Book Review: ‘My Life’ by David Jason: Biography

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About David Jason’s My Life Book

‘As good as it gets…A great book’, states Chris Evans on the cover. The Daily Telegraph comments, ‘A life according to Del Boy, the ultimate cheeky chappy’.

Sir David Jason has given very few interviews in his time, so I was eager to learn more about the man that had become such an icon and a must watch on British comedy TV. According to Wikipedia ‘David Jason: My Life was shortlisted for the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards “Best Book of the Year”. A second volume, Only Fools and Stories: From Del Boy to Granville, Pop Larkin to Frost was published in October 2017.

This book was £9.99 and about 379 pages. It contains around 142,000 words. This book will take the average reader about 10.5 hours to read, with 60% comprehension.

I could not put the book down. An excellent choice to read by the pool on a summer holiday. If you have grown up in Britain you could not have failed to have seen David Jason in at least one of his many characters. Of course, his most iconic is Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses. And yes, the famous falling through the bar scene was brilliant. He talks about it in the book as an idea between the writer and himself. Or you may have seen him in Porridge, Open All Hours, Frost, Darling Buds of May. The list continues.

A Life of Comedy

He gave very few interviews. Here he is on Parkinson in 2007 talking about how short people go into comedy to protect themselves. He talks about being short in the book and how he was very thick. Not great at school. Saying that comedy came naturally to him because he had little else to fall back on.

David Jason’s My Life Book is about an Eastend boy that did well. Very well. Though it wasn’t without its dark moments. As a child, he was always having accidents or being ‘naughty’. Jason talks of building a bonfire amongst the ruins of the bombed houses of World War 2. How he was chosen to climb inside to light the bonfire. The other members of his gang lit it whilst he was inside calling for a lucky escape.

Looking back at his life, he is grateful and you get a sense that it almost didn’t happen on so many occasions. He was lucky. Though, as so many entrepreneurs put it – You make your own luck. David Jason certainly did. He never gave up. He never stopped believing, even when others did.

Purple infographic of the 30:10:5 Rule by MBM
Reading for 30, Writing for 10, and Teaching for 5 minutes is an effective strategy for learning retention

Final Thoughts

A must-read. If you loved his characters you’ll love his book. From the start, he grips you with his near-death experiences, and there is so much, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that’. Like when he dated Carole Collins and heard her brother playing the drums upstairs in his bedroom. The brother who just happened to be Phil Collins of Genesis!

Or, that his real name was David White. When put on the spot by the Equity people in a call to change his name due to one already existing, he thought of his favourite film, ‘Jason and the Argonauts’! I could not put this book down.

Book cover of David Jason My Life
It takes persistence to move your career forward

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