A Liar's Autobiography

Author: Graham Chapman
Type: aBook
Date Released: 0000
Format: mp3
Language: English
Page Count: 0
Isbn10 Code: -
Isbn13 Code: -

A Liar's Autobiography (Volume VI) is a mostly true, though outlandishly told, accounting of the life of Graham Chapman of Monty Python fame. First published in Britain in 1980, it was republished in 1999. Unusually for an autobiography, it has five authors: Chapman, his partner David Sherlock, Alex Martin, Douglas Adams, and David A. Yallop. Adams' sole contribution was in the form of a sketch written by himself and Chapman for the television pilot Out of the Trees, which was rewritten for the book in the first person and passed off as a real event. The '99 re-released version contains a foreword by Eric Idle. One of the things that emerges from any history of Python -- from, for instance, David Morgan's Monty Python Speaks! -- is how much of a slacker Chapman was in the Python group; how completely his writing relied upon Cleese's more disciplined input, how late he was to every meeting, how lackadaisical was his approach to the practicalities of living. His autobiography is perfectly candid about the slapdash side of his personality, but it also manages to convey his energy, his capacity for kindness and the unique, mad slant of his particular genius. He relates the events of his life--his ordinary childhood, his time as a medical student at Cambridge, his Python years, his drinking, his mountain-climbing-- through the unique prism of his looniness. Some of this is lies ('Thinking of muons and quarks I invented the 'gluon' or at least sub-atomic particles of adhesiveness I term 'fettons'...'), most of it is painfully and precisely true. Chapman doesn't spare himself, or his fellow Pythons or anybody else. It's often very funny, although some of it is a bit too agonising to raise a chuckle. There is a lot of sex, with both men and women, described in detail, which sometimes interrupts the flow of the narrative. After one vivid episode the narrator has to stop: 'This description had made me feel so ... uh ... uhm... ah ... excuse me ...' But underneath the hedonism and the wackiness, the comic drawings and arch footnotes is a certain nihilism. 'What are we?', he asks at one point. 'We are tubes--hollow cylinders of flesh. What is our expectation from life? Regular fulfilment of primitive functions at both ends, coupled with the thought that we must leave at least something behind us, very much in the same way that a dog pisses against a tree.' Perhaps there's some bleak vision like that behind the work of many great comedians. Book Jacket First published in 1980, A Liar's Autobiography, Volume VI is Graham Chapman's extraordinary and surreal account of his more than eventful life--whether as mountaineer or medical student; actor or alcoholic; heterosexual groupie guzzler or homosexual coming to terms with himself. He was a celebrated member of the Monty Python team and his zany wit became familiar to millions of viewers worldwide in assorted roles as military colonel, policeman and doctor and as the eponymous hero of the Python film The Life of Brian. 'It's the Magna Carta and Valley of the Dolls all rolled into one ...' -- Michael Palin 'Required reading for Monty Python fans.'