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Publisher's Summary

David Mitchell, who you may know for his inappropriate anger on every TV panel show except Never Mind the Buzzcocks, his look of permanent discomfort on C4 sex comedy Peep Show, his online commenter-baiting in The Observer or just for wearing a stick-on moustache in That Mitchell and Webb Look, has written a book about his life.

As well as giving a specific account of every single time he's scored some smack, this disgusting memoir also details:

  • The singular, pit bull-infested charm of the FRP (‘Flat Roofed Pub’)
  • The curious French habit of injecting everyone in the arse rather than the arm
  • Why, by the time he got to Cambridge, he really, really needed a drink
  • The pain of being denied a childhood birthday party at McDonalds
  • The satisfaction of writing jokes about suicide
  • How doing quite a lot of walking around London helps with his sciatica
  • Trying to pretend he isn’t a total **** at Robert Webb’s wedding
  • That he has fallen in love a LOT, but rarely done anything about it
  • Why it would be worse to bump into Michael Palin than Hitler on holiday
  • That he’s not David Mitchell the novelist, despite what David Miliband might think
©2012 David Mitchell (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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Wonderful

Excellent book excellently performed! I'm not usually interested in celebrities' private lives, but this book is funny and charming without being overly personal.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Charming, witty, and genuinely funny.

What made the experience of listening to David Mitchell: Back Story the most enjoyable?

You may not laugh out loud frequently, but this book will have you chuckling fairly frequently. At the very least, you will be smiling consistently. That being said, the last two chapters are unbearably soppy (and unfortunately, bereft of humor). Still, you won't regret this purchase. Pick it up and enjoy the story of a somewhat awkward, but undeniably humorous, human being.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mano
  • London
  • 10-19-14

Brilliant

Where does David Mitchell: Back Story rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Of the few audiobooks I have listened to, I have found this to be by far the greatest.Mitchell's honestly and openess, in combination with his dry humour makes this book an treat to listen to.For the price of a round of drinks you would do well to take on the life lessons of people like Mitchell.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • charlotte
  • christchurch, New Zealand
  • 04-09-14

One of the best books I've have read all year!

Would you listen to David Mitchell: Back Story again? Why?

Yes, and in fact I have already listened to it twice, it is very enjoyable. I find David Mitchell to be a fascinating and humorous person, and I have greatly enjoyed listening to him tell the story of his life.

What did you like best about this story?

I think he has related the story of his life very well and made it very funny.

Which scene was your favorite?

it's all good

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

where he talks about how he met Victoria and they got together it was very lovely.

Any additional comments?

This book is very funny and enjoyable and I would highly recommend to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Honest and very funny

What made the experience of listening to David Mitchell: Back Story the most enjoyable?

Hearing David Mitchell tell his own life story is a real bonus. He's wry, modest, occasionally ranty, and hilarious.

Who was your favorite character and why?

David Mitchell!

What does David Mitchell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It's good to hear the voice of the person who has written a memoir.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"A memoir, a map, a weight loss manual."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip
  • ATHENS, Greece
  • 03-11-13

Never a dull moment, a barrel of laughs

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's an extremely funny read and very easy to read!<br/><br/><br/>

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh out loud!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mb
  • Dalveen, Australia
  • 11-22-12

I wish we were friends

Would you consider the audio edition of David Mitchell: Back Story to be better than the print version?

I have absolutely no idea whether it would be better to have the print version of back story as I only have the audiobook, and it's great. I'm not sure if it's because I'm already a fan of That Mitchell and Webb Sound/Look; David Mitchell's Soapbox/newspaper columns/appearances on panel shows or what, but listening to David Mitchell the comedian (not David Mitchell the author) read his own book - which makes him an author - brings this story to life. I think it helps that David and I are the same age and went to the same sort of schools, and have the same sorts of interests - theatre, history, beer etc. So when he talks of the world he grew up in I find it all very relatable in a completely hilarious way.David Mitchell is the sort of person who you like to think you'd probably get on rather well with if you met at a party and you both weren't too embarrassed to say anything at all.

What other book might you compare David Mitchell: Back Story to and why?

I would compare this book to the book you wish you could write yourself and have people you don't know wish they could be your friends. I'm not sure this is helpful.

Have you listened to any of David Mitchell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes I have. Very well

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, yes there was.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a good listen

I have been a fan of David Mitchell for a long time. this book was very well written and had some very funny parts. sadly, I found myself tuning out every once and a while. my attention wasn't always captured, but I still found it a very enjoyable story.

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Listen again and again

David's insights are so funny that this book is well worth listening to multiple times. The chapter on his wife is especially touching.

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Well balanced

This is a great funny book but serious enough to be interesting. Makes you laugh and think as well.

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  • ulla
  • 04-04-17

I may be committed and it might've been worth it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book in a day. And while I am an excellent binger of stories, listening to an entire 9,5 hour book in a day pays a huge compliment to the author (And I even went for a run, which was barely painful at all since I was distracted by one of David's very funny recountings but I think I startled some other people on the track by laughing alound at apparently nothing. Oh dear.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Erin M
  • 11-02-16

Surprising but painful

I was on the fence about David Mitchell. I neither adore nor dislike him. He's a nice enough chap and doesn't look like he's going to be surrounded by Sunday paper headlines. I'm not really sure why I bought this audio book. He was a bit of a posh prat.

However this book was surprising. It tells of his hard working parents, his lack of educational commitment, uni and meeting Webb, struggling to get work and his eventual success.

He isn't a posh prat. He's a likeable man..He isn't grandiose or pompous. He's a genuinely nice chap. The book was lovely and I enjoyed it. The end chapter was my favourite. Very thought provoking.

The only struggle I had was the fact he narrated it. His voice can be a little hard to listen to for a length of time. But bear with it and you will get used to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 10-28-16

Good, but a bit of a downer

I, like most people looking at this review, have enjoyed seeing David Mitchell on TV and always found him funny. This book has funny moments in it, but Mitchell is so self deprecating that to me the audiobook felt sad in places. I was looking for something that made my laugh on the train, and instead IT had me reflecting on loneliness and self-loathing.

Still a good book, but not something to have you in creases

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire
  • 03-16-16

Awful

What disappointed you about David Mitchell: Back Story?

I love listening to David Mitchell on radio quiz shows and watching his TV shows but reading whole chapters, he just isn't a narrator of this amount of text. Content seemed flimsy as well, not really a book more thin sketches

Would you ever listen to anything by David Mitchell again?

not in book form

What didn’t you like about David Mitchell’s performance?

monotone

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

struggling to think of one

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • smssms
  • 03-10-16

Peaks early, first 1/3 is the best.

Would you try another book written by David Mitchell or narrated by David Mitchell?

Yes, I like his sense of humour and the narration was good.

What will your next listen be?

I don't know yet.

Have you listened to any of David Mitchell’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have not heard anything else by David.

Do you think David Mitchell: Back Story needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Absolutely not; it seemed to lose steam after about half way. Unless some amazing things happen to David he can probably leave it for now.

Any additional comments?

Not sure what I was expecting with this book but I left it feeling a little underwhelmed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mr
  • 12-10-15

Drag

V good, but went into too much detail about Cambridge university. As people's names who weren't that relevant. It just gets confusing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M R
  • 11-16-15

Good

Quite sweary so do not listen if you would be offended otherwise a great read well read by a nice sounding guy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 11-25-15

If the Devil and Al Qaeda invented a sound.

I enjoyed peep show and Mitchell's performance...obviously your exposure to his vocal quirk is watered down by the very fact there are others in the show. He's not constantly talking.
If the Devil and Al Qaeda through a joint venture decided to create a new musical note that would piss off / bore / anger / make feel unwell / anger again.Then Mitchell's voice is what it would sound like. Out with the delivery the story-(ies) within are on the mild side. Mildly entertaining stories a plenty, his geeky youth-constant reminders that he wasn't a "spoilt bastard", his bad back? I had had enough and turned off at the end of a mammoth tale regarding a lobster.

No thanks. No thank you. Nope!

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • 01-27-13

A Charming Stroll

David Mitchell is a likeable man with a very honest take on how his comfortable middle class life has not exactly held him back. He writes well and by reading his own words he gains a star from me. He loses one though for the last 45 minutes or so in which he seems to lose some of the momentum built up by the rest of the book.



I was thoroughly engaged for the most part and laughed quite a few times. The structure of the book, supposedly based on a walk around the area his live in North London to relieve chronic back pain, is clever and works very well.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-23-12

Likeable celeb bio

David Mitchell is a likeable, middle-class, small c conservative British comedian. I enjoyed his book, in no small part because it's read by the author and I find his voice reassuring (I usually find middle class British accents reassuring, a fact that I find strangely disconcerting.)



Mitchell grows up the eldest son of two former hoteliers turned polytech lecturers, goes to a small independent school, is accepted to Cambridge, joins footlights, puts in some hard work and becomes a moderately successful and well know comedian. That's the story. It's not very interesting. Mitchell tells it well and I've spent a pleasant weekend listening to it. There.



The second to last chapter concerns his relationship with Victoria Coren (his then fiancée, now wife). This chapter it has to be said is quite lovely and occasionally adorable.



I cannot imagine that anyone who doesn't already like David Mitchell would read this book. But if you do, and haven't got anything else on, your expectations will probably be pleasantly met.(

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Denise Mewett
  • 05-15-16

More than QI

I didn't really know David Mitchell aside from his QI and Would I lie to you? appearances so this was a real eye opener for me. Of course it's amusing but also informative and a great lesson in waiting for the right partner to come along. Well worth listening to!

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  • Henry
  • 03-31-16

good book

never meet your heroes, but still a good insight to a more or less well rounded person

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  • Steven
  • 01-29-16

A crackin' good read

Mitchell's typically droll delivery will be enjoyed by all those who are fans and perhaps make a few new ones. A great read.

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  • Simon A Newman
  • 02-27-15

Excellent. Just excellent.

Laugh out loud funny with one sentence and cripplingly sad with the next. Self depreciating sounds too trite. Honest is more accurate. Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

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  • Cam
  • 12-30-14

Textbook David Mitchell

If you enjoy his work, whether it be Would I Lie to You?, Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb ......., you will thoroughly enjoy this book. David delivers the story of his life in his signature manner, which makes it thoroughly enjoyable to listen to as it makes even quite boring topics hilarious.