Book Review – The Dynamite Kid by Brian Blessed

First published, 1992

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

A powerful, heartfelt and stirring memoir from iconic actor and national treasure, Brian Blessed, The Dynamite Kid starts with his birth in a mining village of South Yorkshire, through the tumultuous War years, and into the author’s early twenties.

From a coal mining family in the north, Brian Blessed grow up at a time when people didn’t have much but the children had adventures that would start first thing in the morning and stretch right the way through to dinner time. His stories of great crested newts and bicycles, childhood tragedies and the BBC Light Programme reminded me sharply of my parents, who grew up around the same time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir, particularly the sections where young Brian discovered his love of acting, and those times when his stubbornness and sense of justice threatened to get him into trouble. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a well-described breakdown as I found in Chapter Eleven, and for that section alone, it’s well worth a read.

I only found this book because his daughter, Rosalind Blessed, and I follow each other on Twitter and she mentioned it once in an interview. Naturally, it went straight to the top of my TBR list, and I’m pleased it did. A delight of a memoir, filled with love, atmosphere and enthusiasm, much, I imagine, like the man himself.