Will Young has finally joined the scores of celebrities who have books about themselves on the shelves. The usual tomes are full of “shock” revelations and tedious romps through celebrity debauchery, usually ending on a redemptive note as the star reclaims his or her life back.
This book is as far from that genre as you can get and as such is thoroughly refreshing to read. Will penned the entire book himself and has a distinctive writing style. Rather than a straightforward autobiography, he presents us with a series of beautifully written anecdotes, musings and diary entries. There’s something altogether quaint and charmingly British about the whole thing, reminding me of celebrity memoirs from previous decades. The book even has a series of cartoonish illustrations by Kathryn Pinker, rather than the usual glossy photographs you’d normally expect, which adds to its retro charm.
The themes certainly aren’t old fashioned though and the book retains freshness and is written in an original and engaging style. He addresses the thorny issues of coming out in the media spotlight, experiencing depression, winning a TV talent contestant and what it’s like to have to undergo a make-over in front of the cameras on “This Morning”. He also writes candidly and with self-awareness about suffering from poor self-esteem and bouts of crippling depression as well as portraying his passion for what he does.
He details lots of hapless exploits and is self-deprecating in his descriptions of his actions. The anecdotes, which often feature Will as hapless yet entirely normal, cover how not to behave at London Fashion week, what not to do when meeting the Beckhams or Julia Roberts and what not to shout out to a row of disabled people at a gig.
The book is both funny and poignant and although Will isn’t reticent or coy in what he writes about, he manages to maintain a strong sense of dignity, a rarity in modern celebrity culture.
I’d recommend this entertaining and original book to anyone, whether they’re a big fan of Will Young or not.
“Funny Peculiar” is available from Amazon