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Summary

Rob Beckett never seems to fit in. At work, in the middle-class world of television and comedy, he’s the laddie, cockney geezer, but to his mates down the pub in south-east London, he’s the theatrical one, a media luvvie. Even at home, his wife and kids are posher than him.

In this hilarious exploration of class, Rob compares his life growing up as a working-class kid to the life he lives now, trying to understand where he truly belongs.

Will he always be that fat kid who was told he’d never be a high-flyer? Why does he feel ashamed if he does anything vaguely middle class? Will he ever favour craft beer over lager? What happens if you eat 50 olives and drink two bottles of champagne? Why is boner such a funny word?

In search of answers, Rob relives the moments in his life when the class divide couldn’t be more obvious. Whether it’s the gig for rich bankers that was worse than Matt Hancock hosting the GQ Men of the Year Awards, turning up at a swanky celebrity house party with a blue bag of cans from the offy or identifying the root of his ambition as a childhood incident involving soiled pants and Jurassic Park, Rob digs deep.

A Class Act is his funny, candid and often moving account of what it feels like to be an outsider and the valuable (sometimes humiliating) life lessons he’s learned along the way.

©2021 Rob Becket (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Pacy, witty and affectionate." (Guardian)

What listeners say about A Class Act

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A fantastic read

I loved this book because it goes deeper than the average comedy memoir, it explores class, and it’s effects on everyone in this country. Rob is a hugely empathetic person and he writes about people from all walks of life without judgement and puts his points across beautifully.

I loved the stories about his family, who universally sound like wonderful people, I hope they’re all really proud of him and this book.

All in all, a great listen.

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Meh

I love Rob Beckett…. But if it makes sense just sounds like he has just read it for the first time for recording. Funny but fast and robotic. Shame. still a legend tho.

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Great story, poor quality edit.

This is a really interesting read despite being a shorter book than similar autobiographies by other comedians. The only thing that lets it down is a poor quality edit where other noises could be heard while Rob is reading, the last word of a sentence is cut off halfway 5/6 times during the book and a whole sentence is repeated in the education chapter (4:12:28).

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Loose neck comic's take on class

Like many other comedians South East London funny man Rob Beckett has used time off the road resulting from 2020's lockdown to write a book. Rob describes himself as a "loose neck" comedian, which is, apparently someone who is naturally funny and does not perform his stand up act from a script (that would be a tight neck comedian). His natural wit and charm is infectious and he is a natural raconteur for which the audio book format is an ideal way to enjoy his anecdotes of being a working class man with a middle class wife and kids. Listening to this book feels more like a five hour comedy routine than the usual "comedian writes book about his life" type book. His family sound hilarious and I would love to see his mum Big Sue as she sounds as funny as Rob. Class is a thorny subject and has rarely been tackled convincingly in comedy since John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, and Ronnie Corbett's famous sketch in 1966. Rob Beckett pulls it off though and I loved the story of him arriving at Jimmy Carr's house party with a six pack of lager. Five stars.

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Brilliant.

loved it, a really honest book, both emotional and funny. I found it relatable in terms of not feeling sure where you fit in.

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Loved it!

A great read/listen. Funny, thoughtful and insightful. Well done Rob, read so well despite how nervous you were at the time of recording.

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Really good

I really loved this book. I am a fan of his so had it pre ordered. Put it on as soon as got home from work and listened to it in one go. He narrated it really well. It was funny and bittersweet. Was surprised that he was depressed when he had everything, for no reason. But it was a great book that I really enjoyed and highly recommend.

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And Breathe!

I quite enjoyed this book,. Rob Beckett is a lovely bloke and I know he naturally speaks quite fast but I feel some reading out loud lessons would have been prudent for him as he barely drew breath and seemed to pile through this book like a steam train, not stopping at any stations which sort of ruined it a bit for me. I was fiddling with the speed button trying to find a way of slowing him down. I am sure he would have been able to turn a 4 hour book into 6 hours easily!

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brilliant and very open

love Rob beckett and how true and open he is about feeling the pressure of earning money

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blooming wonderful

great story's felt alot of the same feelings apart from being a world renowned stand-up of course but great taking about mental health and struggles the part about Australia made me tear up a little i dont know why 😂 great book will be getting the hard back copy

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  • Adrienne Warg
  • 20-04-22

Excellent!!

I love Rob Beckett! He’s hilarious. It was so interesting to learn more about him as a person. I was surprised to find how much I could relate to. As an American woman, you wouldn’t think we would have too much in common but it just goes to show when you write from the heart and are honest about your life experience, as Rob has done here, it can’t help but resonate with a wide variety of people. Thanks for making me laugh!

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  • jay
  • 03-02-22

Must Own!!

Absolutely love this Audio Book! Even being from The United States you can relate even know we are from different Countries

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  • Michael Davis
  • 11-12-21

Very insightful and revealing narrative

I come from a similar background to Rob and throughout the book I wondered why he was so hooked up on being ‘working class’, something I never experienced.

In the end he gave an extremely insightful opinion as to why. I won’t spoil it, but it suddenly all made perfect sense.

A really entertaining book from a bloke I once saw down the pub but was too insecure to say hello to!