Read Lolly Scramble

Lolly Scramble: A Memoir of Little Consequence, published in 2005, is collection of autobiographical essays by New Zealand-Australian comedian Tony Martin. A second volume, A Nest of Occasionals, appeared in 2009.

Tony Martin manages to make the mundane somehow magical in his often self-deprecating memoirs. My favourite story was his time in the advertising industry. “Are you asking or are you saying?” The book was all made better with Martin’s reading.

I always wondered about the association between Tony Martin and Damien Cowell, but they both have the skill to put a spotlight on the everyday and leave the world forever different. Personally, it had me thinking about my own past and how sometimes life is about perspective.

“Damian Cowell” in Episode 10: Keith Richards In A Time Machine Part 3 | Damian Cowell ()

Bookmarked Barack Obama’s Memoir Is an Exercise in Tragic Realism by George Packer (The Atlantic)

Autobiographies of famous people are almost always disappointing. The demands of public life degrade literary prose: the euphemisms, evasions, forced optimism, and name-checking; the pressure to please different constituencies; the need to project one’s personality onto a huge stage; the relentless schedule, the lack of time alone. Living with one eye on popular opinion and the other on history kills the inwardness without which writing turns into making statements. The great can’t afford to be honest. Too much of anyone’s life is failure and disappointment; too much of greatness has the smell of monomania. No—they have to learn from every setback, move on to the next “challenge,” find inspiration in ordinary people, and if they had it to do all over again, they wouldn’t change a thing. The masks they wear become their faces. Even the words they write themselves sound ghostwritten.

George Packer reflects on the challenge of memoirs and autobiography.