At My Mother's Knee...: And Other Low Joints

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Transworld Publishers Limited, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 463 pages
3 Reviews
In his own uniquely acid tongue, Paul O'Grady traces the hilarious tales of life in Irish Catholic Birkenhead that took him from a virtuous altar-boy ("my first drag") to Britain's best loved entertainer. It's a life that includes, varyingly, stints in an abbatoir, as a social worker, in a high-class Mayfair brothel, and traipsing down to London to chase his dreams. By 23, Paul O'Grady had been a father, husband, drag queen, gay lover, divorcee, and degenerate. He did it all with a smile on his face, making a mental note to register the whip-smart one-liners that would later inform his star-studded path from the fringes of comedy to the heart of the British establishment, first as his own brilliant comic creation Lily Savage, then, triumphantly, as himself. Paul's remarkable childhood and early life is littered with a dizzying cast-list of rogues, rascals, lovers, fighters, saints, and sinners. Oh, and one iconic bus conductress. Told with pathos, love, empathy, and naturally, biting humor, the story of Paul O'Grady is that of everyman, everywoman, and inevitably, every drag act ever. He has been rich and poor, posh and common, straight and gay. He has mixed with stars and whores and all that's in between, slyly spotting the similarity between them all. His amazing and riveting life story reminds us that there is, when all is said and done, a bit of savage in all of us.

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User Review  - Lukerik - LibraryThing

This is my top surprisingly good read of the year. I was expecting some dire self-promotion but what I got was well written, consistently interesting, with clearly realised scenes. I liked it's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nenathaibezel - LibraryThing

Paul is bringing back many childhood memories for me, a lot of the characters and phrases are very familiar. Scousers are a big part of North Wales, as many families from Liverpool would holiday on ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Paul O'Grady first came to fame in the guise of Lily Savage, and was nominated for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991. He currently hosts The New Paul O'Grady Show.

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