"unfortunately i had been taking the exams of the oxford university board which were regarded with snotty-nosed contempt by the university of cambridge. apparently, nobody knew anything about chemistry at oxford. they were all too busy lounging around in bottle-green velvet suits holding lilies and quoting lines by dennis keat..."

i am liking a liar's autobiography very much and although i've bought the book too i think listening to it has enhanced the experience many times. chapman has a fine voice, and in this case the unity of both the autobiographical i and the speaking i is very gratifying. then there is the fact that he was a writer foremost so that what he wrote had also intrinsic performative potential of sketches - all the dialogues were pitch-perfect - and he performed them with flair. the book itself was pythonesque - medley of sketch-like episodes and surreal sequences dispersed through out, and yet it all neatly tied up. running gags through the book from flying circus (biggles and the colonel appear throughout, the colonel stopping the chapter for raciness) and the ending of the book was seamless. and he was so charming and disarming and genuine and so very, very funny.

oh and he greatly endeared himself to me when he said about his emmanuel college interview: "when asked whether i was going to pass my a levels, i gave a definite no to physics." (he got 65%.)