When Jeremy Hardy decided to explore his ancestry it was, in part, to get to the bottom of his grandmother Becky’s dubious claims that the family descended from a certain 17th-century architect and that, more recently, Jeremy’s great grandfather was personal bodyguard and confidant to the King. Other legends range from the uncle who died in police custody to the wronged Victorian aunt who bore an illegitimate son.
Wild stories aside, Jeremy sets out to investogate in such diverse locations as the public library and the hostile waters around Malta in order to find traces of recognisable family traits and a sense of how he came to be. With wry humour and a keen eye for the absurd and the frustrating, Jeremy takes us on a by turns funny and moving journey into the world of family ancestry.
My Family and Other Strangers will be enjoyed by anyone who has tried to decipher the 1901 census records, or simply wishes they too had asked their grandparents more about their lives.
©2010 Jeremy Hardy (P)2010 Random House Audio
Jeremy Hardy is a very funny guy, and although the odds are stacked against him trying to describe the intricasies of a family tree in a non visual format like audio, he kept me entertained the whole time. It was a pleasure listening to all of the challenges involved in getting the right information, the emotions he encountered on every step of his journey, he descriptions of his and others foibles, and his deep honesty.
Wow, a frightfully boring book by a guilt-ridden person. Hardy's writing is as mundane and morose as his reading. An occasional intersting anecdote, but this sad sack of a writer fails almost continually to evoke any interest or passion in his family's own story.
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