How I Escaped My Certain Fate, Paperback Book

How I Escaped My Certain Fate Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Experience how it feels to be the subject of a blasphemy prosecution!

Find out why 'wool' is a funny word! See how jokes work, their inner mechanisms revealed, before your astonished face!

In 2001, after over a decade in the business, Stewart Lee quit stand-up, disillusioned and drained, and went off to direct a loss-making musical, Jerry Springer: The Opera.

Nine years later, How I Escaped My Certain Fate details his return to live performance, and the journey that took him from an early retirement to his position as the most critically acclaimed stand-up in Britain, the winner of BAFTAs and British Comedy Awards, and the affirmation of being rated the 41st best stand up ever.

Here is Stewart Lee's own account of his remarkable comeback, told through transcripts of the three legendary full-length shows that sealed his reputation.

Astonishingly frank and detailed in-depth notes reveal the inspiration and inner workings of his act.

With unprecedented access to a leading comedian's creative process, this book tells us just what it was like to write these shows, develop the performance and take them on tour. How I Escaped My Certain Fate is everything we have come to expect from Stewart Lee: fiercely intelligent, unsparingly honest and very, very funny.


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Stewart Lee is a stand-up comedian that I was a big fan of when I was about... fourteen? But after that he wasn't really on tv at all until last year, and except for his involvement in Jerry Springer: The Opera I'd pretty much lost track of him. I heard this book recommended on Jackie Kashian's podcast The Dork Forest, and I'm glad to have read it. This book is partly a biography focusing on his career and on how he came to write some of his live shows, and partly heavily-annotated transcripts of the shows themselves, and I found it both interesting and hilarious. It also has several appendices about things which don't really fit the theme, one of which is about how he thinks Johnny Vegas is great (I disagree, but it was an interesting read).