“If you are a fan of Eddie Izzard, then you will love this book. If you are not a fan of Eddie Izzard, then there is a good chance that this book will make you one. The experience is akin to him sitting down and having a chat with you, which, we can all agree, sounds delightful.”
—Thomas Burns Scully, Popdust.com
"[A] candid new book...The comedic tour de force [Eddie Izzard] opens up about his mother's death, coming out as transgender, and his quest for romantic love."
—Catie Lazarus, Out Magazine
"Beloved British comedian Eddie Izzard [writes] with the same wit and candor that characterizes his stand-up [and] tackles his sexuality, his troubled childhood, and the tumultuous early days of his career, even as he recounts his many excellent roles, albums, and tours."
—Maris Kreizman, Vulture
“What [Believe Me] adds is the larger context of the life — not just what thrills [Eddie Izzard], but what wounds him and what drives him…There is more to it than sadness, however. Izzard’s chronicle is reminiscent of his shows, a stream of surprising associations, full of footnotes and copious asides on subjects like NASA and Action Man.”
—Nick A. Zaino III, The Boston Globe
“Getting a peek behind the curtain with regards to a guy like this is a rare treat. Believe Me is that peek, a glimpse at the inner workings, the gears and cogs that make a unique personality such as Eddie Izzard tick…All of it is engaging and heartfelt and unwaveringly honest. And oh yeah – it’s pretty freaking funny too.”
—The Maine Edge
“Laughter trumps sorrow in candid comedian Eddie Izzard’s Believe Me.”
—Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair
“Beloved comedian, actor, and writer Izzard…shares intimate details about his life and is emotionally transparent throughout this splendid memoir…The book is both funny and painful, and ultimately uplifting.”
“A wicked, beautiful man has written a wicked, beautiful book about his (kind of?) messed up life and it’s…perfect.”
“This book is a raw, honest exploration of what it means to live your truth, to be unapologetically ambitious, and to walk through fear over and over again. It’s about being brave. And hilarious. It reminded me that walking through fear almost always leads to happiness.”
“I had never heard of Eddie Izzard before, but judging by this delightful memoir, he has a glittering career ahead of him. I particularly enjoyed his descriptions of working in a Vatican slaughterhouse, acting as Deputy Foreign Minister in Gladstone’s first administration, his whacky exploits at his uncle’s Taxidermy Cafe, and his tragic death at the age of only eight at the Morris Dancing Finals in Bruges.”
“Eddie Izzard is my favorite stand-up chameleon.”
In this witty and honest memoir, performer Izzard (Dress To Kill) chronicles his life and career thus far. Izzard, age 55, knew at an early age that he wanted to be an actor and began doing plays and musicals in primary school. Izzard moved often, owing to his father's job at BP Oil. At the beginning of the book, he details one of the events that greatly affected his life: losing his mother to cancer when he was just six years old. Izzard developed a knack for comedy eventually leading to his success as a stand-up comic and actor. Throughout, he candidly discusses his experiences as a self-professed transvestite and his family's reaction. This account feels as if the author is having a conversation with the reader rather than simply sprouting information about himself. Readers will enjoy the diary-like aspect. VERDICT For Izzard's followers, this is definitely worth the read. Well written and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, it's recommended for fans of comedy and theater and those who appreciate wicked and honest repartee.—Holly Skir, York Coll., CUNY
The cross-dressing, multilingual comic speaks on matters from "the basic bloke-in-a-dress look" to international affairs.Born in the British protectorate of Aden in 1962, Izzard claims he is "a really boring person" who just happens to have swallowed several libraries' worth of books and lived a fairly interesting, if sometimes difficult, life. His mother died when he was very young, leaving it to a put-upon father and the English school system to raise him; he tends to divide the world into the time "before Mum died" and all the rest of it. One consequence: Izzard is an adamant atheist who holds that if there is anything like a god, then that deity has some explaining to do on matters such as "WWII, Hitler, bowel cancer, and Croc shoes." Croc shoes may be one thing, but the author's own garb of plastic trousers, frock or kimono, and black eyeliner was a choice that resulted from an effort to bring the glam aesthetic of David Bowie et al. to the comedy stage. Izzard charts a tough trajectory, from the first glimmers of a career at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 35-odd years ago to a kind of niche superstardom that has put him in concert films, dramatic and comedic movie roles, and other vehicles. Unusually, too, he has taken to performing comedy routines in several European languages, as a statement of universality and fraternity. Here, apart from recounting that path, he takes the opportunity to philosophize—earnestly and much less humorously than one might expect—on many issues of the day, from transgender rights to the struggle to replace pessimism with optimism in a time of hatred and fear. "Despair is the fuel of terrorism," he writes, "and hope is the fuel of civilization, so we have to put more hope into the world than despair." Izzard's many fans will enjoy his reflections, less outlandish than expected and more rueful than boastful.