Monday 19 December 2011

Book Review - Size Matters Not

Title: Size Matters Not
Author: Warwick Davis
Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd
Release Date: 15 April 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1845135317

Hi! Believe it or not, I’m a world famous actor. No really, I am. Hey! Don’t put the book back! Let me explain . . . You may not recognise my name – or my face for that matter – but it’s very likely you’ve seen me at work. I’ve managed to cram quite a bit into my thirty-year acting career. In fact I’ve helped put more bums on cinema seats than Will Smith or Tom Hanks. Who else can say that they’ve helped destroy a Death Star? Defeated an evil sorceress? Taught magic to Harry Potter? Become a Jedi Master? Reluctantly hitchhiked across the galaxy in search of the answer to the Ultimate Question? Or embarked (six times, no less) on a psychotic killing spree as a gold-obsessed leprechaun? I’ve also performed in a jazz club with the late, great Ray Charles, been kicked in the head by Ricky Gervais (twenty-three times) and have successfully navigated the Peterborough one-way system on more than one occasion. You may also have noticed that, at three-foot-six, I am ever so slightly below average height. My genes are arranged in a vaguely peculiar manner, which means I have a disorder that no one can pronounce (spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita – go on, try!) and very few people understand. This has thrown up its own trials and tribulations – particularly when my wife and I tried to start a family – but also in an everyday kind of way – surviving a supermarket shopping trip, getting into fights with drunks, that sort of thing. So, without further preamble – except to add that George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Val Kilmer, Ron Howard, Ricky Gervais (amongst others) have chipped in – I urge you, discerning reader, to read on and discover what life is like when it really is too short. At the very least, George Lucas will finally explain why there really is no underwear in space – and who wouldn’t want to know that?

My Review
I will admit I only requested this because Warwick Davis has of course been in Harry Potter, I thought it would have gossip about his time on set etc, and I had a vague curiosity about his life before Potter. I didn't realise how long it had been out, I follow Warwick on Twitter and remember him tweeting about choosing a name for his book and time has just flown since.
I know this isn't the normal thing I read or review but I had to share how much I loved this book.
Warwick Davis is an inspiration, at under four feet tall he has definitely had his share of challenges but he takes everything in his stride and has led a truly extraordinary life.
I will say straight out - I am NOT a Star Wars fan so when I saw that a lot of the chapters talked about his time on set (it was where his career started over all) I was slightly dubious, but this is so much more. It wasn't so much talking about the films, but sharing his experience of fellow actors, producers, costumes, sets and scripts and the challenges presented day to day on set. 
I would literally laugh out loud at bits in this book and Warwick's personality shines from the page. He may be a 'little person', but he has a BIG personality and a generous heart.
Never turning a job down, nothing is too good for Warwick and as such this has given him such a wide range of acting opportunities and more than his fair share of disasters and uncomfortable costumes and near injuries.
But he has also met an astounding cast of people in his life, but he doesn't brag about it. The whole book is very matter of fact and you can feel the pride he felt when working with these people. He is in no way big headed, I got the feeling that even after all these years and opportunities he still doesn't see himself as a star. Just another guy making a living to support his family.
There are some very emotional chapters and Warwick really opens himself up to the reader. I would love to meet him just so I could tell him how extraordinary he really is and how much I admire him.
This book of course tackles the issue of Dwarfism and the views society lays on it, It really opened my eyes to some of the challenges faced by the people that suffer from this condition, but also made me realise just how much they could do, they are just like us. Not someone to be felt sorry for or ridiculed etc, just another human being - capable of greatness. If you have ever felt or heard or seen prejudice towards people who have Dwarfism, this book is definitely worth a read - it will open your eyes, heart and mind.
I read this book fairly quickly and was astounded by how much Warwick has achieved in his life. I was hoping there would be a bit more on Harry Potter, but overall this was a great read.
For fans of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Leprechaun or a host of other films, or just someone that wants a good read I would strongly recommend this book.

My Rating
I would give this book 9.5/10. Breath-taking and so much more than I thought it would be. A fantastic read.  

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