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A Pocketful of Happiness

By: Richard E. Grant
Narrated by: Richard E. Grant
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Summary

An intimate and uplifting memoir by Richard E. Grant.

Born in Swaziland in 1957, Richard E. Grant moved to the UK to pursue his acting career and has been a fixture on our screens since his breakout role in Withnail and I in 1987. When his beloved wife, Joan, died in 2021 after almost 40 years together, she set him a challenge: to find a pocketful of happiness in every day.

The result is this book.

Set between the present day and flashbacks to delightfully indiscreet diary entries recalling landmarks from his remarkable life and glittering career, this is an immensely personal and profound memoir that celebrates and cherishes life’s unexpected joys.

Funny, moving and perceptive, A Pocketful of Happiness is an insight into the life of a much loved British actor.

©2022 Richard E. Grant (P)2022 Simon & Schuster Audio UK

What listeners say about A Pocketful of Happiness

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Beautiful & Moving - Pure Love & Raw Grief

An honest and emotional account of Richard and Joan's love and life together, and of her illness and death. Richard narrates as if he was confiding in you as a friend and this is a book full of warmth and happiness alongside pain and loss. It's brave and generous to share these raw experiences knowing that you'll be judged and critiqued. This is a book that will help many others struggling with the care of a dying loved one and that ultimate loss. A beautiful book.

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moved but baffled

Found this a moving account but left 100% baffled why ..apart from right at the beginning...there I no mention of Joan's son. Not at any point of the journey, or funeral, does he get mentioned.. especially given numerous loving references to daughter.Very odd and now my main takeaway..... why.

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A pocket full of happiness

Richard thank you so much for sharing your thoughts feelings and fabulous memories
Made me laugh and cry
Sending you hugs, take one step at a time
Julie a Bereavement support worker x

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Not quite what I expected

I am a huge Richard E Grant fan
This is a touching memorial to his wife Joan
Hopefully Richard found it cathartic
But did I want to listen to 8 hours starting with the diagnosis of her illness and culminating in her passing ?
Probably not
Not enough written about Richard and his life

2 people found this helpful

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Honest Grief

The courage Richard found without dropping to his knees to write this book so soon after experiencing such a profound loss, makes it feel as achingly real as he must of felt at the time.

2 people found this helpful

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Too sad

Very maudlin. I really had to go to a happier book. Sorry Richard E Grant

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Just beautifully moving

Honest and truthful

Thanks so much for this insight Richard

Have to ask though what happened to Tom?

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just beautiful in every way

One of the loveliest accounts I have ever listened to. Of course its terribly sad, but there are many other moments that are laugh out loud and joy filled. What beautiful people.

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wonderful funny and heart breaking

loved this book, so funny, warm, inspirational and heart breaking, just like life x

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A powerful of happines

Heartbreak to listen to. May all who have loved and lost find a pocketful of happiness everyday.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Megan
  • 18-12-22

A Beautiful Love Story

This book is so complex and lovely. It tells the incredible love story between Richard E. Grant and his wife Joan Washington, it talks of his career, of Washington's terminal illness and how Grant copes with caring for her and eventually living without her. His optimism is amazing. Even though their love was so deep, it also shows how difficult it can be caring for your significant other, when they take their pain out on you and you have to think about going on without them. I think this is a really beautiful tribute to Joan, and her incredible career. The deep caring they had for one another and the respect; it's a wonderful listen. It was just beautiful.

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  • Mao Zhou
  • 02-10-22

Hilarious and Heartbreaking

I can’t begin to describe the experience of listening to this book read by the author, the magnificent Richard Grant.
The range of emotions and the stories shared by Mr Grant made me feel as if I was an intimate friend of the family. This is the audiobook of the year. Do not miss this.

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  • Ines Kuzma
  • 02-01-23

A pocket full of happiness

An amazing and profound book of love. So beautifully read by Richard E. Grant himself. A vulnerable look at deep love and the finality of our mortality. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  • Bklvr
  • 02-01-23

Unmissable memoir

This memoir is a beautifully read tribute to Joan Washington and a testament to the enduring love she had for her husband and daughter. Richard E. Grant is outstanding, as ever, but more so, if that’s possible. He is one of my favourite audiobook readers, but his skills as both writer and reader, and the fact that this is his own heart-shaking memoir of a living grief, puts this book into its own stratospheric category.

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  • Annette Parker
  • 12-12-22

Thank you

Wow this love story was timeless. The love of your family! Thank you for sharing

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  • shanna letner
  • 28-11-22

Ode to a love

Loved the honesty and true feelings with the knowledge that you are losing a loved one ❤️great book

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  • Erlend
  • 16-11-22

Heart warming and heart breaking

Grant tells the story of his life with dialect coach Joan Washington while at the same time describing her last years battling cancer.
Grant is funny, and his love for his late wife radiates through his words. In the same way his grief and loss hits you like a punch to the gut.

Through the book he speaks of other famous people, but not a bad word is said about anyone you can identify. Actors Melissa McCarthy and Gabriel Byrne comes out of his story in a very positive way.

While Grant does not impersonate others he effortlessly swaps between different accents and dialects (maybe he learned from his wife:)).

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  • Epona
  • 18-10-22

I had high expectations & this book exceeded them

Richard E Grant is one of my favorite actors. I had just seen his glorious portrayal of Sir Walter Elliot in the new Persuasion when I came across his book. This memoir flips back and forth in time from the "present", with his adored wife Joan's diagnosis, illness and ultimate death from lung cancer, and various earlier mostly happy times in their careers and 35 yr marriage. (Joan Washington was a highly regarded dialect coach to the stars.) Mr. Grant's grief both before and after Joan's death often overwhelmed him, but it didn't overwhelm the book. He is a shockingly good writer throughout the book -- not just high points here and there -- and he tells their story beautifully. I can't recommend this audiobook highly enough.

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  • Brit Mountain Artist
  • 16-10-22

Poignantly, beautiful love story

It was a joy to hear Richard E. Grant read his book as he writes so eloquently about the great loss of his dear wife Joan Washington, who is the love of his life. I found myself thoroughly immersed in this book hard to put down. Poignant and beautifully written with great attention to detail…so honest and raw, yet full of interesting stories of their life together he shares a beautiful story. I thoroughly recommend this book.

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  • VictoriaSuzette
  • 11-10-22

A beautiful, poignant story.

A wonderful book detailing two loving people, and their lives together. Also the telling of how those lives were changed by a cancer diagnosis. Myself having just lost a loved one a year ago, I can’t tell you how connected I felt when reading of the love and the grief….the unreality of living in an alternated world where your loved one is no longer there. I’m sure this was painful to write, but I imagine healing in some way. Thank you, Mr. Grant for sharing.