A multi-award-winning actor, writer, comedian and presenter known for his warmth, humour and inspired impressions, Rob Brydon has quickly become one of our very favourite entertainers. But there was a time when it looked like all we'd hear of Rob was his gifted voice.
Growing up in South Wales, Rob had a passion for radio and soon the Welsh airwaves resounded to his hearty burr. However, these were followed by years of misadventure and struggle, before, in the TV series Marion and Geoff and Gavin and Stacey, Rob at last tickled the nation's funny bone. The rest, as they say, is history. Or in his case autobiography.
Small Man in a Book is Rob Brydon's funny, heartfelt, honest, sometimes sad, but mainly funny, memoir of how a young man from Wales very, very slowly became an overnight success.
Rob Brydon was brought up in Wales, where his career began on radio and as a voiceover artist. After a brief stint working for the Home Shopping Network he co-wrote and performed in his breakthrough show, the darkly funny Human Remains. He has since starred in the immensely popular Gavin and Stacey, Steve Coogan's partner in The Trip, and was the host of Would I Lie to You? and The Rob Brydon Show. He now lives in London with his wife and five children.
Moved by a particularly inspirational tweet one day, Ali Wentworth resolves to live by the pithy maxims she discovers in her feeds. What begins as a sort of self-help project quickly turns into something far grander—and increasingly funnier—as the tweets she once viewed with irony become filled with growing metaphysical importance. And thus begins her “Unhappiness Project.”
It’s not all that long before Ali expands her self-improvement quest to include parenting, relationships, fitness (or lack thereof), and dieting advice. The results are painfully (at times literally) clear: when it comes to self-help, sometimes you should leave it to the professionals.
“Razor-sharp.”—Cosmopolitan“Irresistible. . . . Sharply observant and incisively funny.”—Library Journal
"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist
"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal
"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.