Title: Help

Author: Simon Amstell

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Vintage

The Blurb


Simon Amstell did his first stand-up gig at the age of thirteen. His parents had just divorced and puberty was confusing. Trying to be funny solved everything.

HELP is the hilarious and heartbreaking account of Simon’s ongoing compulsion to reveal his entire self on stage. To tell the truth so it can’t hurt him any more. Loneliness, anxiety, depression – this book has it all. And more.

From a complicated childhood in Essex to an Ayahuasca-led epiphany in the Amazon rainforest, this story will make you laugh, cry and then feel happier than you’ve ever been.


The Review

I like Simon Amstell. I liked him on T4 and on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and I won’t lie I miss his acerbic wit on television.

I downloaded his audiobook Help because I thought it would be funny and entertaining and it was but it was also honest and revealed more about the star than I knew before.

It was raw and it showed a vulnerable side to Simon Amstell. It is only about 3 hours long but I recommend it to anyone who misses this curly haired fellow on our screens.

Help by Simon Amstell is available now.

For more information regarding Simon Amstell (@SimonAmstell) please visit www.simmonamstell.com.

For more information regarding Vintage (@vintagebooks) please visit po.st/VintageHomepage.


Title: Birdsong

Author: Sebastian Faulks

Pages: 518 Pages

Publisher: Vintage

The Blurb

Set before and during the Great War, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. Over the course of the novel he suffers a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experience of the war itself.

The Review

Birdsong had been recommended to me by a book loving friend and after putting off reading it for a very long while I decided to pick it up and give it a read.

To say that I loved Birdsong would be a lie. I liked it. I truly did but I did feel that it was very slow paced but equally I knew that it needed to be. It wasn’t a high octane thriller and times were simpler then so I shouldn’t have been shocked.

Whilst Birdsong is a bit of a slow burner there is no denying that it has a massive impact on the reader. The scenes between Raymond and Isabelle are sultry and you are completely engulfed in their love affair and absolutely torn apart by the events that unfold. Equally, Faulks’ descriptions of the trenches are heartbreaking, brutal and give you the reader the feeling of being on the front line with the soldiers. There were many times when I felt the breath leave my body and felt the crushing claustrophobia described in the novel.

I can honestly say that I am glad I read Birdsong. It isn’t ever going to be my favourite book but it definitely gave me a perspective of war that I hadn’t considered before and Faulks writing is captivating.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks is available now.

For more information regarding Sebastian Faulks (@SebastianFaulks) please visit www.sebastianfaulks.com.

For more information regarding Vintage Books (@vintagebooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk/vintage.

35 Stars