Acting wasn't a long-held childhood dream for Larry Lamb, instead his childhood memories are filled with recollections of his parents continuously fighting.
His mother and father were totally mismatched, the only thing they shared in common was their children and life in the Lamb household veered from laughter and happy moments to hysterical outbursts and terrifying episodes.
Larry, the eldest of three children was only too often caught in the middle and found himself at the centre of his father's raging anger, tormented by a man who struggled with the enormity of fatherhood.
When his parents' marriage finally broke down, Larry's mother moved out along with her baby daughter and as they grew up, Larry and his brother, Wesley, lived with their father, seeing their mother and sister only in rushed meetings at bus stops and in public parks.
For years Larry didn't know where his mum lived and he didn't dare talk of her at home, his mother's presence left a gaping hole.
As soon as Larry was old enough, he left home. Putting as much distance as he could between himself and his volatile childhood, he set off on a journey that would take him to work as an encyclopaedia salesman in Germany, in the oil business in Libya and Nova Scotia until he found himself starring on Broadway.
In time it would take him to Hollywood too and bring him leading roles on the Square in Eastenders and in Billericay in the much-loved comedy Gavin and Stacey.
Along the way Larry wasn't just trying to make his own way in the world, he was seeking the close female companionship he'd missed out on with his mother too.
After a series of relationships, he found himself back in England and father to George.
Facing fatherhood was a pivotal moment, so easily he could have fallen into the ways of his own father but whilst his marriage to George's mother didn't last, he couldn't let the same mistakes be repeated again and he vowed to have the relationship with his son that he'd never been able to have with his father. Mummy's Boy is by turns heartrending as Larry recalls the relationship broken beyond repair with his father, searingly honest as he describes the effect his childhood had in later life and hugely entertaining as he tells captivating tales of making it as an actor, breaking out from his little world in Essex and finding himself in a new life on stage and screen. 'What a life! I loved it. Almost as good as sitting with him and listening to his stories.' Rob Brydon 'A wonderful story of survival against the odds told with compassion and humour.
This is so much more than a showbiz autobiography.' Anne Robinson 'Mummy's Boy manages to be touching, funny and uniquely warm all at once.
A must-read.' Best
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 384 pages, 2 x 8pp colour plates
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 15/03/2012
- Category: Individual actors & performers
- ISBN: 9781444715293
- EPUB from £3.99
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Review by LyzzyBee
(22 November 2012)Admittedly, I knew nothing of Lamb when I picked up this book, apart from his lovely character in the Gavin and Stacey series and the fact that he appeared in Eastenders as a villain. Unfortunately, he turns out not to be that attractive a character in real life, and not especially nice, especially to the (many) women in his life. He doesn’t seem to have got a huge amount of self-knowledge from the extensive therapy sessions he describes attending and although he does tell stories against himself, the book never really engages and doesn’t exactly light up the page. To be honest, he seems more fond of his house in France than most of his girlfriends, and the final chapters of the book, when he goes back to a couple of the locations of his youth, seem really muddled and an afterthought (there is a good bit about his appearance on Who Do You Think You Are, however). One that I’m glad I purchased cheaply from The Works, and will probably go on the BookCrossing pile