Hello, my dear listener chum. Are you here to read a review of Miranda Hart’s audiobook Is It Just Me? Well, pour yourself a tea and let us begin.
Not strictly memoir-structured, Is It Just Me? still functions as a memoir of quirky anecdotes from the comedienne’s life, sectioned off in chapter topics like “jobs” or “hobbies.” Hart uses these topics as a springboard to relay hilarious stories about accidentally hitting a woman in the eye with a prawn at a fancy restaurant or her shirt getting stuck over her head just as her boss walked in after a rogue supplies adventure in bouncing on massive rolls of bubble wrap. What’s more, the stories are told through conversations between Miranda (Big M) and her teenage self (Little M). The suspense, of course, is that she doesn’t tell Little M of her success as a light entertainer and meeting her idols French & Saunders until the end of the book, leaving Little M to spend the entire book wailing awfully at all of the life goals that Big M hasn’t checked off.
Miranda Hart is a comedy actress and creator of sitcom Miranda. She is the author of Is It Just Me? and Peggy and Me. She appears in Hollywood films and TV shows like Not Going Out, Hyperdrive, and Call the Midwife. @mermhart
On a personal note, I often think about what my younger self would think about some of the things that I get to do in New York, some of the people I get to meet, some of the things I get to see. There’s no way she would have thought any of it possible. I enjoy listening to someone else have similar conversations with her young self, even if it means struggling through buckets of the teen slang from the time.
If the book has a weak point, it’s the technology chapter, which is largely spent explaining to Little M what email and cell phones are. Considering these are not revelations to the reader (my dear listener chum, MDLC), it’s abuse of the imagined dialogue device.
While there are many relatable “is it just me” moments in the book (the chapter on hypochondria especially speaks to me), as many of her observations are attributes of human nature, there are more than expected “is it just me” moments that I couldn’t relate to, though I knew I was supposed to. Then again, at least one of them she cites as happening to everybody except people who live in New York. Fair enough.
In the end, it’s about being happy. Little M is unhappy with Big M’s life because she didn’t tick all the boxes of the goals she’d set up for herself when she was young, aside from getting a dog. But Big M is happy, and she wishes Little M could be happy in knowing that when she grows up, she’ll be happy, regardless of how many boxes were ticked. It’s a book about coming to terms with who you are and enjoying being yourself, however quirky.
Summed Up: A fun romp with thoughtful, inspiring moments. Audiobook highly recommended, as Miranda Hart is a delight to listen to.
Jaime Pond is the editor of Anglonerd. She lives and works in NYC.
Originally posted Nov. 23, 2013