With a sharp eye for comic detail and a wicked ear for the absurdities of life, Dawn French shows just how an RAF girl from the west country with dreams of becoming a ballerina/bridesmaid/thief rose to become one of the best-loved comedy actresses of our time.
Here Dawn French invites us into her most personal relationships with, among others, her mum and dad, her husband, her daughter and her friend Jennifer.
Dawn reveals the people, experiences and obsessions that have influenced her and that helped shape her comedy creations - including dogs, grandmas, teenage angst, school, stealing and David Cassidy. She is as open about her fears and sorrows as she is about her delights and joys, and for the first time shares the experience of losing her beloved dad and later finding a tip-topmost chap in Lenny Henry.
From raging about class and celebrity to describing the highs and lows of motherhood and friendship, Dear Fatty reveals the surprising life behind the smile.
©2008 Dawn French; (P)2008 Random House Audiobooks
I love to read or listen to auto-biographies and biographies but usually prefer auto-bios (unless historical figures, of course, and I still like the biographer to use as much of the figures own writing, etc.). As a fan of Dawn French, British humor, Absoluteley Fabulous and the Vicar of Dibley - I suspected I would like this book but really knew nothing about Dawn French other than the TV shows (how she started, her family, her association with Jennifer Saunders, etc.) I learned all about those things and more. What made this particularly interesting is the format she wrote this in. Each chapter/section was a letter to various people - her deceased dad, her husband, daughter, friends, etc. She creatively used the letter to explain her relationships, thoughts, advice - you name it. It was so interesting - funny and sad in parts - touching and honest throughout. The only negative part (and it isn't really negative) is that she sometimes refers to stars, star scandals and other matters that are apparently well known in England (but not in USA - Well, she does live in England and this was undoubtedly primarily targeted for the Britich reader.) All that said, great listen. While she did not read it, the person who did read it sounded just like her. If you didn't know it was her - you'd swear it was. Just listening to her letter to her father in relation to his death (by suicide) is a lesson on forgiveness and love and worth the price of admission. Thanks for bringing this to us Audible.
What a laugh out loud book. Beautifully narrated, at times I thought it was Dawn herself reading to me. I could feel her pain, disappointment and joy. I really recommend this book to anyone that's a Dawn French fan. Thank you for a lovely book, hope to read more of your books....
Hare & There
Dawn French covers many, many topics as she writes letters to friends, family and the dearly departed. Her correspondence to them creates a memoir that is vivid, funny and insightful. Wish she would have narrated, but understood why she didn't. Liza does a good job with it though. Highly recommended, especially if you are in need of some humor.
Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.
It was a great listen, I have followed Dawn French since French & Saunders.
Dawn, this is the story of her, and what an interesting journey she has had.
She was fine but I would have preferred to have Dawn read it, but because of the personal nature of this book, she felt she could not do it without breaking down.
Yes I might later on.
I enjoyed the book immensely and I hope she writes another one to bring us up to speed.
She is now divorced from Lenny and it would be great to see how she is doing now.
I unfortunately listened to this after Stephen Frys autobiography and it was like listening to Noddy after listening to War and Peace. I found it a disappointment and to have it narrated by someone other than herself was an added disappointment.
The very endearing relationship between Dawn and her closest family and friends are so touching at times it reminds you of the true value of relationships
I have never heard Liza before and often had to remind myself that it was Dawn herself reading the book as her voice is so like Dawn's.
The very touching and personal moments between Dawn and her father did make me cry as it reminds me so much of my own relationship with my father - how very special.
I loved the way Dawn wrote letters to her loved ones and friends to give an insight into her life, love, friendships and fellow comedians.
Dawn certainly has a way of making you laugh out loud at her "experiences" throughout her life and feel her sadness in parts.
The narrator did a wonderful job, sounded very similar to Dawn herself, well done.
I would recommend to anyone who has enjoyed watching Dawn's career unfold.
I have read Dear Fatty and enjoyed both. The advantage of the audible version is being able to continue doing whatever you need to vs. sitting down and reading.
Ms. French tells of a time when she was about 14 or 15 and was going to big party. A young boy, Mark, was going to be there and she had purchased a special outfit for the occassion hoping to catch his eye. Her father wanted to talk to her before she left (and she wanted to ask him if she could stay out later). What followed was so beautiful. The things he said to his daughter should be written down and handed to every father to be said to their daughters. What Ms French's dad gave her that night was such a precious gift. He let her know that she was valued and loved beyond measure. What a gift.
She sounds a bit like Dawn French, so it's not hard to imagine Ms. French reading it herself.
This book made me laugh and cry. Sometimes at the same time.
This book is well worth a listen. Especially if you are a fan of French & Saunders, The Vicar of Dilby, and Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban.
No, I didn't find this book very interesting.
I found the content boring
No this was the first one
I really enjoyed the revealing stories and overall nature of this book but was disappointed it wasn't read by Dawn herself. Liza Tarbuck did a great job, but she's not Dawn, in timing or voice, so some of the overall emotion was lost. Shame.
I was at first a touch disappointed that Dawn was not reading this herself however, having now heard it I understand why she said that it would be difficult for her to read without 'getting a bit tearful'. Lisa Tarbuck does an excellent job - so no problems there.
The book is very open and appears honest with lots of insights to Dawn's family, friends and past influences. Her letters to her late Father moved n]me to tears as they reminded me of the things that I should have liked to have said to my Dad when he was alive. It tugs at every emotion yet remains light and amusing - a good listen, I was sad when it finished I felt I was losing touch with a friend.
A great audiobook alround.
Anyone who feels they are missing out with missing Dawn French's own voice should be satisfied with Lisa Tarbuck's reading.
Honest, heart-felt and compassionate all the way through - a real insight to her life so far.
I am not an avid fan but enjoyed this greatly.
Would happily recommend to anyone who don't mind laughing out loud or feeling the odd lump to the throat. Be warned - this book is very capable of doing both!
"Nice story, but not a great book"
This is an honest and heart warming account of such events in her life as Dawn French wants to share. The book is in the form of letters to various important people in her life and this turns out to be a nice way to shape and drive the narrative forward. She's very honest, and there are some difficult subject, so she has been very brave.
My main problem with the book is the writing style. Often a word is repeated in a sentence, something that you might not notice so much when reading, but it really jars in an audiobook. She also uses the same descriptive and effusive phrases over and over again, fine when you're talking, not when you're writing. But the style is very chatty, so maybe others won't be so picky! The only other thing that slightly irked was the way that everyone she's ever met is so wonderful, special, loved etc.
Overall I enjoyed it, but based on the writing, I wouldn't read or listen to her novel.
Not sure what I was going to get from this book, a bit of French and Saunders or just one of those usual autobiographies that most famous people write.
Well, our Dawn delivers an impeccable book, that is emotionally charged in all areas of her life.
The icing on the cake for me was hearing her own account as the pages of her life unfolded.
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to it thanks Dawn
"Great listen will listen again full of feeling"
What a fab book .This is a laugh a minute and narrated so well that you almost forget its not Dawn reading it herself Lisa Tarbuck does such a good job , this is one book I will never tire of listening to again and again but has left me wanting more ?come on get writing you know you want to :0)
"A lucky first audio book!"
This was my first ever audio book and what a corker! I found her 'letters' extremely endearing, often funny, sometimes sad, yet sentimental. I was really surprised at the 'realness' of Dawn's recollections. There was no sugar-coating and wasn't a hint of exaggeration for comedic effect. The stories were just genuinely engrossing to listen to. Such beautiful story-telling. I've much respect for Dawn French having listened to this. What a woman :)
I downloaded this audiobook on a whim. The title grabbed me - and I half expected it to be a book about 'coming to terms' with weight issues.
Not a bit of it! This is a candid, interesting and brave book, written in the form of letters, mostly to her father. It's full of insight and very interesting. At times it made me cry, and I'm not surprised that Dawn French was unable to read it herself.
I thoroughly recommend it.
Lovely lovely book, what a great lady. Moved me, and made me laugh hysterically all in one train journey. Much love with the split, this book made me so sad to hear that news.
I anticipated a true reflection of a period of Dawn's life that would provide an insight into the person. I couldnt get on with this book. Less of a reflective peice and more of a contrived "stand up" stint. The stories didnt ring true and I longed for her to "keep it real". I gave up with this book after a couple of attempts. Real life is so often much funnier.
If you like Dawn French, there is nothing not to like about this book!
The way Dawn French writes her autobiography as a series of letters works extremely well; she is not talking to the listener - a stranger and potential fan of her work - but to her friends and family - loved ones who are fans of her. I believe it makes all the difference to the sincerity and personality of the writing.
Liza does so much justice to Dear Fatty. You forget it is Liza reading - such a good and non-egoistic a job she does. I'm pretty neutral about Liza usually - neither love nor hate her but I'm glad it was her reading... her performance would be second only to Dawn herself.
It was extremely moving and touching, I felt empathy, sadness, heartache, love; I cried laughing and I just cried.
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