Title: This Much is True
Author: Miriam Margolyes
Page Count/Review Word Count: 438
Miriam Margolyes is something of a national treasure, which I think is quite interesting because I’ve only really known who she is for a couple of years or so. It’s only been a month since I learned that her surname is Margolyes and not Margoyles, and I still don’t know how to pronounce it.
Margolyes is basically known for just being an interesting person who spins an entertaining yarn, and that’s really all she ever wanted to be. She’s always been proud of her ability to get on with people and to entertain them, as well as to adlib on pretty much any topic that’s required.
The interesting thing about this read is that I was reading it at roughly the same time as listening to David Attenborough’s Life On Air on audio book, and there were some surprising parallels and similarities. It was cool to hear them both talking about what it took to make it on the radio. They both talked about how important it was to speak as though you were only talking to a single person.
Margolyes has lived such an interesting life that her autobiography was always going to be fascinating, and I’d argue that some of the more interesting moments were when she was talking about her early life, before she was famous. She also doesn’t pull any punches when she talks about things like her sexual awakening, as well as sexual assault and homophobia, amongst other aspects of life as a lesbian in the sixties and seventies.
You can tell from watching her interviews that Margolyes is a gifted raconteur, and she shows that here. I’ve heard that she narrates the audio book and so that’s probably also worth checking out, but I was also pretty happy with reading the printed word. Her voice certainly comes across in the way that she writes things.
My biggest gripe would probably be that Margolyes is a bit of a name-dropper, but that’s fine for a memoir. It’s actually quite impressive to see how many different people she’s met throughout her life, and they come from all sorts of different walks of life. And more interesting than the people themselves were the anecdotes that she told about them.
All in all then, it’s a pretty decent memoir and definitely one that you should check out if you’re interested in learning about Margolyes’ life. In fact, it’s a pretty good memoir in general and has lots of tasty food for thought.