My Shit Life So Far by Frankie Boyle

My Shit Life So Far is meant to be a comedic observational autobiography by comedian and topical panelist Frankie Boyle. Boyle libel caseFrancis Martin Patrick Boyle, known as Frankie Boyle, is a Scottish comedian and writer, well known for his pessimistic and often controversial sense of humour. He was born on 16 August 1972 in Glasgow, Scotland to Irish parents. Boyle attended Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow. After leaving school he attended Aston University to read Urban Planning but he left after a year. He then moved to Sussex University to start a BA in English Literature. His first job was working in a Mental Health Hospital but got his big comedy break after performing at The Stand Up Comedy Club in Edinburgh, a venue that has also helped launch the careers of Johnny Vegas, Dara O Briain and Michael McIntyre. Frankie Boyle can provide very witty and very funny stand up comedy but he can also be offensive, so he is rarely on TV now. Boyle currently lives in Glasgow with his partner, Shereen Taylor, and has two children. When I saw his auto-biography My Shit Life So Far in the local library, I thought I would read it and try to find out what made Frankie Boyle tick.

The first section of Boyle’s autobiography concerns growing up poor in Scotland during the 80s. Is the best part of the book for me. The author’s view of his childhood and teenage years is both honest and insightful. He is not trying to impress or be overly funny, he is being disarmingly reflective. The bits and pieces about his life, alcohol and drug shit lifeexperiences and the occasional story were interesting but shallow. Some additional detail would have made a huge difference and made the book more interesting. There are more jokes than biography, but that is Boyle playing to his strengths. His private life is, largely, kept to himself and he focuses on what has defined his comedy. There are some touching moments and even interesting political ideas mixed in with the trademark Boyle humour.

The second part of the book is Sex and Drugs and Comedy. I did not find any of it all that insightful, nor was it funny, especially when he was presenting skits that he and a friend had written while stoned. Parts of this book were funny; some of it was offensive, most of it, however, was just disappointingly dull. I cannot recommend My Shit Life So Far but several other biographies and auto-biographies are reviewed on this site: As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me…-james-m-bauer/, Wasted, Humble Pie, White Slave…o-pierre-white/Any One Can Do It…ncan-bannatyne/, Serpico, My Scotland, Our Britain…y-gordon-brown/, Born Fearless…g-phil-campion/, Losing My Virginity…ichard-branson/.

Valerie Penny


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