This Much is True by Miriam Margolyes was first published in September 2021 by John Murray Press and runs 448 pages.
Miriam Margolyes recounts stories of her life from her birth in 1941 and her upbringing with her Jewish parents, her burgeoning ‘queerness’, her stint as a voice actor in a pornographic audio story for Ann Summers to her eventual success as an actor and beyond. The book takes you on a journey through all of the highs and lows of Miriam’s life, offering insight into the challenges she’s faced throughout, both professionally and personally.
Since this book is a memoir, the main and most important character is its author, Miriam herself. Now, if you’ve never heard of Miriam Margolyes, then you have been missing out. She’s an actress, writer and voiceover artist known for her many roles in radio, film, Tv and on stage, though most will probably know her for her role as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films. She’s a perfect interviewee (at least for the viewer) and is often wonderfully outspoken and vulgar in her anecdotes, holding back very little – if anything at all – on almost every subject. She speaks very frankly here about all of her sexual exploits and experimentation and about the relationships with her parents and her partner of 53 years, Heather. I love Miriam, although I know she isn’t to everyone’s taste.
The Writing Style
Margolyes does an excellent job of weaving together personal narratives with some cultural commentary. The book has a nice conversational flow, and I love the way she describes places and things. She paints a very vivid picture of the homes she’s lived in, as well as some of the furnishings found within them, such as the marble cherub and the houndstooth parquet flooring her mother was so fond of. It’s an easy read, and I found it incredibly difficult to put down, which is frustrating when you’re busy. Her humour is plain on almost every page, offering some light-hearted moments even in the midst of some of the more serious passages. It’s a compelling and heartfelt memoir, full of brutal honesty, making for an interesting, funny and, at times, emotional reading experience.
I have loved Miriam Margolyes since I first saw her interviewed on Graham Norton’s chat show years ago. Around that time, I had been going through a rather dark stage of depression, and, having just stumbled upon that particular episode by chance, I ended up crying with laughter. I have since watched any and all interviews she’s given, and she never fails to make me laugh. because of this, I thought I’d heard all of her funniest stories, but I was wrong; there are so many parts of this book that made me chuckle out loud.
If you are already a fan of Miriam’s, then this is certainly a book for you, and if you’ve never heard of her, then I recommend giving the book a read, but warn that you must keep an open mind and prepare for lots and lots of adult language and graphically descriptive scenarios. If you are easily offended or faint of heart, then maybe, skip this book, and read something a little tamer.
I am giving This much is True a good 9/10.
Have you read ‘This Much is True’? did you like it?
As always, thank you for reading my review. It really does mean the whole world.
Until next time,
© 2023 GLT