July 1, 2015

book cover carry a big stick

Was I ever a fan of the Doug Anthony All Stars?  

No.  But my husband was.  But when I heard that DAAS member, Tim Ferguson, had come out with his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, and had written a book, I just knew I needed to read it.

I expected it to be self-serving, full of black humour.  After all, DAAS had pushed the comedy boundaries of good (and bad) taste.

But I was really surprised.  In a good way.  Tim allows us to get to know him, his family, and to see parts of his career that were not always pretty or successful.  The book is entertaining (a read it in one sitting because I couldnt put it down), and there was some laugh out loud moments.

Memorable anecdotes

  • working and winning over the Bear Pit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe ‘will they kill us early, or will they let us get through the show’
  • the time he asked the then Prime Minister ‘Where is the f’ing Prime Minister’
  • writing a ‘love letter’ to the then queen of breakfast television which led to a regular gig
  • working with cockroaches (who apparently cant be trained)

So, how does one of the most successful comedians deal with diagnosis of multiple sclerosis?  Without much fuss.  I guess anyone buying the book knows that Tim has MS, so there is little need for a ‘Big Statement’.  Vision problems - that go away.  Pins and needles - that go away.  

Like most of us, Tim put it down to living life (okay, he was living it more than most of us - but you need to read the book to understand how hard).  He takes us through the challenges of new symptoms, some that remit and others that dont.  Not looking for the reader’s sympathy, but I can imagine a few nodding as he finds little point in complaining ‘You’re on top of it … living the life, doing it all.  Runaway trains don’t stop for servicing’.

I’m not going to share how the story ends.  That wouldnt be fair to Tim Ferguson, nor to you.  You see, I actually enjoyed the book.  And so will you if ..

  • you were (or still are) a fan of Tim and the Doug Anthony All Stars
  • want the inside goss on comedy festivals
  • you want to see how someone who had it all, still has it all (just a different all), in spite of multiple sclerosis Don’t know who he is?  Check out the interview before you buy the book?