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Russell Brand's Fiercely Funny "My Booky Wook" is Infinite, Impure Joy

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Photo: Eshelman/FilmMagic

I came to standup comedian and actor Russell Brand late, through movies. One movie in particular, 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Brand radiates star quality and ace comic timing as rocker and recovering addict Aldous Snow, the sexually insatiable lead singer of Infant Sorrow. Brand is priceless when a pushy waiter (Jonah Hill) asks if Aldous has listened to his audition CD. "I was going to," says Brand in an accent that blends Keith Richards with Monty Python, "but then I just carried on livin' my life." Me? I don't know how I carried on livin' my life without Brand. Luckily he'll play Aldous again in Get Him To the Greek, which will film soon.

The hot news now is that Brand has written a memoir -- an odd name for a book (just published in the U.S.) that explodes off its pages like verbal dynamite. It's called My Booky Wook (a phrase right out of A Clockwork Orange) and details a life both hilarious and harrowing. Brand's addictions, encompassing alcohol, sex and heroin, are no laughing matter. Neither was his childhood. But his brilliant, brutally honest book hits you right in the gutty-wuts. Brand doesn't just use language, he breathes it. For him, humor is a form of healing expression. It's hard to put My Booky Wook down. And even if you do, you want to pick it right up again. It's that addictive. I talked to Brand recently on Popcorn, the interview show I host on ABC News NOW. I felt a bit of trepidation at first, as you can see here:

But talk to Brand for just a few minutes -- or read his tweets (he's a mad witty Twitter user) -- and you know you're in the presence of someone uniquely crazy and crazily human. His response to my question about a typical day in his life brought forth a burst of twisted comic poetry that hit me like, well how does it hit you?

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Peter Travers

Rolling Stone senior writer Peter Travers has reviewed movies for the magazine for more than 20 years. Send your comments and questions to him here.

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