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His own stories in his own voice. Paul Kelly reads his award-winning 'mongrel memoir' in its entirety on 16 CDs, plus bonus disc with guest readers Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Judy Davis and Ben Mendelsohn.

Paul Kelly is a uniquely gifted storyteller, and here, using his lyrics as starting points, he reads stories of his life and his songs, including 'Before Too Long', 'To Her Door', 'Leaps And Bounds', 'Don't Start Me Talking', 'Dumb Things', 'From Little Things Big Things Grow' and 'How To Make Gravy'. Mirroring the structure of his legendary A to Z shows – where he performs around a hundred of his songs alphabetically over four nights – Kelly describes the highs and lows of performing, the art of songwriting, being on the road with the band, tales of his childhood, family, friends and fellow musicians.

He is then joined by special guests on a bonus disc as some of Australia's finest actors – Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Judy Davis and Ben Mendelsohn – each read a selected chapter.

Playful and honest, insightful and intimate, How to Make Gravy is an irresistible reflection on both the big and little things in life.

Paul Kelly has recorded seventeen studio albums as well as several film soundtracks and live albums, in an influential career spanning more than thirty years. His prose has appeared in Meanjin, The Monthly, Rolling Stone and The Age.

OVER 17 HOURS UNABRIDGED ON 16 CDs READ BY THE AUTHOR plus BONUS DISC

'The pre-eminent writer of his generation.' The Weekend Australian

'This book delivers.' Sun-Herald

Reviews

The pre-eminent writer of his generation.

The Weekend Australian

Paul Kelly is the Bob Dylan of Australia. This autobiographical work ... provides more than ample evidence of it ... Every line is an enlightening treat.

Robert Messenger, Canberra Times

Kelly yarns about his life, his work and his obsessions with low-key, self-deprecating humour ... How to Make Gravy is a delight.

Linda Jaivin, The Monthly

A carnival of ideas; memories of songs and friends, family, cities, shows, passions; insights into his own and reflections on other artists' work ... The flavour of Kelly – his openness and honesty and passion for the detail of life – suffuses the book ... The closest we've come to an insight into the thoughts and work methods of this great poet.

Peter Wilmoth, The Weekly Review

Here is a body of work that goes far beyond the cliche of Kelly as a plain-thinking everyman of folk-rock ... This [book] is diverse, funny, moving and elaborate.

Sydney Morning Herald

A very generous book ... Worth every cent.

Jeff Jenkins, InPress Magazine

Paul Kelly's reminiscences about 30 years of creative endeavour have it all ... Call it a gift.

Michael Dwyer, The Age

Fascinating ... It has a vigour, intelligence and humanity ... a wealth of insider detail about life at the coalface of the music industry.

Ray Puris, West Australian

Totally original ... really great stuff ... the writing is to die for.

Kerryn Goldsworthy, The Australian

This book runs like a concert, shifting moods, tempos and subject matter ... Kelly is, I think, the pre-eminent writer of his generation. His body of work stands against any novelist, playwright or filmmaker as the definitive narrative of recent decades.

Toby Creswell, Weekend Australian

Kelly is a consummate storyteller.

Deborah Crabtree, Australian Bookseller & Publisher

The Bard of the People has turned his career-spanning A-Z shows into a fascinating autobiography ... Often hilarious.

Time Out, Sydney

An entertaining insight into Kelly's inspirations, influences and personal creative process ... His writing talent stretches far beyond songs ... Not just for fans.

Herald Sun

Kelly is not only an acute observer but also a very good, often inspired, writer ... Kelly has a great deal to tell us ... This book delivers.

John Clare, Sun Herald

A hundred tales that traverse the emotional, the personal, the historical, the factual and the political.

Mel Bampton, Yen

Provides insight into Kelly's inspirations, influences and creative process, showing him to be a man of gentle humour ... His writing talent stretches far beyond songs.

Susan Bugg, Daily Telegraph

A long and winding book full of engaging tales.

Kathy McCabe, Daily Telegraph

Stands apart from the run-of-the-mill rock biography template ... The memoir you'd expect from Kelly ... A rare peek into his very private world.

Julian Tompkin, X-Press Magazine

Funny, moving, entertaining and perilously easy to read.

Sunday Telegraph

A very good read indeed ... Fascinating ... A must-have.

Mary Vernon, Townsville Bulletin

A most unusual memoir ... Kelly is a very talented songwriter and he proves a damn good storyteller as well. If you're interested in music, you have to read this.

Glen Humphries, Illawarra Mercury

The singer, songwriter and musician has a lot to say ... Compelling reading.

Shepparton News

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781926428321

    November 30, 2011

    Hamish Hamilton

    36 pages

    RRP $59.95

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9781926428277

    October 3, 2011

    Hamish Hamilton

    576 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9781742531700

    November 8, 2010

    Penguin Apps

    576 pages

    RRP $17.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742531441

    September 22, 2010

    Penguin eBooks

    576 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • Australian Book Industry Awards
    2011
    Winner
    Biography of the Year
  • Australian Book Industry Awards
    2011
    Shortlisted
    Book of the Year
  • Indie Award
    2011
    Shortlisted
    Non-Fiction
  • Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Awd
    2011
    Shortlisted
    Prize for Writing for Young Adults
  • Prime Minister's Literary Award
    2011
    Shortlisted
    Non-Fiction
  • National Biography Award
    2012
    Shortlisted
    Prize for Writing for Young Adults
  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards
    2012
    Shortlisted
    Douglas Stewart Prize
  • Melbourne Prize for Literature
    2013
    Shortlisted
    Best Writing Award

Also by Paul Kelly

The Dismissal
Triumph and Demise
The March Of Patriots

Recommendations

The Princess Diarist
Talking As Fast As I Can
Finding My Virginity
Bon: The Last Highway
Endurance
The Boy Behind the Curtain
Everything to Live For
The House on the Hill
How To Be A Bawse
When Breath Becomes Air
You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody)
Lion: A Long Way Home
Mindhunter
Young Hitler
The First Casualty
Sticky Fingers
Not Your Average Nurse
The Fair and the Foul
The Man Who Climbs Trees
Life in the Garden