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Summary

The Sunday Times Best Seller

James Acaster has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award five times and has appeared on prime-time TV shows like Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Russell Howard's Stand Up Central.

But behind the fame and critical acclaim is a man perpetually getting into trouble. Whether it's disappointing a skydiving instructor mid-flight, hiding from thugs in a bush wearing a bright red dress, or annoying the Kettering Board Games club, a didgeridoo-playing conspiracy theorist and some bemused Christians, James is always finding new ways to embarrass himself.

Appearing on Josh Widdicombe's radio show to recount these stories, the feature was christened 'James Acaster's classic scrapes'. Here, in his first book, James recounts these tales (including never-before-heard stories) in all their glorious stupidity.

©2017 James Acaster (P)2017 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"James Acaster has a brilliant comic mind, crackling with energy every bit as much as his corduroy slacks." (Milton Jones)
"I don't think I've ever read a book that has made me cry with laughter as much as this one. It was very difficult reading it in public as I looked like a madman." (Richard Herring)

What listeners say about James Acaster's Classic Scrapes

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    3 out of 5 stars

series of witty anecdotes

It's exactly what you'd expect: a comedian telling silly anecdotes. Acaster's performance is great, the stories vary in zaniness and irony, overall, well worth a listen.

Do note though that the anecdotes all appeared on Josh Widdecombe's radio show, and several were also used on Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You and in Acaster's stand-up. So if you're a fan who follows his work, expect some repetition.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliantly funny.

James Acaster is easily my favourite new comedian. As someone the same age as James who also spent his 20's in playing in bands and making terrible decisions I can completely identify with his scrapes. In my opinion there's nothing enjoyable or entertaining about a 'funny story' about things going wrong that are rooted in pure stupidity. However, there is something joyously endearing when blind optimism and oddly logical decision-making lead to undesirable outcomes, particularly when retold by one of the best comedians in the UK. Very very funny and plenty of laugh out loud moments.

20 people found this helpful

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Classic Scrapes

Classic scrapes, Brilliant simply brilliant. I have to write fifteen more words, so here they are, oh and cabbage. Brilliant

28 people found this helpful

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So, so good.

I finished this 6 hour audio book in 3 days. that's with a full time job and a busy home life. It was so funny I listened to it whenever I could... Whilst driving, washing up, cooking and yes, on the toilet! I can't wait til next month when I allow myself the treat of James 's next book.

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Very Acaster

A really enjoyable book told by the author. If you're a James Acaster fan, you'll love hearing about his childhood scrapes.

1 person found this helpful

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classic scraps

loved this audio book, all the scraps are told with so much enthusiasm and love,really recommend it.

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The voice makes it!

Listening to this book, I couldn't imagine it being read by anyone else. James' voice is half the joke!
Not all of the scrapes made me laugh, but those that did would've had me on the floor laughing, if I wasn't driving! Parrot soup is by far the best bit!

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If you only listen to one audiobook, make it this one.

Had this recommended via several friends. Utter, delightful comedy gold. All the way from a tiny internal smirk (primary school kids and socks) to a full blown belly laugh (Humpty Dumpty) - this has it all. Buy it - now.

7 people found this helpful

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Funny as!

Not bad for someone from Kettering 😂😂
Such a funny book with so many tales, it will have you in stitches

7 people found this helpful

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Great book, great stories and a great storyteller

I can relate (horribly) to a number of these tales but quite how James gets himself into these situations and then resolves them i am sure is unique on this planet. I had heard some of these on the XFM radio show but there were some beauties in here that were not.
I have loved every cringing moment

Its also a fun insight into the world of a certain number of comedians

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brendan S.
  • 31-01-18

Tales worth listening to.

This is a book that I would argue is better listened to rather than read. Part of what makes James Acaster's scrapes so great to experience is the delivery of his memories. He's a great story teller, and while reading this would still be a true laugh, to hear him recount his awkward situation ridden life thus far is certainly the best way to experience them.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Susan Thomas
  • 27-09-18

Best book in the whole world ever!!

Laughed until I cried.

11 more words to meet requirements of this review. Thank you.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Geoff in London
  • 26-01-18

Bright and enjoyable

A pleasure to listen to. James sees the nuances of his goofy predicaments, and delivered a steady stream of smiles for me. His Northamptonshire accent has a rambling and mumbling lack of pretence, the opposite of the superior attitude of some comics who want you to know how clever they are.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kathryn English
  • 14-05-18

Hilariously Honest and Endearing

I found James’s book after watching his comedy special Repertoire on Netflix and I’m so glad I did. I listened to it over a weekend road trip and was laughing out loud at the situations James found himself in.
As a twenty-something myself, I identified with James at that time in his life when he sought meaning and purpose and decided a good way to find that was by simply saying “yes.” James’s honest telling of his experiences, are framed as mistakes to be avoided. But they clearly shine as endearing examples (however cringe worthy they may be) of someone who isn’t afraid to try, to fail, and to be open to whatever life places in front of them.
There is also a very relatable dichotomy in someone who is too self-conscious to return to a restaurant or use a public toilet, but who will also put themself out there whether it be alone at karaoke, with an egg shaker in hand, or on stage performing comedy.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren Harvey
  • 30-06-22

I would marry James Acaster so hard

Have had a crush on this man since seeing him at the Edin Fringe festival as an American teen. He is so charming and witty- the best storyteller. I listened to this book with a big dumb smile on my face and many strangers were charmed by how adorable I looked whilst enjoying life and the clever voice in my ears. Which was James Acaster.

Anyways, please listen to the book but don't marry James because I would sincerely like to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-08-22

Love Acaster

I have never said something like this before, but I might could be James Acaster's biggest US fan. I love his mind. I watch any game show he's a guest on I can, and, obviously, any stand up he does. I found out about this book from an interview of his that I had watched. What a wonderful, hilarious, ridiculous and relateable, beautiful person. 1 billion stars and a chef's kiss. James, if you read this, I love your chaotic, genius work. I would love to high five you before I die.

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  • Steph Carlson
  • 21-07-22

Hilarious

This book was amazing. James is so funny. It's a blessing that these wacky events happend to him because no one else could have made them all so incredibly gut busting. to James in adress to this book I say, Thank you and you are forgiven.

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  • Brandon Romero
  • 23-03-22

Hilarious and Relatable

While not like most people's experiences all of the stories are relatable because we've all made impulsive mistakes that teach us a lesson. Acaster is a hilarious storyteller!

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  • MJCLAXDEN
  • 24-11-21

Listen! Or Get Cabbaged!!!

I have become a James Acaster fan from his time on WILTY, the clips for which I have seen on YouTube and BritBox. He's the type of comedian that you get drawn to more and more and find him funnier and funnier the more you listen to him. I didn't know whether to laugh, feel sorry for him, or send him cabbage. In the end, I chose to write this glowing review.
Listen to this on a walk or while relaxing. Don't listen to it in a car because you need to pay enough attention to it to hear some of the daisy-chained events coming together over multiple chapters. More importantly, don't listen to it in a car that James Acaster is driving.
Seriously, I LOVED THIS BOOK. If you like UK humor, you'll love it too.

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  • amber caudell
  • 17-11-21

Must read! Funny, witty, smart, insightful...classic Acaster

Recommend read for seasoned James Acaster fan or newcomer. His clever comedy is exceptional and his real life stories are even better...glad you survived to tell us about it James!!