About me
Sponsor my Channel Swim
About me

Review: Back Story by David Mitchell

This is another review of a celebrity autobiography. As with all celebrity autobiographies, if you’re a fan of the celebrity, there’s a high probability that you’ll enjoy the book. If not, you’re unlikely to read it anyway. That’s a point that’s made often, but that probably bears repeating.

The structure of this book is slightly novel, in that it follows Mitchell on a walk around London, with reminisces and comic riffs inspired by things he sees along the way. The idea isn’t half hammered home, though, particularly given the weakly punning title. And I think it’s fair to say that little of the content is deeply insightful: it’s mildly embarrassing to buy underwear; membership of Footlights provides a firm footing for launching one’s career in comedy; most ideas pitched to television companies don’t get commissioned; and having the same name as a popular author sometimes causes confusion.

That said, I like David Mitchell, so I enjoyed the book. The content isn’t groundbreaking, but it is at least communicated with warmth and a degree of endearing self-deprecation. And I found the last chapter, in which Mitchell discusses his relationship with Victoria Coren, genuinely heartwarming. Others have described it as overly syrupy, but I disagree – I thought it was lovely.

It’s hard to know what else to say, really. Mitchell comes across as a thoroughly likeable guy, and this is a highly readable but equally forgettable walk through a life that has been lived without all that much trauma, distress or heartache. It’s a light read that, as a fan of Mitchell, I find it hard not to recommend. But it’s hardly life-changing stuff.

Back Story is available now from amazon.co.uk in hardback and on Kindle.

This 1,916th post was filed under: Book Reviews, .

More posts worth reading

The gathering storm of the next NHS crisis (published 9th August 2015)

Netflix might tell us why the election polls were wrong (published 26th May 2015)

James is wrong about giving 16- and 17-year-olds the vote (published 3rd May 2015)

The trouble with Pat (published 9th March 2006)

Filling the void (published 1st June 2003)

Photo-a-day 209: Woods and Olympics (published 27th July 2012)

Heavy panting on the dog and bone (published 3rd February 2005)

Comments and responses

Comment from nash

by nash

Comment posted at 22:46 on 23rd May 2013.

Good review, you can check out the new book trailer for the paperback and also follow his new videos which will be released over the next few weeks, David takes the walk he refers to in the book and stops at certain points to recount memories and make typically David-esque observations. Watch the video here and keep up to date with the forthcoming videos http://youtu.be/zjs4Kc00Fr4

Compose a new comment


You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .

If you would like to display a profile picture beside your comment, sign up for Gravatar, and enter your email address above.

By submitting your comment, you confirm that it conforms to the site's comment policy. Comments are subject to both automatic and human moderation, and may take some time to appear.

The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. This site uses cookies - click here for more information.