“No life can really be all black, right? Even during the darkest times, what got me through that bleakness was laughter and time. With enough of both of these things I reckon you could get over just about anything.”
Nick Frost burst onto our screens in a blaze of camo fatigues and weaponry as the Territorial Army obsessed loveable idiot Mike Watt in the hit cult comedy Spaced. Since then, fans around the world have watched him with a fervent devotion as he fought zombies, rescued aliens and salsa’d his way to box office smash after smash.
It’s quite a story. But it’s not this story. This story isn’t the romp from movie set to Hollywood party. This is a story of a life like no other.
With blistering candour Frost recounts his childhood growing up in Essex in a household full of love and optimism but tragically blighted by alcoholism, illness and sudden life shattering misfortune.
Dogged by his own personal demons, Nick tells of the hilarious, jaw dropping and at times heartbreaking experiences that have punctuated his tumultuous life.
Nick Frost is possibly best known for his roles in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Paul. He’s probably also best known as Simon Pegg’s best bud. After reading (or listening) to this audiobook, though, you’ll know him as a very funny, friendly, yet introverted fellow, too. I didn’t know anything about him outside of his film roles, so I was very interested in listening to this audiobook. I was not disappointed — this could be one of the top five audiobooks I’ve listened to this year.
In some ways, Truths, Half Truths & Little White Lies serves as a great companion book to Simon Pegg’s Nerd Do Well (which I also really enjoyed), as we get Frost’s side of the story — and, actually, he writes more about his early friendship with Pegg. It’s perhaps inevitable, and a bit unfair, that many people will see this as supplementary to Pegg’s work. But in this memoir, Frost shows that he is just as funny — indeed, there were certain comedic stylings that leapt out at me as familiar from the movies, which I thought was an interesting insight into who may have written which scenes and jokes. (Pure speculation on my part, of course.)
Frost takes us through his youth in England, and his difficult family life — by turns hilarious and very moving. He describes his troubled relationship with his parents, his mother’s alcoholism, and also jumps forward to discuss their deaths and the regrets he has. It was incredibly moving. Ultimately, though, his memoir covers his life up to his first proper TV role in Spaced, touching only at fleeting moments on the movies that shot him to stardom when they can help place events in greater context.
Frost delivery and performance is excellent: clear, often hilarious, and quite typical of what his fans will have come to expect. He’s self-deprecating, sometimes biting, and comes across incredibly honest (brutally so, at times). His sense of humour is very British, but I don’t think this should turn off non-Brits. I was particularly surprised to learn of, and interested to hear about his time on an Israeli kibbutz.
I really enjoyed this — listening to it in two marathon sessions — and I’m very glad the author suggests there will likely be another volume in the not-too-distant future. I’m looking forward to his memoir coving the Cornetto Trilogy, Paul, and so forth.
Very much recommended for all fans of Frost’s work.
Review copy received from Audible UK