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Publisher's Summary

The Sunday Times Best Seller

James Acaster has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award five times and has appeared on prime-time TV shows like Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Russell Howard's Stand Up Central.

But behind the fame and critical acclaim is a man perpetually getting into trouble. Whether it's disappointing a skydiving instructor mid-flight, hiding from thugs in a bush wearing a bright red dress, or annoying the Kettering Board Games club, a didgeridoo-playing conspiracy theorist and some bemused Christians, James is always finding new ways to embarrass himself.

Appearing on Josh Widdicombe's radio show to recount these stories, the feature was christened 'James Acaster's classic scrapes'. Here, in his first book, James recounts these tales (including never-before-heard stories) in all their glorious stupidity.

©2017 James Acaster (P)2017 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic Reviews

"James Acaster has a brilliant comic mind, crackling with energy every bit as much as his corduroy slacks." (Milton Jones)
"I don't think I've ever read a book that has made me cry with laughter as much as this one. It was very difficult reading it in public as I looked like a madman." (Richard Herring)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

The Scrape Master

James Acaster is one of the funniest comedians working in the UK today. I highly recommend this book, chronicling the many scrapes he's gotten into over the course of his life, to anyone who is a fan of Acaster, as well as to anyone who likes a good laugh.

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Hilariously entertaining

These Scrapes are endlessly entertaining and laugh out loud funny. The red dress in a bush story almost killed me I was laughing so hard.

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hilarious

James is a wonderful story teller and has a unique sense of what's funny. cracked me up

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A wow! scenario

Even if you are a better driver than James (almost certain), there are moments behind the wheel that were touch and go due to laughing awfully hard. Highly entertaining, well-paced, a pleasure to read and listen to and with some interesting thoughts percolating throughout about openness to experience, finding one's place, the mysteries of human behavior and always having a red dress to hand. A different look at a performer who frequently appears somewhat arch -- here, you get a view of someone bright, genuine, genuinely interested in the world and people around him. All while being terribly funny. Great, made me reasonably excited for the commute each day.

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  • Katie B
  • 11-22-17

Just a Little Bit Bland

I purchased the Audible recording of this book based on the positive reviews, but have to say I was a little disappointed. James claims to be prone to ‘scrapes’, but I found the majority of these occurrences to be a bit underwhelming. A nice listen, not particularly funny, ultimately redeemed slightly by cabbages.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rattleby
  • 11-20-17

Painful

I'm a big fan of James Acaster so I was expecting great things. I suspect these stories were much funnier when recounted spontaneously over the radio. As structured narratives they just don't seem to hold up; the stories feel laboured, awkward and barely worth the telling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Edward W S Snow
  • 11-12-17

scraping the barrel

It's just a collection of anecdotes; some are amusing, most are not. The amusing stories were peppered in just enough to keep me listening to it but it definetly wasn't worth the monthly audible credit I'd spent on it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LettyBIRD
  • 10-22-17

Sorry to say it just isn’t funny.

I really like James Acaster as a comedian, which is why it’s so sad that this is so lack lustre. The best way to describe the stories is the kind of unfunny story someone tells you in the pub, and when you fail to laugh they say “you had to be there”.

If he had had an audience when he was relating the stories perhaps they would have been great, but this just falls flat. If you are looking for something funny I really recommend Sarah Millican’s Champion which I also listened to this week.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Gilroy
  • 08-30-17

If you only listen to one audiobook, make it this one.

Had this recommended via several friends. Utter, delightful comedy gold. All the way from a tiny internal smirk (primary school kids and socks) to a full blown belly laugh (Humpty Dumpty) - this has it all. Buy it - now.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-17

Classic Scrapes

Classic scrapes, Brilliant simply brilliant. I have to write fifteen more words, so here they are, oh and cabbage. Brilliant

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris Culshaw
  • 08-27-17

Funny as!

Not bad for someone from Kettering 😂😂
Such a funny book with so many tales, it will have you in stitches

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart
  • 09-25-17

Not sure what the 5 star reviewers heard.

While it's well read and mildly enjoyable I was disappointed that the belly laughs and wry smiles of other readers just weren't present for me. A single wry smile was all I recall.

There are no jokes, no well planned setups, not really much that is genuinely humorous. Just a list of unfortunate episodes that mostly could have been avoided simply by saying "no" and don't really qualify for the "scrape" category; unless you include the three scrapes with his own and other's deaths. The less said about the recklessness of these, the better.

James writes and reads well, but possibly should stick to stand up for comedy and pursue an alternative topic for his literary pursuits.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-17

Brilliantly funny.

James Acaster is easily my favourite new comedian. As someone the same age as James who also spent his 20's in playing in bands and making terrible decisions I can completely identify with his scrapes. In my opinion there's nothing enjoyable or entertaining about a 'funny story' about things going wrong that are rooted in pure stupidity. However, there is something joyously endearing when blind optimism and oddly logical decision-making lead to undesirable outcomes, particularly when retold by one of the best comedians in the UK. Very very funny and plenty of laugh out loud moments.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Francis
  • 09-05-17

One of the funniest books I have listened too

Heard interview with Richard Herring and thought would give a go. Despite not having listened to the radio show, James does an exceptional job of bringing new readers along with him, and I have to say I haven't laughed so much to a book since Alan Partridge's autobiography. Thoroughly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-16-17

Heartwarmingly funny

Pure goodness. Acaster is top-shelf of current British comedy; whimsical, loveable, intelligent, self-deprecating etc.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful