Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

So Anyway So Anyway
by John Cleese
Random House

Supplied for review by Random HouseNew Zealand

Reviewed By: Steven Litten

Probably the best known of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus crew, John Cleese has worked in comedy since the early 1960s. In this, what I hope is his first volume of an autobiography, we follow the development of John Cleese from slightly bewildered and shy primary school child through socially awkward teenager and youth to budding thespian and the initial rungs of success following the launch of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Cleese grew up in and around Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, and attended a steady progression of Public Schools before heading to Cambridge to pursue a law degree. He obligingly provides several interesting anecdotes from his schoolboy days, as well from his stint as a teacher at one of his former schools. The anecdotes and remembrances grow stronger and longer with his days at Cambridge and his friendship and professional relationship with Graham Chapman.

Cleese provides a broad insight into the forces, people, and circumstances that allowed him to progress from a prospective career in law to a successful career in comedy. He also explains the genesis of several well-known and much beloved Python sketches, many of which had their genesis at Cambridge. He also gives his insights and takes on the nature of comedy and how he believes his star characters, such as Basil Fawlty, should be interpreted.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as did the people I lent it too. You will too.

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