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Ricky: The Autobiography by Ricky Tomlinson

Ricky: The Autobiography

by Ricky Tomlinson

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Great book this.
I dont usually read autobiographies but this one I can highly reccommend.
Ricky has had such a busy life and this book tells the tale. He comes across as such a genuine nice bloke. (Athlough I am sure he has his moments) Easy to read, enjoyable book. ( )
  Daftboy1 | May 17, 2012 |
There are very few characters in the world like Ricky Tomlinson. A larger than life comedic actor, who has also breached the music charts, he has come from humble beginnings and retains his working class values, even now, when he could quite easily have turned his back on his working class upbringing as so many other stars have done.
If you live in America then odds are you have never even heard of Ricky Tomlinson whereas across the pond in the UK he is a household name who is probably most famous for his roles in the soap opera 'Brookside' and the deadpan sitcom 'The Royle Family'. He has also starred alongside Samuel L Jackson in the movie '51st State', as well as many other roles in non-Hollywood movies, and had a top 40 hit with the song 'Christmas My Arse'.
So what about the book? Well, it's a no holds barred account of his life where he airs his dirty laundry and leaves the reader to draw his/her own conclusion. What I liked about this approach was that I never felt like I was reading propaganda or a book intended to make me like Tomlinson. Instead he told his life stories as he viewed them whether it be his association with the NF (National Front - a far right, whites only political group that he regrets being a part of), his time spent in jail for picketing building sites or his affairs outside of his long term relationships. Whether or not one agrees with his logic and reasons (his excuse for cheating on his partners amounts to him falling in love easily with other women) you have to admire his ballsy approach to the subjects he recounts. The style of the writing portrays his personality very well and the book reads as he himself speaks.
Coming from a working class background myself I found I was able to relate to a lot of his stories such as Tomlinson only having an outside toilet when growing up and often having to tear off strips from a discarded newspaper to wipe his arse with. Yes TMI but that's how it was back then. It's amazing he actually became wealthy at all as throughout the book are numerous recollections of incidents that show he's terrible at handling money.
Even though I often didn't agree with his reasoning for his affairs, or how he handled certain situations, I ended up with an admiration for him as a person for beyond all the faults he appears to be a man with a good heart. Actually, it wasn't that good as he had a quadruple heart bypass performed in 2007! To this day he partakes in a lot of charity work and donated a million pounds to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in 2008.
The most harrowing part of the book details his accounts of spending two years in prison beginning in 1972 for the "crime" of conspiring to intimidate workers who crossed the picket lines. Today, in 2011 he is still campaigning to have his name cleared of all wrong doing as he was set-up by the then Conservative government due to Tomlinson being too active in trying to get workers rights, safety and pay at an acceptable level in the building industry.
Overall this autobiography gives insights into the life of a working class man and his journey through to fame and wealth and yet, throughout the journey, he stays true to who he his and where he has come from. ( )
  BookMarcBlogpants | Jan 9, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 075153403X, Paperback)

Famous as the lovable couch potato Jim Royle of The Royle Family, Ricky Tomlinson has entertained millions without ever leaving his armchair. Now, in his long-awaited autobiography, he surprises yet again with a remarkable story of love, hardship, humor, injustice, and triumph. His mother used to tell him that he had lived three lives, but even she miscounted. He has been a plasterer, banjo player, stand-up comic, union agitator, political activist, film extra, award-winning actor, and unwilling guest of Her Majesty's prison service. Renowned and respected for his honesty, wit, and integrity, Ricky brings all of these qualities to his extraordinary and inspiring story.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:45 -0400)

Known to millions as Jim Royle, Ricky Tomlinson is one of the UK's best-loved actors. His mother used to say he'd lived three lives - but even she miscounted. Here he recalls his time as a banjo player, plasterer and comic, as an activist and unwilling guest of Her Majesty.… (more)

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