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I laughed, I cried: how one woman took on stand-up and (almost) ruined her life

I laughed, I cried: how one woman took on stand-up and (almost) ruined her life

Groskop, Viv, author

Viv Groskop is fed up, recession-scarred and pushing 40. She always wanted to be a stand-up comedian. But surely that's not advisable if you have three children, a mortgage and a husband who hates stand-up comedy? With no time to waste, she attempts the mother of all comedy marathons, 100 gigs in 100 nights

Paperback, Book. English.
Published London: Orion Books, 2013
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Available: Newton Park

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Statement of responsibility: Viv Groskop
ISBN: 1409127842, 9781409127840
Physical Description: xi, 275 pages ; 24 cm
Subject: Women comedians Great Britain Biography.; Biography.; Biography; Stand-up comedy; Groskop, Viv.; Comedy; Comedians Great Britain Biography.; Stand-up comedy Great Britain.

Author note

Viv Groskop is a journalist, broadcaster and stand-up comedian. She has written for publications such as the GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, the MAIL ON SUNDAY, GRAZIA and VOGUE and has twice been short-listed for PPA COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR (Periodical Publishers' Association). She appears frequently on TV's SKY NEWS as well as on BBC Radio 4's FRONT ROW and WOMAN'S HOUR and is a regular panellist on ANY QUESTIONS?

Viv first performed with Stephen Fry in a Footlights show in Cambridge at the age of 18. She then did nothing on stage for 20 years. After several false starts and a lucky break hosting Jo Brand's book tour, she started doing stand-up properly in 2011. As a comedian she is described as 'charmingly left-field with an oddball sense of humour.' Which doesn't sound entirely complimentary, but never mind.



Viv Groskop has paid her dues so you don't have to. The story of her whirlwind comedy apprenticeship is as funny as it is inspiring, and may also give you nightmares.||Absolutely hilarious||Viv Groskop is crazy, clever, brave and kind. But mostly she's crazy. A real insight into a secret world. I laughed, I cried, I dry-retched at her sheer balls.
Caroline Quentin||The working mum's version of Eddie Izzard's 50 marathons in 50 days. Hilarious.
Sally Phillips||Viv Groskop tackles her mission with wit, honesty and a devotion that borders on total insanity.
Mark Watson||THE BOOKSELLER||It does what it says on the cover.
HUEY MORGAN, BBC Radio 6 Music||A classic of the male midlife crisis genre but for one twist: she's a woman. A mother of three small children, she is constantly torn between defiantly chasing the dream and worrying that it will wreck her marriage. Ostensibly a book about comedy, really it's about female ambition and the anxious ambivalence surrounding it: about the domestic price paid for success, or even for trying and failing, and whether it's still more acceptable for a man than a woman to pay it.
The Times||An emotionally turbulent read, littered with moments of unbearable anxiety juxtaposed with massive highs. Rarely has the struggle of the newbie comedian been so perfectly captured. Heart-warming, hilarious, uplifting and a joy to read||

Stand-up may be enjoying a boom in the UK at present, but still only a small proportion of comics are female. Of that number, few are mothers, and of those, pretty much none started off doing stand-up when they already had three small children at home. Except for Viv Groskop.

[Her] attempt to combine stand-up with a stable home life makes for a breathless read.

THE OBSERVER||Jack Whitehall among others, gave her the good advice to learn from long-term experience, not in a frantic rush. But the rush was what Viv wanted. Smell not only the greasepaint but the sweat... Heroic.
THE TIMES||Insightful nuggets on the peculiar existence of comics, presented here in all their neurotic, competitive glory [...]. There are some engaging snapshots from her childhood [...]. I Laughed, I Cried is essentially a mid-life crisis played out over 22 chapters. It is also about finding out what you're capable of at a time when your days revolve around school runs, daily deadlines, and uneventful evenings in front of the telly.
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY||I Laughed, I Cried is the honest version of what pursuing a dream really feels like.
RED MAGAZINE ONLINE||An inspiring look at following your dream
Candis||A heart-warming entreaty for us to take life by the horns and leap over it.
Jo Brand||An amazing book about stand-up that's also about love, determination and pursuing your dreams.
Lucy Porter||This is exactly what it's like starting in comedy. Viv Groskop completely captures the rare highs and frequent plummeting lows. Warm, life-affirming and a hugely funny read.
Jo Caulfield||Viv is the patron saint of anyone bonkers enough to do something they're shit scared of.
Sharon Horgan||A seize-the-day memoir to inspire anyone with a long-held dream.
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING||She's flirted with, heckled at, hated and applauded in pubs and dingy clubs across the country, all the time pining for her husband and children and overdosing on Diet Coke. Groskop's account of the bewildering, triumphant and messy adventure is like whacking your funny bone: it makes you laugh and wince.
MARIE CLAIRE||Sometimes comedians can be the worst of companions: boorish, self-obsessed and oddly humourless. However, Groskop keeps her sense of the ridiculous firmly intact throughout. A gruelling and frankly psychotic experiment. [...]. She documents each gig with great honesty. We follow open-mouthed as Groskop chases the comedy dragon at the expense of all else.
MAIL ON SUNDAY||Groskop is clearly some kind of superwoman. Her devotion to the quest and energy levels are astonishing. It could make a great movie. Kristen Wiig in the lead role, naturally. A kind of Fever Pitch for the world of funny.
Bruce Dessau, editor of comedy website BEYOND THE JOKE||Viv Groskop's searing memoir charts the highs and many lows of her showbiz career to date, and is a tribute to following your dreams - even when they threaten to become a nightmare.

Back cover copy

[shoutline] Everyone wishes their life had turned out a certain way. What if you can still make it happen?

Viv is fed up, recession-scarred and pushing forty. She always wanted to be a stand-up comedian. But surely that''s not advisable if you have a mortgage, three children and a husband is, er, not exactly a fan of stand-up comedy?

With no time to waste, Viv attempts the mother of all performance marathons: 100 gigs in 100 nights. She laughs. Sometimes at her own jokes. Occasionally the audience laughs too. Often they don''t. And she cries. Tears of misery, shame and, occasionally, triumph. Along the way she is heckled, flattered, hated, hit on and told that she is "not as funny as Miranda."

So is this a brave new start or the last desperate roll of the dice? Written with brutal honesty, this is a funny, inspirational memoir about having the guts to find out what you were really meant to do with your life.