James Acaster's Classic Scrapes

Narrated by: James Acaster
Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
5 out of 5 stars (570 ratings)

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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)

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Tales worth listening to.

This is a book that I would argue is better listened to rather than read. Part of what makes James Acaster's scrapes so great to experience is the delivery of his memories. He's a great story teller, and while reading this would still be a true laugh, to hear him recount his awkward situation ridden life thus far is certainly the best way to experience them.

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Bright and enjoyable

A pleasure to listen to. James sees the nuances of his goofy predicaments, and delivered a steady stream of smiles for me. His Northamptonshire accent has a rambling and mumbling lack of pretence, the opposite of the superior attitude of some comics who want you to know how clever they are.

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Best book in the whole world ever!!

Laughed until I cried.

11 more words to meet requirements of this review. Thank you.

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Hilariously Honest and Endearing

I found James’s book after watching his comedy special Repertoire on Netflix and I’m so glad I did. I listened to it over a weekend road trip and was laughing out loud at the situations James found himself in.
As a twenty-something myself, I identified with James at that time in his life when he sought meaning and purpose and decided a good way to find that was by simply saying “yes.” James’s honest telling of his experiences, are framed as mistakes to be avoided. But they clearly shine as endearing examples (however cringe worthy they may be) of someone who isn’t afraid to try, to fail, and to be open to whatever life places in front of them.
There is also a very relatable dichotomy in someone who is too self-conscious to return to a restaurant or use a public toilet, but who will also put themself out there whether it be alone at karaoke, with an egg shaker in hand, or on stage performing comedy.

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10/10 would reccomend

being able to listen to the audio book made the experience so much better. james' stories were hilarious, definitely cheered up my sad quarantine life

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Excellent!

A very talented comedian tellin life stories incredibly well. My only regret is that it wasn't longer.

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Such a funny storyteller

I loved it. I loved his accent and laughed really hard at some parts. Highly recommend.

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Great Book, Excellent Audiobook!

I'm a big-time fan of James Acaster's comedy, and recieved the Classic Scrapes book as a birthday gift. Halfway through reading it, I wondered if there was an audio version so that I'd be able to hear James telling his stories - and was so pleased to discover it was available.

Very entertaining! Hearing the scrapes read by James truly brings them to life.

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Weirdly calming

A ritual to listen to this when sick. While still funny, also gets me asleep.

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Hilarious delivery! Get cabbadged!

I listened to this in my car and needed to pull over several times. Then I would go home (daily) and play it for my son and husband who also found it hysterical. I was sad when it was over. I'm British but grew up in The US so I love the wit of the Brit!

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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.

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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

26 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Edwards
  • 01-17-19

series of witty anecdotes

It's exactly what you'd expect: a comedian telling silly anecdotes. Acaster's performance is great, the stories vary in zaniness and irony, overall, well worth a listen.

Do note though that the anecdotes all appeared on Josh Widdecombe's radio show, and several were also used on Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You and in Acaster's stand-up. So if you're a fan who follows his work, expect some repetition.

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  • Nic
  • 01-21-19

The voice makes it!

Listening to this book, I couldn't imagine it being read by anyone else. James' voice is half the joke!
Not all of the scrapes made me laugh, but those that did would've had me on the floor laughing, if I wasn't driving! Parrot soup is by far the best bit!

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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.

7 people found this 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

7 people found this helpful

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  • Dan Travers
  • 08-30-17

Great book, great stories and a great storyteller

I can relate (horribly) to a number of these tales but quite how James gets himself into these situations and then resolves them i am sure is unique on this planet. I had heard some of these on the XFM radio show but there were some beauties in here that were not.
I have loved every cringing moment

Its also a fun insight into the world of a certain number of comedians

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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.

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  • MR L EVANS
  • 08-26-17

Hysterical

Great book if you fancy a good laugh at someone else's expense. Some top tales and performed very well.

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  • Liz Holloway
  • 08-25-17

hilarious

I snorted in mirth several times and am hoping for a spinoff featuring partygator soon.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-20-18

I will never read an autobiography again.

This is the first audio book I’ve ever listened to. I really wanted to hear James tell his scrapes in his own voice and it was as amazing as I hoped it to be! Really funny, really well read. I must say I would have liked some good scrapes too. Part way I was just picturing James as a sad old cat man living alone having scrape after scrape!! Surely something good must happen soon James!!

From now on I will only listen to people read their own autobiography, you get a lot more out of hearing it in their voice. Loved it!!

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rhiannon
  • 06-30-20

Very funny

We listened to this on a 14 hour road trip. We laughed, we cried, we gasped. This book has everything you need for a long road trip. Very entertaining! 👌🏻

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-04-19

amazing and thank you

i cringed, i laughed, i learnt. well worth a listen for any solo car trip!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-26-19

I LOVED IT!

I almost crashed my car (how appropraite=) because i was laughing to much while driving!

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  • Cameron Williams
  • 11-25-19

There are indeed classic scrapes

James Acaster is a comedic genius and this proves it. The Skydiving story made me laugh so hard I had to take a rest to recover.

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  • tony richardson
  • 11-20-19

Funnier than Tolstoy

Silly, odd, childlike stories that don’t even really sound like comedy, but had me wheezing with laughter. Best audio book I’ve bought in ages.

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  • Aaron Matthews
  • 10-31-19

Lacks any Acaster charm

Generally tedious stories delivered without any of Acaster’s usual energy or style. Has some moments but the stories aren’t funny enough on their own for such a straight narrative.

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  • HelenB
  • 10-23-19

Brilliant!

This is such an enjoyable read and I would imagine better than the conventional book because of Acaster's brilliant narration!

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  • Louise
  • 10-05-19

World of whimsy

James is funny. He tells funny stories which are all the funnier because they happened to him. But it all went on a bit too long for me to stay interested.

I thought him narrating it would be a good thing, but he read so quickly and without much emotion - as if he was racing through just to get the job done.