Books & Literature

Book Review: Acknowledgments, by Becky Lucas

COMEDY: A funny, consoling and very candid collection of stories and essays about friends, enemies and figuring it out.

A collection of well-written anecdotes that will challenge you and make you both laugh and think.

Becky Lucas is one of the brightest talents on the Australian comedy scene. Her stand-up craft is so well-honed that it earned her a spot as the first Australian female comedian to appear on the Conan show in the United States. This year, she also hosted the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Oxfam Gala which was broadcast on the ABC. Her comedic talents have seen her win rave reviews all around the world and now she has put some of that razor-sharp wit to the written page with her first book.

Acknowledgments is a memoir of sorts in which Lucas thanks various people (real AND fake) as well the occasional event or place for how they shaped her to be the person she is today. It really breaks the mould for this sort of book. There is a definite skill in the telling of anecdotes and Lucas demonstrates her complete mastery of it in this slim and easy-to-read volume. Like the best comedians, she knows how long is too long.

None of the chapters are overly long but they nearly all pack an emotional punch. But these stories are far from just setups for punchlines; they reveal Lucas to be an incredible thinker about life and how we interact with one another. She is incredibly quick to call out her own faults before pouring comedic scorn all over the subjects she is talking about.

Her ability to see through the laughs and realise the deeper context of something is quite remarkable and, even though you may not immediately realise it, you’ll find yourself reflecting on her messages for quite some time. This is extremely clever prose that will have the reader both laughing and gasping on the same page.

Particular highlights include a Christmas horror story like no other, a girl who is a perpetual liar who attempts perhaps the most audacious lie anyone can try, and stories about nightmare gigs (one set in a shopping mall is particularly cringe-worthy). There are also a number of stories involving boyfriends past and friends that she should have avoided. In all of these memories, it is Lucas who is the main focus and you cannot help but wonder how so much stuff can be packed into 30 years.

Lucas also takes time to pontificate on life’s more important issues like consent, drug use, and a particularly deep discussion on whether we should still be able to listen to Michael Jackson’s music or not (that chapter is another highlight that will resonate with a lot of readers).

This is a wonderful read and it is also available as an audiobook narrated by Lucas herself. This is a book that, on the surface may appear to be not much, but upon reading you realise that it is so much more. Becky Lucas has announced her arrival as an author of note with this volume. Don’t miss it!

Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Twitter: @Wagnerfan74

Published by: Harper Collins
Released: 2 June 2021
RRP: $29.99

[adrotate banner="159"]
To Top