By Toby Young
With a tremendous movie of the way to Lose neighbors and Alienate humans approximately to be published (starring Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, and Jeff Bridges), there hasn't ever been a greater time to have fun with this laugh-out-loud memoir from everyone’s favourite “professional failurist.” The Sound of No arms Clapping reveals Toby pursuing a glamorous occupation in Hollywood whereas attempting to stability his new existence as a husband and father or mother. Failure-and fatherhood-have by no means been funnier.
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Additional resources for The Sound of No Hands Clapping: A Memoir
There was something about the formality of a wedding, its official nature, which would make the decision to stay together more binding. When we promised to love and cherish one another, in sickness and in health, till death us do part, it was a promise we both intended to keep—and the fact that we would be making it in front of 130 witnesses would make it that much harder to break. There was another, less respectable reason why I wanted to get married: My best friend, Sean Langan, was about to tie the knot and I didn’t want to be left behind.
Qxd 4/4/06 10:05 PM Page 13 2 The Write Stuff In a bo ok called Oscar-Winning Screenwriters on Screenwriting, edited by Joel Engel, various titans of the profession talk about that eureka moment when it first dawned on them that they wanted to be writers. The tone is set by William Goldman in the first chapter: “What I do know is that you don’t become a writer because you want to be Jacqueline Susann. ’” Robert Benton (Bonnie and Clyde, Superman, Kramer vs. Kramer) traces his interest in writing to his childhood dyslexia; Ron Bass (Rain Man, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Entrapment) attributes it to the fact that he was bedridden as a kid; Michael Blake (Dances with Wolves) claims it’s because he felt a “metaphysical kinship” with his grandfather and great-grandfather, both of whom were published authors.
To me, it’s just like watching little bits of gristle, you know? Why d’you find it so. . ” As I struggled to answer this, I could see the cameraman darting about in front of me, getting the close-ups he’d been instructed to get: quivering lower lip, shaking hands, rapidly blinking eyes. This was turning into a nightmare. ” I stammered. ” It was like being interviewed about pornography by my mum. Indeed, Joan Bakewell was actually a contemporary of my mother’s at Cambridge. It wasn’t her intention to embarrass me—she seemed genuinely puzzled by what an educated chap like me saw in all this filth—but I felt exactly like I did when my mum discovered a pile of Playboys under my bed when I was fourteen.