Attitude - Wanna make something of it?
Tony Allen is the John The Baptist of modern comedy. As a member of Alternative Cabaret, he did more than anyone else to establish the essentials of alternative comedy - a commitment to honest intimate material, an appetite for complex and controversial subjects, and a distaste for trite hand me down one liners. Allen never became a household name, but more than twenty years later he's still hard at it, and now he's written a book that outlines his uncompromising point of view.
Part history, part beginners guide, part autobiography, it's a hotch-potch of routines, reviews and reminiscences, midway between a diary and a scrapbook, which reminds you how anarchic stand-up used to be and how radical it could have become.
Illuminating and irritating, exasperating yet exhilarating, it's partial, opinionated and intensely personal - and that's precisely what makes it so readable. A veteran of Speakers Corner, Allen is more of a preacher than an entertainer, and although he isn't always funny, he's never dull.
William Cook, The Guardian Guide 9 Nov 2002