Jimmy Carr is one of the most famous comedians and presenters on the planet, but did you know he was also pretty handy at penning self-help books? For anyone in search of a self-help offering that’s as funny as it is enlightening, Carr’s Before & Laughter is a great option.

The question is, should you simply pick up and read the 2021 offering from Carr? Or, does it have a higher value as an audiobook with the 8 out of 10 Cats presenter’s humor shining through?

The Perfect Light-hearted Self-Help Book

The self-help book industry has blown up in recent years, so it’s no surprise to see comedians like Carr coming up with their own offerings. According to PIA, the eBook market made more than $1 billion in 2020, and plenty of celebrities are getting in on the action. There are also well-known faces promoting reading, along with social media influencers.

Jimmy Carr’s offering is framed as a memoir that details key moments in the comedian’s life and career. However, along the way, the 50-year-old provides helpful life advice to readers. It is highly accessible, and many of the anecdotes within it are hilarious. The more serious content is cleverly made lighter with Carr’s classic penchant for one-liners.

The structure of the book makes it easy for readers to get into. It’s split into two key sections, entitled Before and Laughter. The first half deals with Carr’s experiences growing up and trying to make it. The second half discusses more of his life as a comedian and some of the major challenges he has faced.

Along with acting as a solid self-help book with plenty of valuable life lessons, the book will also appeal to fans of Carr who watch his shows. The Phoenix Remix noted how the combination of self-help and memoir was strange but commented on how well it worked.

Carr Has a Great Voice for an Audiobook

Before & Laughter has an impressive rating of 4.05 on Goodreads, so there’s no doubt that you should add it to your reading list. The tough choice will be deciding on a format to enjoy it in, however. It works perfectly fine as a written text, but it could be argued that it is better as an audiobook.

The fact that Before & Laughter has a higher rating on Audible than it does on Kindle should settle the argument. The written edition only has a rating of 4.4 out of 5, while the spoken offering has garnered a response of 4.8 out of 5.

There’s no denying that listening to the anecdotes with Carr’s voice in your ear gives an extra sense that you are experiencing everything from his perspective. He has a unique and enjoyable way of speaking, which is one of the reasons why he became one of the most sought-after comedians to host panel shows.

Before & Laughter is a must-read for fans of Jimmy Carr, comedy in general, or people who just want to be inspired. There aren’t many self-help books like it on the market. It’s probably better to listen to it as an audiobook, but reading the words should be enjoyable as well.

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