Book – Don’t Laugh, It’ll Only Encourage Her
Author – Daisy May Cooper
Year – 2021
Pages – 420
Genre – Autobiography
Bought for me by Alex
(Book 2 of 2022)
We seem to be having a great run of excellent sitcoms recently in the UK, and – along with Stath Lets Flats, Ghosts and Motherland – This Country is one of the very best around. Written by Daisy May Cooper and her brother Charlie who also star as Kerry and Kurten, it is a mockumentary about the ups and downs of life in the small towns of the countryside. Daisy May Cooper is an absolute stand out star in it, and has since gone on to start making a real name for herself in the comedy world. I am a big fan, and so this book was a great Christmas present.
I’ll mention from the top that the ridiculous photos she has chosen to adorn the cover made me laugh as soon as I opened the present. There is just something about her that is inherently funny. This is evident at many points in the book. The story of how she accidently auditioned for a job as a stripper is genius, as is the scam of a showcase that she was involved in. She is one of those people who manages to often just get herself stuck in the most outrageous situations no matter what she does.
There are a couple of major failings of the book though which is a bit of a pity. Firstly, despite mentioning very early on how she understands that the early parts of someone’s life in an autobiography are often the duller bits, she really does spend some time on them. Kids do the funniest things is not anywhere near as interesting as fully grown woman is still doing the funniest things, and it took until about halfway through the book to really start warming up. Secondly, it ends just as they get to This Country. I am sure that this is because it often quite lucrative to do a second autobiography, but that is a big disappointment to this read.
Despite all of this though, it is a fun and humorous read, yet one with some real moments of tenderness as well. Reading about the quite genuine and real poverty that they went through at certain points in their lives is heartbreaking, and even with the warmth and light that Cooper tries to put into it, the sense of desperation comes through. If she ever turned her hand to writing something dramatic, I am certain that it would be incredibly well done.
I enjoyed this book, and will certainly read the inevitable follow up, but was definitely left wanting more.