My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up

Now that he’s turned to public advocacy on a variety of political and cultural issues, it’s intriguing to look back a decade to the British bad boy who defined no-holds-barred comedy at the end of the aughts. Both hilarious and harrowing, Russell Brand details his life in what the New York Times calls “a child’s garden of vices,” from his toddlerhood as the hyperactive and attention-deficient child of divorced and dysfunctional parents, to a young man consumed by sex, heroin, and cocaine.

As raw and honest as his stage performances, Brand doesn’t attempt to mitigate any aspect of his life on the page — the book starts just after he’s entered a sex addiction clinic in Philadelphia — but instead of appalling readers, his blunt truthfulness renders his story more compelling and his recovery a triumph.

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