Review of ‘James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes’

Kettering’s finest comedian confesses his weirdest and most embarrassing moments in this book, first published in 2017. I didn’t actually laugh out loud at any point, but I did smirk very often.

Recently declared the worst ever contestant on The Great British Bake-Off, James Acaster is now a comedy A-lister, having risen slowly but steadily to fame. This book was prominently on display at the Waterstones in his hometown. What I took for a moulting green parrot under his arm is actually a cabbage. He once spent £150 decking out a kid’s bedroom with various types of cabbage, in retaliation for being continuously pranked with cabbages (and also related vegetables such as Brussels sprouts). The ‘scrapes’ in the book are tales of revenge gone wrong, narrow escapes, bad luck, misunderstandings and just being James Acaster. Each chapter is amusing and may even have deeper messages about humanity and the mysterious workings of fate.

James’s brand of comedy is deadpan and understated, with that classic British emphasis on petty triumphs, insulting yourself in addition to other people, focusing on eccentric details and going off on a tangent. I also like the honesty which is clear on every page. No one could make all that stuff up. I can’t find any fault with this book because it’s an expression of the author’s character and I’m not sure what else I could’ve expected. Some of the material was first aired on the radio, but as I never heard it, all of the material was new to me. He has another book due out this year (Perfect Sound Whatever) and I’m also going to see his live show, Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999.

8 thoughts on “Review of ‘James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes’”

  1. Ahahahaha aomg I thought it was a parrot too! Was that his intention? To make it look like a parrot? Glad you enjoyed this book! Hope you’ll enjoy his show too! Pls do review it too! Have a great weekend, my friend!

    1. I have no idea why it looks like a parrot!
      The show is not until much later in the year, but I will try to review it too.
      Thanks Jee, hope you have a great weekend too 🙂

  2. I do like James Acaster – I think it’s very difficult to write a book like this that actually makes you laugh. I’ve never seen him live but from what I’ve seen of him on the TV I think you’ll have a great time at his show!

    1. I liked the book a lot. He is one of those understated sort of comedians. The chapter about the cabbages was the best 😀

  3. Can anyone tell me if this book would be suitable for my kids and I to listen to in the car?

    1. I wouldn’t say it was suitable for kids due to some adult content and language, unless your kids are older teens. I haven’t read the audiobook so I don’t know if it’s any different.

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