I had a rather depressing morning!
As my continued love for audio books grows, I have taken to the genre of comedy. My latest download being the auto biography of Michael McIntyre, "Life and Laughing".
Certainly one of my favorite comedians today, I was delighted when I started listening to the book, that it was in fact also narrated by the funny man himself.
The opening chapters have been amusing and the story of Michael's life is tremendously well told and filled, as you would expect, with numerous and humorous anecdotes.
I have listened to this book while walking on the street (being conscious of literally laughing out loud and how that looks to passers by) and also while driving to work and back. My desire to hear more of this story each day has prolonged my commute as I have deliberately slowed down my driving.
I jumped in the car this morning and the wonders of Bluetooth, Samsung and Jaguar all worked together to start Michael talking automatically. "Chapter 13" were the first words I heard. "What tales would Michael have collected for this unlucky number" I thought to myself. Until now, the book had been tremendously successful in recounting a host of self deprecating stories of Michael's life to the age of 17. Each day I have left my car with a spring in my step and a broad smile on my face as I took pleasure at poor Michael's challenges as a youth.
As I set off on the road to work, I settled down in the slow lane and listened intently. The chapter focused on Michael's relationship with his father. They had lived apart for many years following a divorce and Michael's father was living far away in the USA. The tone of this chapter took a turn from the others. It was emotional and heartfelt and took on a seriousness the previous pages did not have. You could feel Michael's pain in being apart from his father for extended periods, and as the chapter moves on, it culminates in the sudden death of his father while in the United States and away from the children he adored. For me, listening, it became a struggle to concentrate on the road. The re-telling of these events from Michael was heart wrenching. There was a somber tone and as I held myself together, I was expecting Michael to break down while telling his story. He didn't! He remained composed and serious and conveyed an amazing amount of emotion and feeling.
I stepped out of the car feeling somber and quite shaken, but also tremendously moved by what I had just heard. It was the same as it would have been if a close friend had shared a very private story with me ... but then, after all, it was just me and Michael in the car.
The chapters' telling has affected my entire day ... which is why I feel compelled to write this blog entry this afternoon, as I have to get this heaviness off my shoulders.
I also mean this to be a testimony and compliment to Michael McIntyre. I have admired him as a stand up comedian. As I have been going through his book, I was beginning to admire him as an author and an excellent narrator, but he deserves astonishing credit for what he has achieved in chapter 13. He has stepped away from his comfort zone, dug deep, shared and given us readers (or listeners) a profound look into a very personal and private part of his life. He moved from being just a funny man to being an eloquent writer who can move peoples emotions with words on a page. A rare talent!
My congratulations to you Michael and my condolences to you on the loss of your father,. My thanks to you for making me laugh and cry and providing me with so much joy in whatever form you perform.
I can't wait to go home today and listen to chapter 14!