Can’t Stand Up for Sitting Down is Jo Brand’s second autobiography following on from Look Back in Hunger. I really enjoyed Look Back in Hunger, so much so that I wrote a book review: Book Review: Look Back In Hunger by Jo Brand. I couldn’t wait to read Can’t Stand Up for Sitting Down, so did it satisfy my expectations?
Brand starts with an author’s note stating that this book is more a collection of memoirs rather than a chronological writing of significant events in her life like Look Back in Hunger. The book is split into three distinct sections: Trying To Be Funny, Being Jo Brand and The Box.
Trying To Be Funny is about her comedy career but it felt really vague. I remembered how Brand wrote quite detailed accounts of her time as a Psychiatric Nurse in Look Back in Hunger, yet when writing about her more recent comedy career it lacked details.
Being Jo Brand is about her personal life. In this section Brand gives her opinions about what she likes; as well as writing about her labour political values, her family and friends and what it’s like “being clocked” – recognised by members of the public.
The Box is mainly about TV, Radio and Celebrities. Brand includes a chapter entitled “Writing This Effing Book” were she writes about the volume of words needed to complete this book. Reading this chapter made it click in my head, the word I wanted to describe how this book felt to me: strained. It felt as though Brand stretched out her autobiography to fit into a second book. I had high expectations for this book and unfortunately it didn’t quite meet them.
However the book does have funny and interesting chapters and is well worth a read, especially if you’ve read Look Back in Hunger, as it completes her story. Can’t Stand Up for Sitting Down is available to buy on Amazon.