I don’t read too many autobiographies but every now and again I like to dip into the life of someone I think might be funny, inspiring or both. One of the previous autobiographies I have enjoyed more than most was ‘Dear Fatty’ by Dawn French. ‘Fatty’, otherwise known as Jennifer Saunders has since gone on to write her own autobiography.
The sign of a good autobiography I feel, is the ‘voice test’. As you are reading can you hear the author speaking the words you are reading? Reading ‘Bonkers’ was like having Jennifer Saunders inside my head. It is so clearly her voice. This makes it intensely readable.
Jennifer Saunders voice is warm and her humour and love of life come through clearly. This is a lady that has had and is still having a wonderful time. She seems constantly surprised that she is employed to be silly, dress up and laugh with her friends.
The book is full of stories about some of the ridiculous and surreal times spent around the rich and famous. These provide plenty of laugh out loud moments. I have certainly chuckled my way through my tube journeys this week with Jennifer Saunders for company. She has the ability to flick effortlessly between different time periods, interrupting herself with other stories or incidents that add to rather than detract from her point. She cleverly manages all this without managing to confuse the reader.
There are some fantastic French and Saunders and Ab Fab anecdotes and after finishing this book yesterday I spent far too long on YouTube watching old clips and out takes.
She tells many tales of family life and entertains the reader with some great snapshots of life at Chez Saunders and Edmondson. Jennifer clearly adores her family and friends and it is they that come across as the most important elements of her life. Towards the end of the book she discusses her experience of having breast cancer. She is honest and funny without being overly sentimental, or making light of that episode in her life.
Autobiographies also need a good smattering of photos for analytical pouring over. ‘Bonkers’ probably has just about enough to satisfy the inquisitive / nosey nature of any autobiography reader.
If you have enjoyed Jennifer Saunders in anything she has ever done I think this book will be for you. I zipped through it in a couple of days, which makes it a perfect weekend read.
Wishing you a weekend of sunshine and inspiring words xx