Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

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What to expect

We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python – from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on a remarkable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theatre and film. Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie and Robin Williams, all of whom became dear lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout involving other close friends and luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, and many more, as well as the Pythons themselves, Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal parts hilarity and heart.

In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named for the song he wrote for Life of Brian and which has since become the number one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humour that has delighted his audiences for five decades. The year 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons and Eric is marking the occasion with this hilarious memoir chock full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life featuring everyone from Princess Leia to Queen Elizabeth.

Written and read by Eric Idle
(p) Orion Publishing Group 2018

Critics Review

  • As funny, wicked, naughty, eye-popping and compulsively, joyously brilliant as the genius who wrote it

    Stephen Fry
  • On the last day, when the last human beings look out at the blackened cinders of their world, I can only hope that one of them will sing, “Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad,” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” will ring out as humanity’s final words. I loved this biography of a song and the man who made it, and the picture he paints of his life, his friends, his passions, five Pythons and a Beatle

    Neil Gaiman
  • The Monty Python man embraced fame and became friends with George Harrison, David Bowie, Paul Simon and many others. This is an unashamedly starry autobiography, packed with hilarious name-dropping anecdotes

    Mail on Sunday Books of the Year
  • The pleasingly jolly tone of what he calls his “sortabiography” captures the daft glee with which the he and his fellow Pythons lampooned British authority

    Guardian
    Best Books of 2018
  • I read Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from cover to cover. My next mission is to read what’s between the covers. It’s a joy to read Eric Idle’s fully transparent personal stories of what got him to the present from birth. Any Monty Python lover or lover of honesty and the crafting of a hilarious comedian and musical genius will love this book. And love Eric as I do. Not to spoil-alert, but his stating that “Laughter is the best revenge” sums it up. Read every word of this book or I will hunt you down and read it to you. And you don’t want me in your house

    Bob Saget
  • If you’re Christmas shopping then Eric Idle’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is the perfect present. Very funny and touching

    Matt Lucas

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