I know a lot of Cannonballers listen to audio-books (particularly those that strive to hit double or triples) but even if you don’t you should make an exception for Izzard’s narration of his life story. It is no surprise a man who rose to fame as a stand up comedian has a talent for reading his own book out loud but it was really something else. First of all there is a lot of stuff in the audio-book that isn’t in the written copy (he tells you when it is extra and a lot of times its a rambling couple of minutes before he gets back to where he left off) including multiple times when he looks up information on his phone to fact check himself. At one point you can hear his producers answering a question he has about a particular idiom.
I am interested to see if someone who read the book instead of listened to it liked it as much as I did because he does repeat himself a lot (which I usually hate) but his enthusiastic delivery elevates the whole story.
“Stamina is the big thing you have to learn if you want to achieve success in any kind of career, but especially creative careers.”
Izzard had a much more interesting life than I was aware of as a casual fan/ someone who has seen Ocean’s 11. His mother died when he was very young and his father, who had a busy career with BP, sent Eddie and his brother to boarding school. A lot of his memoir is recounting stories from his childhood to the point that it felt like he actually blew through his career recollections. He had a very unique childhood, aside from losing a parent and being raised away from his father, he had a lot of struggles coming to terms with his sexuality.
I had no idea he as transgender since everything I have seen him in he presents himself as male, and he does say he has “girl mode” and “boy mode” so perhaps he is more gender fluid than the label transgender conveys. I just thought he was gay since he is a bit flamboyant but I was wrong there too! He considers himself a lesbian because he is transgender but attracted to women. He also uses the term “transvestite” interchangeably with transgender which is incredibly outdated now but was more common in the 80s which is when he came out.
He does talk about his career, although not as extensively as his school days, including his time as a street performer to his rising through the ranks as a stand up comedian. He definitely paid his dues before becoming a household name and he seems very humble & grateful for all of his successes.
Eddie is also a big social activist who has raised millions of dollars running obscene amounts of marathons in a row for charity. His most recent endeavor was running 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela’s 27 years in prison. It’s all very impressive and I came away with a whole new respect for Izzard after listening to his story.
He loses a star for never explaining Jazz Chickens.