The downside to comedian memoirs is the necessary reliance on my inner narration. I don’t do these Ladies and Gs justice, I don’t narrate their interesting and exciting lives with enough panache. Which is the ultimate shame, because I am at the same age as Suttie is in this book, and my life isn’t nearly as interesting (though perhaps more financially solvent).
“Isy Suttie—stand-up comedian, actress and songsmith—has reached her thirties and realized her life is never going to be what she expected. She’ll never become that tennis champion, be an expert in birdsong or make a living from playing pinball. Yet Isy maintains her trusty “glass half full” attitude to life. Why? From goldfish-murdering mothers and housemates obsessed with VAT, to boyfriends who don’t appreciate gifts of homemade human-sized penguins, Isy delves deep into the vaults of her memory, writing with warmth, agonizing honesty and sharp humor to bring to life all of the scrapes that optimism have led her into.” GoodReads.
The Actual One recounts the moment in Suttie’s late 20s when she realised all her friends were growing up and she wasn’t one of them. It’s funny, entertaining and surprisingly familiar (considering I am not a comic, live with my parents, and have an intentionally limited social life).
The best thing about this memoir is Roy. (He symbolises the end of hedonistic youth and a more stable hedonistic adulthood.) Roy is/was a giant paper mâché Penguin. I’m beyond impressed. If anyone made me a near life-size model of a hollowed out animal they would instantly become my favourite person.
I’m seeing Suttie at a bookie talk & dinner on the second, I was tempted to make her a Penguin – but as she doesn’t know me and we have no shared Penguin experience, I can only assume she would think me mental.