Izzard, Eddie. “Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens”, Blue Rider, 2017.
A Very Singular Life
“Izzard is one of the funniest people alive, a talented actor, a sharp cross-dresser, an experienced marathon runner, and a great writer. You will have to read this if only to find out what a jazz chicken is.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer.
This is the first time in my years of reviewing that I have opened a review with a quote and that is because it says so much and so much better than I can. Eddie Izzard is an intelligent comedian who uses intelligent humor about everything from
world history to historical politics, sexual politics, mad ancient kings, and chickens with guns. He has a very large fan base and one that transcends age, gender, and race. Izzard’s writing is much the same in its candor and insight. He takes us into his life, writes about his mother’s death, going to boarding school, his sexuality, philanthropy, politics and acting in the movies.
Izzard’s mind is quick and he thinks about several things at the same time so it takes a bit of patience to follow him but once you get into it, you have a fascinating reading experience. He is a unique person who has led a singular life.
Beginning with his childhood, we understand that the early death of his mother became the defining moment of his life. He has tried to bring her back and we really see how this affects him.
As a student he struggled at school and used comedy to get through as he constantly looked for inspiration in his life. His career did not come easily and he did whatever necessary to focus attention on himself. He also explored his gender and his sexuality early on. He writes with honesty and openness and shares his relationship challenges, his feelings about his family, and the great moments of his career, and his addiction to sugar, his marathon running, health issues, and his regrets. Before I read this, I was not a fan and quite honestly I must say that I knew very little about Izzard. I feel like I have made a new friend and a very good one at that.