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Lessons in comedy

12 September 2014

Leigh Hatts considers a narrative from the world of stand-up

The Gig Delusion
Andy Kind
Wilmott Books £4.95

"THE GIG DELUSION is a novel, not an autobiography," says a note at the back of this book, which is described as "a laugh out loud novel set against the backdrop of the UK comedy circuit".

But I tend to feel that this must be partly an early autobiography, since the young author is a comedian and mentions fellow performers. One who appears is Paul Kerensa, who has also published his "confessions" (Books, 12 July 2012). Indeed, both are Christians, represented by the same agency. Andy Kind claims that being a Christian in comedy is not so much a role as a reason for people to avoid car-sharing. The book is peppered with such asides, and much self-deprecation.

But readers with preconceived ideas about Christians might be surprised by the swear words, a description of sharing a dressing-room with strippers, or the advice on how to avoid late-night propositioning in the toilets. "Something isn't funny because it's clean," observes Kind, who later adds that laughter acts as a sort of "leaf blower for the soul".

The novel opens as Kind goes to London to seek an agent. It is the challenge to meet the all-consuming demands of the reluctant agent which is described in some hilarious detail in these 219 pages. Those who often speak in public to a non-hostile but still unreceptive audience that is not about to leave may find sympathy and useful tips here.

This tale of tension, obsession, and love has a message that a reviewer cannot divulge without giving away the ending. But it can be said that there are several messages worth reflecting on. Marriage requires concessions by both sides. Everyone should have a sensible work-life balance. 

Leigh Hatts is a writer and online journalist.

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