ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Jo Brand Look Back In Hunger - A Review

Updated on April 4, 2012

 If you're a fan of Jo Brand her autobiography won't disappoint.  I received the book as a Christmas present and couldn't put it down.  I would have devoured the whole thing in one sitting, almost as quickly as I devoured the box of Lindor, drum of Celebrations and box of Belgian Seashells (I feel Jo would understand), but my family felt I should join in with the rest of the festivities and not spend all day reading.  My reading, therefore, had to be rationed.

 The book details her life up to the point where her stand-up career is beginning to take off.

It begins during a particularly bad bout of heckling whilst she is on stage at Loughborough Uni, and takes it from there.

Naturally enough, the early chapters cover her birth in Sarf London and young life with her parents and brothers.  I guess for alot of women of a certain age, there will be resonances with Jo's early childhood due to the common themes we experienced as a society in the sixties.

 The family moved around a lot, but Jo appears to have made friends with confidence and aplomb wherever she landed up.  She talks about the scrapes she and her brothers get into - you wouldn't have wanted her to baby-sit for you that's for sure.

 Like many young ladies in the sixties, she passed her eleven plus and went on to Grammar School, this time in Tunbridge Wells, where she had a great time and did well.  Things however began to fall apart when the family moved again and she had to change schools.

With the advent of the 'unsuitable boyfriend' and the promising delights of Hastings, her teenage years became troubled and the relationship with her parents strained.  But Jo talks about these times with honesty and humour that had me crying with laughter, partly because I recognised the stroppy teenager I once was. 

I'm sure these chapters will resonate with many teens of the sixties and seventies!

Throughout all of the turbulence, Jo manages to recount her antics and fights with her parents without rancour or recourse to blame, which prevents her memoir from descending into a wallow of self-pity.

Her teens are a riot of self discovery, pubs, bars, clubs and short-lived jobs, often in the realm of helping those less fortunate. All the while the 'unsuitable boyfriend' is ever present.

Eventually Jo's life implodes one too many times, Mum comes to the rescue and Jo sees the value of beginning something called 'a career'.

She describes university life, and some of the funny and frankly frightening antics she and her friends got up to, before emerging as a fully fledged Registered Mental Nurse.

Although Jo knew for many years (before embarking on Uni) that she wanted to do stand-up comedy, she actually took some time to get there. I suppose you can't do a course in stand-up and I guess it's not high on the curriculum of careers advisers.

Jo spent around ten years as a psychiatric nurse, and her memoir details some of the more unusual happenings during that time.

Eventually, she bites the bullet and makes a stab at comedy, but not before doing a few auditions for the stage. She describes one episode where she has to improvise, and the tears just rolled down my cheeks.

The book ends just as things are beginning to take off, so write another one PLEASE Jo!

As I said before, I couldn't put this book down and it made me laugh out loud several times. I'm sure there's nothing more annoying than being in the room with someone who giggles out loud at the book they have their nose in, but the family bore up well and didn't get too tetchy with me.

 Reading Look Back In Hunger has made me want to read Jo's other books; to my knowledge, she has written three others.

I think it's a testament to the quality of a book if it leaves you wanting more, which this one definitely did.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      7 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks, Karen

    • Karen Hoy profile image

      Karen Hoy 

      7 years ago from Wiltshire, England

      Thanks for this, I think that although celebrity memoirs are the ones that sell, some of the most fascinating stories are when they were just the same as the rest of us - sounds like this is a case in hand. I'll definitely put "Look Back in Hunger" on my reading list. Really nicely written, readable hub, thanks.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks, she's such a funny comedian.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks, she's such a funny comedian.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago

      It sounds very interesting.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)