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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

A Sortabiography
By: Eric Idle
Narrated by: Eric Idle
Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python - from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on a remarkable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theatre and film.  

Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the '60s and '70s, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie and Robin Williams, all of whom became dear lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout involving other close friends and luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels and many more, as well as the Pythons themselves, Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal parts hilarity and heart. 

In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named for the song he wrote for Life of Brian and which has since become the number one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humour that has delighted his audiences for five decades.  

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is marking the occasion with this hilarious memoir chock full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life featuring everyone from Princess Leia to Queen Elizabeth.

©2018 Eric Idle (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

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Fantastic read by a brilliant comedian

A fantastic review by a brilliant comedian, goes into the laughs, the sad times and the legacy he has built and left behind. Kind, caring and funny

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  • Simon
  • 10-02-18

Pop Idle!

There has been so much written and documented about the Pythons that I wasn’t totally sure I would enjoy this. In the end it was a real joy, some old stories with a new slant and plenty that I had never heard. This is a positive and uplifting story that seems to flash past all too fast. I think it’s so typical of the man that I’ve read the story of his life and I am left wanting more. If I was to make any complaint about this it’s just that, it’s too short for me. Major events seemed to come and go all too quickly because he may be Idle by name but he certainly isn’t idle by nature! He has packed so much variety into his life in comedy.

If name-dropping was an Olympic sport Idle would have a string of gold medals, it’s amazing to hear about the people he is able to call friends from Rolling Stones to flying Beatles! If I have a favourite of all the stories it is one about Leslie Nielsen and how he manages to avoid talking to people in lifts. And as I am no great Python expert I was very surprised to hear the stories about one of their greatest ever fans and his Pepperpot bedroom antics! As I’ve always thought when listening to autobiographies in an audio format it’s best coming from the horse’s mouth and so it proves here too. Idle’s voice gives a very positive tone to what is a very positive story.

When it comes to comedy in the UK we have some of the most amazing real-life characters and in these days when there can be a tendency to talk our country down it’s fantastic to be reminded of one of our genuine national treasures. As I said, my only criticism is that I finished wanting more but maybe it’s a mark of the man that he didn’t get too carried away when writing his own life story! This is definitely about looking mostly on the bright side of a life.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Lesley Goodman
  • 10-22-18

A great read

Copious name dropping, a lot of blowing his own trumpet, but an interesting book. Would definitely recommend. Seems like a bloody nice chap who's had a bloody nice life. Good on him!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 10-21-18

Warm and witty.

Always one of the more accessible members of the Pythons, Eric weaves a funny, insightful and touching account of a life full of creativity, extraordinary people, fame and iconoclastic wit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mrs alison bethell collins
  • 10-20-18

Fabulously entertaining!

What a lucky jammy life he’s had! And appreciated it too!
Well worth a listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James M.
  • 10-18-18

And now for something completely hilarious

A heart warming story of how a small, hunchbacked fish wife from the north side of Bristol and how she became one 1/6 of the greatest comedy team ever and all the celebrities that he’s hung out with over the years and the drink and drugs that went with that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • karin
  • 10-16-18

Better than eating cake

Excellent book honest and uplifting. Tears off joy and sadness with a sprinkle of silly lunacy. Warning Can give you heartburn.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-18

Brilliant, funny and moving

As Eric himself suspects, the length of the many Python documentaries may add up to be longer than the original series! So while of course there is alot about Python here, there's also lots of stuff that will is new. If you've read the Greedy Bastard Diary (also a brilliant book), you'll spot a few bits from there that he's reused but also expanded on. I laughed out loud in many places but was also moved in other places, especially the George Harrison chapter. The emotional power of course being all the more effective because Eric is reading his own words. A "must listen" for any Python fan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-19-19

Great listen from a British Treasure!

What Eric Idle has achieved and who he has rubbed shoulders with will probably surprise you. It certainly surprised me as did the wide range of activities and productions he's been involved with over the years.

I enjoyed this easy trip through his incredible life, delivered in an honest and open manner.

He is, in addition to a very clever, witty and educated man, a real national treasure. Or will be soon when he's buried. Maybe not quite as nice as Michael Palin though ;-).

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-05-19

fab

fab.......Eric idl, reading own story makes it , a fun life of comedy greatness

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  • Roger Kenny
  • 08-31-19

Exactly what you think it is!

All you could ever want to know about Eric Idle, from his perspective, read by the man himself.
loved it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-01-18

Not just an Idle fan

I found the story funny, reflective, sad, unbelievable & most of all enjoyable. This is a person who has lived & is living a great life. Hearing Eric’s voice, telling his story a slam dunk, back of the net, top shelf yarn. To borrow a couple of quotes “Say no more, now f-off & get it.”

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Gregory McNulty
  • 04-27-19

Not Quite Idle

This is the second autobiography I have read from one of the Python legends. And like the John Cleese memoir this one also falls a bit flat. It is written almost like a series of sketches but with a great deal more laughs. There is a lot of name dropping going on but if if he leaves all of the experiences with other celebrities out I guess it defeats the purpose of an autobiography. So consider that a moot point. What I did find pleasing was that Eric made a point of letting the reader know that the Python guys and gals were and still are good mates. His chapter on Robin Williams was very moving written with great compassion and humour. If you were/are a Python fan you should enjoy this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-28-19

Incredible

The best audiobook ever. Well it should be. It’s written by a bloody Python. 😂😂😂. Eric Idle to be precise. 😜

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-05-19

Looking on the bright side

It’s no effort to always look on the bright side of Eric Idles lovely narrative. It’s a joyous trip through the Monty Python years and many a laugh can be enjoyed along the way.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-11-19

Brilliant !

Great from start to finish. With some surprises along the way. Author narrative was perfect

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  • Alf Salgo
  • 02-12-19

Good in parts

I was looking forward to listening to this book as I have always been a fan of Eric Idle. Unfortunately, the more I listened to the book, the more annoying was the incessant name dropping interspersed with sketchy details of other events in his life. Disappointing and I was unwilling to finish it.

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  • Amiee
  • 01-29-19

Nothing but name dropping, utterly dissappointed

I was really excited to listen to this book and then found myself utterly disappointed... it is basically hours of naming dropping and pretty much no substance... at one point I literally caught myself eye rolling, this is when I returned the book.

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  • Robert Langford
  • 01-23-19

Simply brilliant

An amazing life story sparkling with gems of celebrity strewn throughout. A must listen for all

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-30-18

Great book

Eric Idle did a fantastic job as the author and narrator of this book enjoyed immensely

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-26-18

Fairly tedious stuff

Spoiler alert... Eric Idle knows a lot of famous people. I am a fan of autobiographies and Monty Python so I thought this would be a treat. Frankly this is a just name dropping with a tease of stories that have no depth except to stroke a rather big ego. Such a disappointment, go read David Mitchell instead.