Wednesday, November 15, 2017

#BookReview - The Upside a/k/a The Intouchables a/k/a Untouchable a/k/a You Changed My Life by Abdel Sellou

Title:  The Upside a/k/a Untouchable a/k/a You Changed My LIfe
Author:  Abdel Sellou
Genre:  Memoirs, International, Humor
Release Date:  June 11, 2012 and being re-released February 6, 2018

About the Book:

The true story of a charismatic Algerian con-man whose friendship with a disabled French aristocrat inspired the record-breaking hit movie The Intouchables (American remake, The Upside, starting Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, coming March 2018).The story of Abdel Sellou's surprising friendship with aristocrat Philippe Pozzo di Borgo has been told and retold around the world-most recently in the major motion picture The Upside, with comedian and movie star Kevin Hart portraying Abdel and his edgy charm. In this appealing memoir, Sellou shows us the real man behind Kevin Hart's smiling face. The book takes us from his childhood spent stealing candy from the local grocery store, to his career as a pickpocket and scam artist, to his unexpected employment as a companion for a quadriplegic. Sellou tells his story with a stunning amount of talent, humor, style, and-though he denies that he has any-humility.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

One thing I can say about this book is that it is memorable.  Learning how Abdel viewed his birth family in Algeria was a bit disheartening for me, but he somewhat explained his culture and the reasons for why he looked upon them as he did.  He did not feel as though he were abandoned as a child.  There was no animosity.  He simply didn't care.  I found his analogy of his childhood quite interesting as he stated, "I didn't have an unhappy childhood, on the contrary!  I grew up like a lion in the savanna.  I was the king.  The strongest, most intelligent, and most seductive.  When I let the gazelle drink at the watering hole, it was because I wasn't hungry.  But when I was, I pounced on it.  As a child, I wasn't scolded for being violent anymore than a lion cub would be for his hunting instincts.  Is that an unhappy childhood?"

Abdel calls himself Muslim, but he didn't seem to practice his faith.  His life was one big joke to him.  Always ready with something funny to say and rarely a serious moment could be found.  Abdel's life of crime was turned around by one man, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, a tetraplegic.  He became Abdel's one true friend.

As I said, I found this memoir of Abdel Sellou interesting, although there were parts that left me flat.  I understand that the movie was very good, but I have not yet seen it.  At the time of my writing this review, it appears that this book had been previously released under a different name.  And it appears that there are several titles to this book now.  It was introduced to me as "The Upside".  I hope that gets straightened out.

Disclosure:  A complimentary ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publicist in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating:


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