear in movies or TV programs weren't always as successful. The Pythons weren't writing the material in those cases. The 2014 Python reunion at London's O2, where they appeared for several nights and ended with a worldwide simulcast, happened because they were all deeply in debt after fending off a suit related to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, launched by a producer of the movie who wanted to be acknowledged as the "seventh Python." A promoter told them they would be able to earn enough to pay their lawyer bills in a single appearance at the massive venue. This isn't a tell-all expose, but Idle doesn't shy away from revealing his shortcomings, especially pertaining to his short-lived first marriage, which was destroyed by his rampant infidelity in the wake of superstardom. Little dirt is spilled about his friends and colleagues, although he does detail Graham Chapman's antics, many of them self-destructive, and their agony at his death, as well as those of other friends, including Robin Williams. At 300 pages, this feels like a slight volume. Readers might have hoped for a deeper dive into the creation of famous Python sketches or the filming of their movies. Idle spends more time discussing the creation of the Beatles-parody band The Rutles than he does on The Holy Grail. Much of his humor is self-deprecating ("I think all the Pythons are nuts in some way, and together we make one completely insane person.") or couched in that oddball way the Pythons had of describing the world. As Idle says at the beginning of a chapter titled "And Now for Something Slightly Completely Different," there are probably more hours of documentary about Python than there are hours of Python. Several other Pythons have written memoirs that discuss that troup of actor-comedians. It was time for Idle to have his say before he came down with "hamnesia," an affliction that affects aging actors.

Interesting read - I have seen episodes of Monty Python that Eric Idle talked about in the book. I enjoyed reading the back stories and his interactions with other entertainers.

Always a Look on the Bright Side of Life is Eric Idle's sort of autobiography. Of course, we all know him as part of the fire-breathing comedic troupe, Monty Python, famed for a long running tv show and a series of uproariously funny movies that have become a part of our culture and collective memory. At its best, this book shines when Idle's wit comes out such as talking about his childhood in the orphanage and sneaking out. That's that sly British wit for ya. Once the troupe achieved success, his life became like that of a rockstar and he constantly hung out with all the celebs. I would have liked to hear more about the creative development of the various skits and less of the hobnobbing. Surprisingly, he had a lifelong friendship with George Harrison who funded Life of Brian. Elvis was such a huge fan he apparently used to do some of the crazy voices. Many thanks to Penguin Publishing for providing a copy for review.

Having grown up watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well as Monty Python's Flying Circus, I did enjoy reading this book and learning more about one of the people who was a part of these shows. I think looking back it makes me understand more about the people that they were and how it came to be. Saying that, this book is really only a book for Monty Python fans, as someone who had a passing interest in Monty Python as a recollection of my childhood I did enjoy reading it. Someone who may have been a bigger Monty Python fan would probably enjoy this book even more than I did. On the other hand, this is not a book for people who haven't watched much Monty Python or who are looking to know more about them as a group. This book allows for a look at the humor and life of Eric Idle but if you are unfamiliar with Monty Python other than recognizing the name, this book will not help you understand what they did. If you're a Monty Python fan read this book. If you don't know who Monty Python is read the Wiki page and watch a few episodes before deciding if this book is something you want to put your time into.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I fell in love with Monty Python back in my college days and still re-watch the Grail when I need a pick up. I was excited to read this memoir and it did not disappoint. I’m not certain that Mr. Idle deserves quite as much credit for the success as he paints in his book as he tends to play up his achievements and leaves the other Pythons in the shadows at many points. It is a nice walk down memory lane and an interesting foray into a generation of entertainment icons. I appreciate that the author pulled the information about this fascinating group together in such detail. I truly enjoyed it and recommend it to other Python fans.

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life Eric Idle I found this to be a very enjoyable book it is written as if you are sitting down chatting with Eric Idle. He talks about his life before, during and after Monty Python. It talks about his different projects over the last 50 odd years and it seems that they were all extensions of Monty Python. If you are a Python fan, you will find this enjoyable.

As a sanctimonious ten year old, I was appalled and titillated by Month Python. As a morally disinterested thirtysomething, I adore it. Eric Idle's sortabiography is a charming look at his life and career which has seen his song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, from Life of Brian, chapter mark the various points in his career. The book is funny and touching as only a septuagenarian Python can be. It makes me very sad I was never able to see Spamalot, but I was busy being a broke alcoholic recent college grad. Anyone who enjoys reading, autobiographies, memoirs, funny things, Monty Python, wry British humor, or coconuts should enjoy this book. There are also an astonishing number of cameos throughout. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get mad at Netflix for not releasing the Python Canon in the US yet, and sob over the Holy Grail slot machine at Pala. Side note to the readers who say they can't read the files on a mobile device: have you tried downloading the Adobe Digital Editions app? I'm able to read the First to Read books on my (Android) phone and (Apple) iPad.

I enjoyed reading this book. I've been a fan of Monty Python since I was a child and my father watched them. I found it very interesting to hear the back stories. The book makes them all so much more human!

I enjoyed reading Always Look On The Bright Side of Life. I have been a Monty Python fan since the early days for the group. I found his memoir at once both delightful and sad. Knowing the characters as I do from the outside it was wonderful to see them from the inside. Idle has given a glimpse behind the markup, not always a pretty sight. But written with love. I am grateful to have been able to read this treasure and highly recommend it to Python fans young and old.

I really enjoyed reading this, as I love Monty Python. I do agree with the reviewer below though - it is tough for me to get these on my mobile devices, and it makes it a pain to read the books. I would love an option like Netgalley where the protected file can be sent right to your Kindle. But I digress - the book is funny, heartfelt, and a great insight into a comedy mind.

Well, it looks like a good book, but since it's released as a PDF, I can't read it on any mobile device, which is where I do all my reading these days. Does anyone actually read on desktop or laptop computer? I can't see any other way to read a PDF that's not reflow formatted. I was very disappointed by this, and probably won't bother participating in First to Read after this.

I found Eric Idle's memoir Always Look on the Bright Side of Life to be enjoyable and funny; I'd expect nothing less. What was intriguing for me was not only the anecdotes describing the wide range of influential people he's known, but also his ability to adapt and to grow into an adult at (approximately) the appropriate stages of life. He's enjoyed his fame, kept his sense of humor, but managed to remain a regular bloke you'd be happy to have as a pal- he just might arrive dressed as the queen mother. Probably humorous cross-dressing is "all part of growing up and being British." Not an exhaustive look at the Monty Python phenomenon, it focuses on Eric's life in pretty good detail for a short book. An entertaining quick read that I highly recommend, especially if you're a Monty Python fan.

As a fan of Monty Python and Eric Idle's comedy in general, I enjoyed Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. His rich collection of personal stories with a plethora of celebrities and contemporaries are both interesting and enjoyable. His loving tributes to the stellar David Bowie, the ethereal George Harrison, and the brilliant Robin Williams are not only touching but truly inspired. I felt their absence in the present while reading about their presence and importance in Idle's life. While I did not realize that this title mainly contained the history surrounding the song, it did not belittle or demean the work in any way. Idle's humor and wit is evident on every page. I cannot remember the last time I have actually laughed out loud at printed text, and he had me laughing multiple times. I know that this is a partial history, and I still loved it. I have not read any of his other titles, and this selection only increased my desire to learn more.

An entertaining memoir of Eric Idle's life an career, centering of course on his work with Monty Python. A real treat for Python fans, and an interesting look at the world of show biz in late 20th century England, where it seems everybody knew everybody. He writes honestly about his own bad behavior, tells a lot of stories I didn't know and some I did, and includes a lot of laughs. A worthy addition to your shelf of Pythoniana, if you have such a thing.

I appreciate that Idle starts out by saying that these are the facts as he (mostly) remembers them and that some things might not be as true as he'd like. It's a very honest way to start out what turns out to be a name-dropping bonanza of incredible life opportunities that he worked hard to earn and (at least it seems) like he totally deserved. He admits his errors and, even when glossing over some of them, admits fault when its his. As someone with more of a passing knowledge of Monty Python than a true fan, there were things I'm not overly familiar with. I do have a list of things I will now look for because some of the sketches and events he mentions seem like they would really be right up my alley comedy-wise. If you are a big fan of MP, then this is sure to delight with tons of behind the scenes looks at how things came about and how they worked to make it happen. The opportunities that were open to them were spectacular. I did find the behind the scenes comradery a little hard to believe, but that's just me being cynical and the whole point of the book is that Idle does indeed have a very positive "look on the bright side" attitude. Overall, it's a look at Monty Python thru the eyes of one of my favorite members as he tells his side of the story and the things he did in between the rare get together. It made me chuckle several times, it gave a look at a decade that made friends of some legendary individuals, and it proves that Eric Idle can indeed write anything and make it entertaining.

As a fan of Monty Python, I was looking forward to reading this book. My only disappointment was that I sped through the book and it was over too soon. Idle has written a memoir that is witty, charming and a tribute to his fellow Pythons. As the great-grandchild of a ringmaster and circus manager, show business was in his blood. His early experiences at a comedy club would unknowingly introduce him to other members of what would become Monty Python.there are few comedians that were not mentioned as either friends or acquaintances. He reflects on the good times with friends as well as the losses of Graham Chapman and Robin Williams. Perhaps his greatest loss occurred with the death of George Harrison. As close friends, it was Harrison who enabled them to make The Life of Brian. His tribute to this friend was touching and you could feel his deep sense of loss. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life became a number one song in Britain. The title reflects Idle’s attitude throughout the book and at times I found myself humming the tune as I read. If a book can involve me to that extent then I have no trouble highly recommending it.

I enjoy watching Monty Python movies and was excited to receive this book. The pace and organization of the book reminded me of a Monty Python skit. Full of energy and all over the place. It was funny at times, poignant at others, but overall enjoyable.

As a huge Python fan(A child of the 70's who watched a lot of PBS) I found the book to a quick lively entertaining read. If you aren't familiar with the Python history and humor quite a bit could easily go over one's head.

Funny, wit, candor? IMHO this was a boring shout out that Eric Idle wrote to have people believe that he was the comic and leading force behind Python, that John Cleese was/is a moody dick and that he (Idle) knows famous people. I already knew 2 and 3. #1 well...... Just don't expect humor. I would not recommend.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle is due to be released on October 2, 2018, but I was lucky enough to get an advanced ebook copy from Knowing that Eric was very close friends with George Harrison made choosing to read and review this book a no-brainer! The sub-title of this book could actually be "and a semi-autobiography of George Harrison" because from the very beginning Eric Idle talks about their life long friendship. Even in stories that George isn't in, Idle will end with, "As George Harrison always said...." But this book isn't just about Eric Idle, George Harrison and the Pythons. The names of all the notable people Eric has worked and socialized with is outstanding (and take way too much band with to list)! I actually got tired of the name dropping at one point, but that is the way his life has evolved. And every name he drops has a story. From getting Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher drunk the night before a filming a major scene in The Empire Strikes Back (he says you can tell they're hungover in the scene), to having dinner at Billy Connolly's house with Robin William and Prince Charles all at the table! Unfortunately, the ebook copy that I received from Crown Publishing is an unedited proof, so there are some typos and some really rough paragraphs that could use some cleaning up, not to mention one badly placed photo with the wrong caption. Oh...and speaking of the photos! There are photos from so many of Eric Idles stories that you'd think he had them taken just so he could prove that the outrageousness of some of his stories are true. This book is an absolute must read for everyone...especially George Harrison and Beatles fans...and of course Monty Python fans. And even though they swore they'll never tour again, Palin, Cleese, Idle, Jones and Gilliam have broken that promise several times already. Let's hope for another reunion. In the meantime, pre-order this book ( It'll really make you laugh....and for that reason... I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have been a Monty Python fan for a long time and I love their "nothing off limits" style of humor. His voice is conversational and his humor self-deprecating. I liked hearing about famous people from an everyday perspective and I now love George Harrison and Robin Williams even more! Although I think if you were a younger fan you might have a hard time knowing all the name drops. What an interesting life! Worth the read.

A confession -- I'm not a big Monty Python fan, although I enjoyed the skits back in the 70s, and I have never seen Life of Brian or the other movies. I keep meaning to, but evidently they are not a priority. So I expected to breeze through Eric Idle's memoir, picking the funny bits and moving on. Instead I read the whole thing cover to cover in one sitting, (granted, I was on an 11 hour flight at the time) and enjoyed it very much. There were stories of how Idle gravitated to show business and comedy, behind the scenes difficulties in trying to get six quirky individuals to work as a team, lots of name dropping, and general silliness. Recommended!

Maybe I just haven't watched enough Monty Python, maybe I'm just not familiar enough with all the various major players of the time period, but Always Look on the Bright Side of Life just wasn't as fun as I wanted it to be. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments--Idle is a world-renowned comedian for a reason--and the history of the Pythons was interesting, but I found myself skimming pages here and there to get past all the name dropping. That being said, I did find Idle's relationship with a handful of other celebrities interesting. For instance, I had no idea that Idle and George Harrison were such good friends, and it was fun to learn more about their history and see just how important Harrison was in a number of Python pursuits. Likewise, the friendship between Idle and Robin Williams was bittersweet, but Idle shares a number of touching stories about his fellow comedian that reminded me that so much pain and suffering can be hidden behind a smile and a few jokes. Really, I think that my unfamiliarity with so much of the Python's repertoire and their history was what kept me from liking this book more, and rather than filling in holes in my knowledge or making me want to dig in and learn more, Idle's recollections just sort of made me say, "Meh." I do think devoted Python fans will love this sortabiography, but it wasn't for me.

I was fortunate enough to be given the chance to read Eric Idle’s memoir and was really looking forward to doing so. Unfortunately, there was something wrong with the file and I kept getting error messages when I tried to open it. There is no way for me to report this problem and since this is my first chance in this program, I’m reviewing that I’m unable to review. I would have liked to read this book.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, has the best of everything you want in a Sortabiography. Eric Idle is funny as you would expect, but he is also honest, and of course there is the gossipy name dropping you were hoping for. He tells us about his relationships with the Pythons, as well as many other notables, George Harrison, David Bowie, Robin Williams, just to name a few. Lots of little tidbits that many people may not know. Which rocker mortgaged their home to finance a Python movie just because he wanted to see it? How were the scripts written for Python? Where in the world is Mt. Cleese? This book will have you wanting to re-watch The Holy Grail and Life of Brian as well as the old Python skits, and searching out some of the productions he mentions that you may have missed. Just a bit of advice, never ask him if you can take a selfie with him, and don't read this book where it isn't okay to laugh out loud, because you will be laughing. This is a must read for any Python fan. Nudge, nudge.

I would love to write a review. I would love to read the book. I have done my best to follow directions to get this book to appear either on my Kindle or on my Android laptop. I think I have spent around an hour and a half on this project. I have asked First to Read for help. But I get no response at all. I have sent two messages to First to Read's Facebook page, asking for help....but they do not respond at all. So yes, I would love to participate in this program and read this book but the program user support from First to Read appears not to exist and I am left with writing here- I would gladly read and review this book if I could only load it on my Kindle or laptop.

What a great book. If your a Python fan you will really enjoy this. It's about his life and friendships and they many things in between. Wish he really would have said, what he wrote in the book, to the airport person.

I was an Eric Idle fan before I even knew what Monty Python was (Nuns on the Run was one of my favorite films growing up). This was a wonderful read full of stories of his life and interactions with other famous people he admired and eventually befriended. Perfect reading choice for any Python fanatic or anyone looking for a good laugh!

This book hits the highlights of Eric Idle's life in humorous fashion accompanied by quite a bit of celebrity name dropping. It was fun to read about the Monty Python days with the movies that followed, the Rutles, and Spamalot. I also enjoyed reading the various times "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was performed and how the public uses it (sporting events, funerals, etc). A great read for many laughs! Thanks to First to Read- Penguin Books USA for the free copy of this book.

A nice quick overview of Eric Idle’s time in Monty Python and beyond. If you are a fan of the Pythons this is a must read. While it is more of a overview and he doesn’t get too deep, the stories he tells are funny and insightful into what was going on at the time. Lots of name dropping but I found it sincere-he really was close friends with these people-the lifestyle and interactions between many famous comedians and musicians of that time were fascinating. An enjoyable read, if you are curious or interested at all in Eric Idle or the Pythons I recommend you pick this up.

Eric Idle has lived many lives, as television comedian, author, musical writer and more, and he sums them all up quite nicely in this densely-packed autobiography. It's a bit of a skim through most of his life, but the pace keeps things interesting and he's always quick with a quip. At first it's easy to be put off by the constant barrage of name-dropping, but it seems like does so just to get the reader acquainted with the idea that he really does think of George Harrison as "George," and you need to be inured to the fact that the Beatles, Stones and Elton are going to be showing up constantly in his life. It's a delightful read by one of the preeminent comedians of the last half of the 20th century, and an absolute must for any Python fan.

A fun, quick read. Every day I found something that made me laugh out loud. If you are a fan of the Pythons, you will certainly enjoy this. If you are not a fan, you probably won't get most of the references, except for the numerous references to other famous people. The chronology was a bit challenging, but I really enjoyed it.

Eric's never idle Eric Idle doesn’t seem to know anyone who isn’t famous. Everywhere he goes or lives, the famous turn up as neighbors or partiers. If The Rolling Stones knock on the door at midnight, it’s just another night wherever the Idles happen to be. Elvis Presley a huge fan who imitates Monty Python characters in bed? Par for the course. Getting married in Lorne Michael’s midtown apartment followed by the reception at Paul Simon’s place, or living in Dan Aykroyd’s Bowery loft – just business as usual. How about having dinner with Billy Connolly and Prince Charles calls and asks if could come over and join them. George Harrison wants to pop in for the Lumberjack song. It is endless. It even seems like everyone he went to school with became a prominent celebrity. They all helped each other achieve stardom. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, indeed. It reminds me of the Peter Cook-Dudley Moore sketch Bloody Greta Garbo. It’s too absurd to be remotely true, but that’s the life of Eric Idle. He says. This collection of memoirs is about as positive as anything can be. Idle got break after break, got swept along to bigger and better things and was continually invited to new ventures, where he succeeded to great acclaim his first time out, be it sketch writing, film, opera, records or Broadway. Oh. And everyone adores him. Idle loves adding adjectives before names. Everyone is amazing or wonderful, excellent or brilliant, fantastic or incomparable. The whole book is gossipy, teenage fandom style. All the time-worn stories the other Pythons tell are here, uncontradicted. How they pitched their TV series without a script, treatment, plan or even a name. And were instantly given the go-ahead for 13 episodes. At least they had to battle the establishment: “We didn’t know what we were doing, and insisted on doing it.” The Idles are never idle for long. Everyone is constantly inviting them to vacations in the South Pacific or the Caribbean, lending them houses in the south of France or Mustique or London or New York. David Bowie was kind and generous. So was Mick. And Robin. Most of all, George Harrison. There is not one mention of a fabulous get together at the Idle home. As you can tell from the title, the main achievement of his was the song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life that he wrote for Monty Pythons’ Life of Brian. It has become a part of life around the world. It is the number one piece played at funerals in the UK, for example. Sports fans sing it loud when their team is losing. What would Spamalot have been without it? It’s the Greensleeves of the 21st century. As Idle explains early on, there is an unending shelf of books, documentaries and products keeping the Monty Python myth alive. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is certainly one of them. David Wineberg

I am so grateful to the publisher and First to Read for a copy of an uncorrected proof of this! My favorite Python! John is a close second, and I'd read his his voice, so I jumped at the chance to read Eric's voice, of course. Steve Martin said of Idle's novel The Road the Mars."I laughed. I cried. And then I read the book." Idle had me laughing literally out loud several times before he'd gotten out of the introduction (titled "An Apology"). Of course, the life whose bright side he sings of looking at enters and it's not all rosy, but even when he shares devastation at the loss of dear friends, he bounces back. He's candid, human, obviously quite funny, amazingly connected ("I once tried registering [in a hotel under a fake name] as Meryl Streep, but then I felt guilty because she is so damn nice and smart. Notice how cleverly I introduced the fact that I know her. That's name-dropping at its finest, as I said to Prince Charles only the other day.") Really, he is amazingly connected. The number of people he's worked with, been friends with, got invited to cruises on their huge yachts with,... ...amazing. Steve Martin said in his blurb for Idle's novel The Road the Mars."I laughed. I cried. And then I read the book." You'll laugh, maybe cry while you read this book. Endearing, funny, enlightening, and endearing. Yes, I said that twice. When this comes out, get it. You'll be glad you did.

For fans of Monty Python this is a must read. It follows Eric's early beginnings and how Monty Python was born. It has Eric's quirky brand of humor and seriousness. He came from a rough start, but never let that stop him from becoming the person he is today. He's very candid about his life and doesn't sugar coat it. He admits to not being perfect, but he was human and made mistakes. This book will make you laugh and cry because Eric's humor brings that out in people. He rubbed shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, Robin Williams, David Bowie, just to name a few. If you're looking for a humorous book then this is one for you.

I grew up watching Flying Circus, and loved it, even though I was really too young to understand or decipher the accents (“Spam” notwithstanding). I’ve passed my love of Python onto my kids, even visiting Doune castle to buy coconuts and recreate Holy Grail (with my daughter playing Terry Gilliam, I as Graham Chapman), like thousands of other daft tourists. Your face will ache from smiling while reading this, and it’s chock full of name-dropping, which, TBH, is everyone’s secret shameful reason for reading a celebrity memoir (AmIRightAmIRight – NudgeNudge!) And there are lots of photos, which I appreciated. This book made me laugh out loud while I was sneak-reading at my kid’s Open House at his elementary school. Whoops. I loved all the anecdotes of Eric hanging out with famous people, and the backstory of how many sketches came to be. I even learned about some projects of his that I was unaware of, having been unfortunately born too late (stupid 1975) and in the wrong country (stupid Yank) to encounter many of them on the BBC. I paused many times while reading to get on YouTube and catch up. Eric’s kind heart is obvious, as shown through his endearing friendships with George Harrison and Robin Williams, not to mention all the Pythons. He’s had a rich life full of love and good friends. Laughter really does bring people together. I’d love to hang out with him sometime. I’ll even supply the booze. If you love Python, or saw the title of this book and began to whistle, or just know him as the guy from the Figment ride at DisneyWorld, you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s entertaining, hilarious, and insightful. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Penguin First to Read for the advance copy in exchange for my review.

Eric Idle wrote a wonderful, insightful book in ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIVE. I only put it down when my reader's battery died, otherwise I would've read it straight through. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys everything Mr. Idle has done throughout his storied career. This book is a keeper...Say no more.


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