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  • Published: 15 January 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784705695
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $19.99


Revealing, uplifting, heartbreaking - this is stand-up comedian Simon Amstell in his own words.

'A beautiful and clever book about being human' Russell Brand


Simon Amstell did his first stand-up gig at the age of thirteen. His parents had just divorced and puberty was confusing. Trying to be funny solved everything.

HELP is the hilarious and heartbreaking account of Simon's ongoing compulsion to reveal his entire self on stage. To tell the truth so it can't hurt him any more. Loneliness, anxiety, depression - this book has it all. And more.

From a complicated childhood in Essex to an Ayahuasca-led epiphany in the Amazon rainforest, this story will make you laugh, cry and then feel happier than you've ever been.

  • Published: 15 January 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784705695
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Simon Amstell

Simon Amstell is a comedian, screenwriter and director. He wrote and directed the film Carnage, wrote and starred in the television series Grandma’s House, and his past stand-up tours include To Be Free, Numb, Do Nothing and What is This? He also hosted some popular television programmes but is now too pretentious to list them here.

Praise for Help

No one makes loneliness and anxiety as funny as Simon Amstell. Every sentence in this book is simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious

Hadley Freeman

Disarmingly, almost alarmingly, honest. I laughed out loud 57 times

Martin Freeman

A beautiful and clever book about being human. All the warmth of his comedy without the inconvenience of his face

Russell Brand

Enrapturing. Touching, funny and sweet

Alain de Botton

Puts the fun in 'insanely honest introspection fun'

Adam Buxton

Amstell is a likable, self-deprecating guide to his own flaws, and has spent enough time in therapy to dissect his own navel-gazing with a nicely dry self-awareness

Stephanie Merritt, Observer

Hilarious and heart-breaking. Simon's unique take on the world is a reminder of the absurdity of life and the humour that can be found even in its darkest moments. Genuinely life-affirming, moving and profoundly funny


Compulsively, excruciatingly honest. An heroically spiky, self-excavating read about family, fame, sex and self-discovery

Alice Jones

This book blends some of the best moments from his tours to date with some eye-wateringly honest anecdotes from his life so far

Adam Ouxbury, Wing Magazine

It's inevitable that Simon Amstell's memoir doesn't fit the usual mould. In Help..., he cranks up the honesty: alongside excerpts of scripts from his shows, he relates the source material, often in almost painful depth. Depression, an unhappy childhood, family rifts - all feature in what Amstell, typically acerbic, describes as a "heroic act of self-annihiliation"

Hannah Shaddock, Radio Times

Amstell is evocative and wittily self-aware about his upbringing as a painfully shy, socially awkward boy in Romford. Amstell's writing often contains profundity alongside morsels of pithy wit

Steve Bennett, Chortle

Stand-up transcripts interspersed with touching personal confessions - love, sexuality, self-discovery - in his trademark sardonic style

Sarah Flynn, Irish Times

Amstell is one of the UK's best stand-ups and this beautifully written memoir. Is a gem. It is brutally, excruciatingly honest about his dysfunctional family, his sexual awakening, his comedy career and his struggles with anxiety. It is also laugh-out-loud-on-public-transport funny.

Alice Jones

Hard to imagine anyone not loving this... go Simon Amstell!

Stephen Fry

A brilliantly funny, sad, clever, silly book. I loved it!

Matt Lucas

Help provides a fascinating insight into Amstell's life. a unique discussion on the role and purpose of comedy in our society as a means to protect ourselves and others, but also as means to reveal our most vulnerable states

Thomas Bransby, BJGP

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