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Still Standing: The Savage Years (2012)

by Paul O'Grady(Favorite Author)
4.11 of 5 Votes: 4
0593069390 (ISBN13: 9780593069394)
Transworld Publishers
review 1: I have just finished reading Paul O'Grady's 3rd instalment of his autobiography which has left me with mixed feelings.I really enjoyed the stories of performing around the UK in various different acts and groups. The tales are set before Lilly found her legs and won the admiration and affection of the Gay scene and the public through his TV shows. I loved the tales of interactions, the put down lines and the description of the dives played. It guaranteed a few looks on the tube because of the smile on my face, or when I laughed out loud. I loved the path of becoming Lilly, finding the courage to go from a mime act to a live act we came to know.The book details the devastation that was AIDS & HIV during the 1980's. Detailing the heart break of losing friends, the attit... moreude adopted through fear, ignorance and hatred that surrounded this disease. It demonstrated the courage of the Gay community during this time and the courage of the drag acts like Lilly Savage, Adrella and Regina Thong. Through their charity work, they raised awareness, raised money and entertained and try to keep up the spirits of the community at large.The part of the book that left me with mixed feelings or slightly deflated, was towards the end of the book. You jumped from the 1980's to the present day and recounting trips to China & Tibet, stage show and writing screen plays. I know there is a lot of history in Paul's life but I would of preferred to know about his first big break into TV, the transition from Drag star to one of our popular TV personalities. It ruined the flow of this section of the book and even lost some of it's charm in the telling of a story.Overall I enjoyed the book, it is not as funny as the first book but is better than the second book.
review 2: I thought this book was an excellent read and I totally enjoyed it from start to finish.‘Still Standing’ is the third (and as he says final) in the trilogy of autobiographies written by Paul O’Grady and this one charts his life from the birth of Lily Savage (his drag comedy alter ego) and tracks his career as he (she) tours Britain and parts of Europe non-stop, observing all aspects of life as he (she) goes.The beauty for me in this book is the way that O’Grady delivers a turn of phrase. I have always found him to be an extremely intelligent, honest and witty bloke and this attitude shines through a style of writing that is vibrantly honest and enlightening. He always makes intelligent reference points when explaining his emotions and this technique is totally golden for me. He continues to come across as such a natural storyteller and a fellow observer of life again here.The backdrop of this book is also interesting as much at it is sad. O’Grady as Savage started out his career in a range of gay bars and he talks openly about how the AIDS virus all but decimated much of his audience and friendship group. He also makes many references to Liverpool, Birkenhead and touring around the North of England. I loved his account of the Toxteth riots and it only illustrated for me how much he injects humour into everything, even compromising and potentially dodgy situations – I suppose this is what helped to give Lily her ‘edge’ and style. The one minus point of the book lies with its chronology and organisation and, like other Goodreaders, I found it a little bit perplexing to know that most of Lily’s ‘golden years’ of fame are not included in the book as the main narrative stops just before Lily found her mainstream TV glory. I find this a particular shame as her rise to the top as a drag act in mainstream comedy was quite ground-breaking in the UK. What a pity that some of her exploits have not been charted here (I’m sure there must have been many) – or is this indeed another book (hope so)? Whatever the case, I loved this read and enjoyed all of the tales from start to finish. I indeed hope that O’Grady does write another autobiography because his writing is beautiful and I sure there is still more life in the old dog yet!An absolute treasure to read. Highly, highly recommended. less
Reviews (see all)
loved this, made me laugh made me cry, particularly great descriptions of his early days in drag
Love Paul, love him even more after reading this. Surely there's another book in the pipeline!
An abosolute gem, with wit, and a excellent life story of Grady's early year's.
Enjoyable but not as interesting as Paul's earlier books which I really loved.
I think it's impossible not to love him.
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