So, Anyway ... (John Cleese) - Crown Archetype - 2014 - 392 pages

John Cleese wrote this book to pay the alimony costs of his third wife.  However, it is well worth the $28 cover price.  Since so much has already been written about Monty Python's Flying Circus, Cleese planned this autobiography to cover his life from birth until just before the Python days.  But, since the Pythons reunited in 2013 (to pay legal costs), the publisher prevailed upon him to add one Python chapter at the end.  Throughout the volume, the Cleese wit is in full evidence.  He came from a modest and mostly uneducated family and knew little about the outside world until his love of comedy and sense of humor propelled him into various school performing groups that led directly to his writing/acting career in spite of a law degree that he never used.  Cleese has an excellent memory for anecdotes and hilarious stories that seemed to follow him.  He was also fortunate to have excellent working relationships with David Frost (1938-2013), Peter Sellers (1925-1980), Marty Feldman (1934-1982), Graham Chapman (1941-1989), Eric Idle, Michael Palin and others.  His relationships with the two Terrys (Jones and Gilliam) were troubling at times.  Cleese has no good words for his third wife (Alyce Eichelberger) and never mentions his second wife (Barbara Trentham) but fills many pages about the long affair and short marriage (1968-1978) to actor/psychotherapist Connie Booth who was certainly the love of his life.  Cleese is currently happily married to fourth wife, Jennifer Wade.  Read this book if you are a lover of modern humor.  [JAM 12/2/2014]