That’s because much of Rob Brydon’s autobiography is about his early years doing voiceovers for adverts and trying out comic characters with funny voices on the radio. Hearing Brydon recreate the voices in the audio version of the book gives them much more interest and humour than simply reading the words on the page – especially because, as Brydon self-deprecatingly remarks, for much of his early career as a would-be comic he had the problem of not being very funny. He even became known as the comedy warm-up man for shows who didn’t do jokes. The simple words on the page are rather flat compared to hearing him bring his characters, however imperfect their comic creation, to life.
Overall the book is like much of Brydon’s humour: gentle rather than exuberant, using the poignancy of events in his life to draw out the laughs. It is the tale of how he slowly, painfully became an ‘overnight success’ after years of trying. That means it is also a book which, although published in 2011 pretty much stops a decade earlier. It’s about getting to the top, not being at the top.
You can buy Small Man in a Book here.