Mature Times reviews 100 Things I Meant to Tell You by Arthur Smith
He’s a bit of a national treasure, a grumpy old man and has been described by non-other than fellow comedian Jo Brand as “Having a voice like pork scratchings tumbling over gravel and a face you could snuggle into”. He also happens to be one of my favourite comedians.
His name is Arthur Smith and he’s just released a new book which, to be honest, had me laughing pretty much all the way through! Called 100 Things I Meant to Tell You it’s literally a ragbag of his escapades across the years, part memoir and full of its fair share of rants, jokes and as Smith describes them baffled recollections from bits of his life.
But it’s not all about humour either, its also about his own history and that of his family. I won’t spoil it but I found the piece about his father’s war experiences and subsequent time as a POW especially moving as was the one about his mother’s journey into dementia.
Smith is a sprightly 64, but his tales about his “own” Second World War exploits as told to his nephew were lapped up, especially the time he spent six months in France undercover as “Jacques the Boulanger” before fleeing across the Alps to Switzerland and then making it back to England to take part in the D-Day Landings. Of course his nephew and friends didn’t twig that Smith wasn’t even born when the Second World War ended so I don’t know if this anecdote says more about the gullability of the young of today or about the “naughty” side of Smith’s personality – whatever it’s still very funny!
And these are just a few of the many such anecdotes that litter these pages. All set out in short chapters, which makes it an easy book to read. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Smith and his life. We are all perhaps a little bit guilty of not laughing enough in life – buy this book and you will go some way to remedying that!
100 Things I Meant to Tell You by Arthur Smith is published by AA Publishing and is out now in hardback priced at £12.99.