Let’s be honest: after finishing “Him & Me” I went onto the internet and looked at reviews about the book. Because I wanted to see if there were bad reviews out there, and what they were saying. Needless to say, I found some.
I was happy that there were more good reviews than bad ones, but of course people found that there were things that “really, really, really” shouldn’t be joked about. And I just love how there are still people on the internet that admit to not having read the book, but still give it a 1-Star review with the comment “Smug gits, both of them.”
What is the book about?
It sure seems like an autobiography from Jack Whitehall, but as he himself points out in the introduction:
“A novel seemed way beyond my abilities and the notion of anything autobiographical was ridiculous at twenty-four years old…”
From the blurb:
“’Him & Me’ is a hugely entertaining and irreverent account of a unique relationship between a father and son. Written in two distinctive styles, it reflects the larger-than-life personalities of its authors, Jack and Michael Whitehall. Packed with anecdotes, some embarrassing and indiscreet, many warm and touching, Him & Me is lavishly illustrated with family photographs and Jack’s original illustrations. Friends, relatives, neighbours, teachers, actors, none are safe once Jack and Michael have opened up the Whitehall archives and shared their hilarious memories with us.”
I really, really, really… liked this book. Usually, I don’t read “humour books”, and I have never read an autobiography from beginning to end without dozing off at least once. But “Him & Me” didn’t really feel like a biography. It was just a hilarious read, and it might as well have been fiction, with clever narrators and well-rounded characters. Except that most of the unbelievable stories come with photographs to proof that all the madness has actually happened.
Jack and Michael’s narrating styles are obviously very different (not because of Jack’s grammar), but they come together very nicely. My favourite part is that both get a say in each other’s chapters, through little comments squeezed in between paragraphs. It makes for a great dynamic as you get to hear both sides of a story, and it keeps the book alive instead of it just being one long monologue (one of the reasons I usually fall asleep during autobiographies). I am definitely going to buy the audio book which got great reviews, mostly because both of them are narrating it.
Who should read this book?
People who are open minded.
I know that sounds weird, but as a German girl, I feel entitled to put the word ‘Caution’ out there with this book. I know how some people can be when it comes to humour, which is why I was curious about the bad reviews after I finished reading. (I also know how some of my fellow countrymen can be, which is why ‘Don’t Let’s Be Beastly To The Germans’ might be one of my favourite chapters in the book,…. okay ‚favourite‘ sounds wrong, but it is the most hilarious, no apology necessary Jack!)
„Him & Me“ is a really hilarious book, if you are open for it. The chapters are rather small and the narrative flows well, so it’s a great “in-between” read, for the tube or the bus or whenever you have ten minutes to spare.