Review of Do you know what? – 5 Stars

Do You Know What?: Life According to Freddie Flintoff by Andrew Flintoff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Premise: Freddie Flintoff’s pearls of wisdom on an eclectic array of topics. Of course, the obligatory cricket is covered (I am not particularly a fan of the sport but I genuinely laughed out loud at his description of the locker room hijinks), there is a bit about his wrestling life, performing in a musical, and all kinds of other areas of his life.

I’ll be honest, I’m not often a fan of these celebrity, blow-their-own trumpet, did they even really write them, autobiographies, but for some reason, I was drawn to Freddie’s. I adore him in his new role at top gear, his camaraderie with the team is brilliant. I have found him quite hilarious in many of his other TV roles, so when I saw this pop up in the sale, I thought I’d give it a go and I was not disappointed.

Much of the book is very, very, funny, although it does cover some serious aspects including depression and some of the ups and downs of his life and career also. The writing style is great, and it does feel like he is actually talking, having a conversation in his own words, not what some journalist thinks he should be saying. It felt like a real insight into his personal and professional life.
I often think it’s useful to see an extract of a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

… I can’t handle rudeness, it makes my blood boil. Dishonesty really gets me as well. If somebody stitches me up, they’re done, it’s non-negotiable. Through the years, I’ve had plenty of people use me to climb the social ladder. People I thought were friends have used me and then dropped me. I won’t name them, but I hope they get found out.
I’ve also been betrayed by teammates, coaches and financial advisors. Sportspeople are easy prey, quite naïve in a lot of ways. When I retired from cricket at 31, I’d never paid any bills, that was all done for me. I was a sucker, used to lend money to friends willy-nilly and throw myself into things. My money was invested for me, a lot of it in….

Overall View: Honestly, highly recommended. Freddie comes across as open, honest, likeable and so much more human than the media persona everyone thinks they know. Funny with a tad of seriousness when needed. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I have bought his new book – Right Said Fred. Hopefully, it will be more of the same.

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Know Your History – 29th October – James Boswell born

Oknow your history - writingn this day… 29th October 1740 – James Boswell born.

James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (29 October 1740 – 19 May 1795), was a Scottish lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh. He is best known for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English literary figure Samuel Johnson, which the modern Johnsonian critic Harold Bloom has claimed is the greatest biography written in the English language.

On Writing

Samuel Johnson is remembered as the absolute epitome of the distinguished “man of letters”. But the key to his continuing influence could have its roots in a meeting with a young Ayrshire lawyer and diarist exactly 250 years ago.

James Boswell did not meet Dr Johnson, compiler of the first great English Dictionary and arbiter of literary taste, by chance.

The 22-year-old Boswell was allowed by his father to travel to London after passing a law examination and sought out a meeting with the literary Samuel johnson - a writer begins a book - a reader finishescolossus Johnson through a publisher friend, which took place on 16 May 1763. It was to become a close friendship, which lasted until Johnson’s death in 1784.

On the 16 May 1791, Boswell published the Life of Johnson, a book which is widely regarded as the first modern biography. He wrote about sex, depression, drink, rows with his father, the drudgery of law, the great spectacle of life in London and in Edinburgh.

Did You Know?..

 Boswell’s surname has passed into the English language as a term (Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) for a constant companion and observer, especially one who records those observations in print.

In A Scandal in Bohemia, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes affectionately says of Dr. Watson, who narrates the tales, “I am lost without my Boswell.”