Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Lucy Family Alphabet

I've been keen to read The Lucy Family Alphabet since it came out way back in 2008 but I'd never managed it, so I was thrilled to find the audiobook sitting on the shelves of my local library a few weeks ago. It seemed a perfect antidote to my recent harrowing experience of driving around listening to Les Miserables (see my review).

In fact I've been meaning to read memoirs written by comedians for some time. It seems a genre worth pursuing. It stands to reason that they're a funny and insightful group of people and so their books should be funny and insightful too.

Presented as an alphabet, the book starts with A for Adoption, and the rather harrowing story of how Judith came to know at age 25 that she was adopted during the Worst Christmas Ever. Which is a big call given the average Lucy family Christmas. Judith describes the most common reaction from her friends. 

"Oh my God, you must be so relieved."

Judith had a rather unconventional childhood in suburban Perth with her adoptive Irish Catholic parents so that we end up with fun chapters like M is for Maggots followed by M is for Makeup.  

Our view of normal wasn't everyone else's.

Judith clearly sees her family in their warts and all state, but her genuine love and affection for them all shines through. It was sad to hear about her brother Niall's shrine to smoking in C is for Cigarettes knowing that Niall would later die of lung cancer. Judith deals with the deaths of her parents in her inimitable style. 

You know you're having a good day when you're relieved when a hearse arrives.

My respect and admiration for Judith grew when she recounted under P is for Pets how she longed for a Siamese cat after reading The Incredible Journey (see my review) when she was 8, and then named her new kitty Tao after the cat in the book. Of course Judith's Tao is nothing like the one in the book...

Listening to The Lucy Family Alphabet was a bit like driving around with Judith delivering a soliloquy in my car. It was fabulous. And indeed a great change from Les Mis. I was able to drive around chortling, and possibly snorting at times instead of crying. Highly recommended. 


AusReading Month 2015 at Brona's Books


Brona said...

I've always enjoyed Judith's laconic, self-deprecating humour. she'd be great to listen to as an audio book. I loved her on triple J all those years ago.

Brona said...

PS audio books count for AusReadingMonth :-)

Louise said...

I've always loved her too. I think I must have moved on from triple J by the time she was there. And big oops, I totally meant to link this to AusReadingMonth- will fix that pronto.

I'm Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Another book that's not available here in the US. Sigh.