13 Mar 2022


 Getting there, slowly but surely. After this only two more reviews to go {OK so one of them is for eight books} and I've finally caught up with all the books read last year. FGT


Who'd have thought a Dublin mammy with a cream cardigan and elasticated tan tights could storm British TV screens and leave a nation helpless with laughter?

In the last four years Brendan has had a No.1 TV show, performed to packed-out stadiums across the country and is even making a movie. But success didn't come easily.

The youngest of 11 children, his family endured extreme poverty and he saw no option but to leave school at twelve to work. He married young and for decades struggled to make ends meet. Eventually, bankrupt and desperate, Brendan went to see a fortune teller who told him she could see worldwide success as a comedian and actor in his future. At first Brendan laughed at the notion, but then he thought of how much his friends loved his gags, and decided to give it a go ...

This is the magical story of how a loveable Irishman with a wig and a wit as caustic as battery acid surprised everyone - most of all himself - by becoming one of the best-loved comedians in the world.

I never wanted a date with Agnes Brown, the Dublin granny with the arthritic knee, baggy cardigan, mouth like a sewer and more than a hint of facial hair. ... Back Cover Blurb

First Sentence & Memorable Moment ... Unfortunately this book was passed on to another reader before I could make note of either the First Sentence or my Memorable Moment.

My Thoughts ... Mention Mrs Brown Boy's and, whether they love the character/show or not, most people in the UK {and indeed in many other countries around the world} instantly think of the cardigan wearing, bespectacled Irish women with a mouth that, as my granddad would say, needs washing out with soap and water. Mention Brendan O'Carroll though and, whilst many will recognise him as the creator of Mrs Brown {Mrs Browne until the E was dropped}, few will know his story {I know I didn't} and fewer still will know much, if anything, of the remarkable woman that was his beloved mammy; a truly inspirational working class heroine, Maureen O'Carroll, a former nun with multiple children who served as Labour's Chief Whip from 1954 to 1957, the first woman to hold that position in any Irish political party. But I digress.

Not just for fans of the show, this gave a wonderful insight into a genuinely nice man {something confirmed by Mr T when he found himself sitting next to O'Carroll in a Newcastle pub one evening} with some interesting tales to tell. 

An entertaining biography that was easy to read. A real rags to riches to rags and then riches again story. Whilst some of the anecdote will be familiar to Mrs. Brown's fans {IE the actor's loyalty to his family and friends, many of whom have appeared in the TV programme/stage shows} many of his early life experiences are not perhaps so well known.

Not a fan of biographies per se, nor what I'd call a huge fan of Mrs Brown's Boys, it was the man behind the spectacles, cardigan and potty mouth that interested me and in this the book didn't fail. 

That the narrative was written in the third person did take some getting used to and in the beginning felt a little, well, impersonal but as the book went on I found myself so caught up in O'Carroll's life and many ventures {the descriptions of which could become a bit long-winded on occasion} that I hardly noticed, feeling myself one of the family to whom these stories were being relayed over a cuppa. 


Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I'm afraid this one wouldn't be for me, as my feelings about Biographies/Autobiographies/Memoires collectively (whichever you choose to call them), don't appeal to me, nor does "Mrs Brown's Boys".

Neither of us enjoy sitcoms as much as we did 'back in the day', albeit that many of those were not exactly PC, so could never be re-run today. I think it must be the whole thing of a man in drag as a woman, because neither of us enjoyed 'Bread', nor the Les Dawson/Roy Kinnear sketch where they played the two female neighbours gossiping over the garden fence.

Pleased that you worked your way through this book and that it was better than expected. Good Luck with the rest of your catching up! :)

Kelly said...

I do enjoy some memoirs, but more often if they're someone who is known to me. I'm not familiar with this character/man, so I'm not sure it really appeals to me. I'm glad you enjoyed it, though.

sherry fundin said...

i don't read a lot of memoirs, but sometimes one will surprise me. glad you enjoyed this one
sherry @ fundinmental

Gina said...

I'm not certain it would be the one for me, but I totally appreciate the catch up factor you mentioned on what you've read! I've a few I need to get typing/sharing on as well, but so many books...so little time. Happy reading, and thanks for sharing!

The Liberty Belle said...

Although biographies aren't what I typically go for, this seems like a good read.

nightwingsraven said...

I am not at all familiar with Mrs.
Brown and the creator Brendan O'Carroll.
And I am not certain if I would enjoy
this biography.
But thank you for your excellent review.