Book review: Russell Brand, Revelation

When I saw Russell Brand do stand up in 2008, he invited the audience backstage for an orgy. In 2017, he said he wants to make his daughter laugh. Russell has grown up.


Revelation, Russell Brand’s latest audiobook is certainly not stand up, it addresses issues as deep and wide ranging as the ancient texts of Yoga, his commitment to a life of service via his 12 Steps programme treatment for addiction, and what he has learnt from both gurus and friends such as Ekart Tollé, Jordan Peterson, Gabor Mate, and his ever faithful familiar, Morrissey the cat.

Russell Brand had survived heroin addiction, a rise to fame and then vilification in the British press, the countless women he shagged, a Hollywood marriage and lifestyle, a divorce and abrupt return to London life and now he can look back from the comfort of a farm between two villages on the Thames, with a beautiful wife, daughters, and a dog. Does he still want to get high?

Well, his original proposal for the book was going to take him into tribal territory in the Amazon where he wanted to drink some kind of rite of passage drink that I think is like Peyote. Thankfully he didn’t because of Coronavirus, but I like to think he saw sense probably reflecting on how far he has come. 

Some points to reflect on include Russell’s explanation of the divine and spiritual as accessible to all, and that it is arguably our responsibility to access this part of life for a better society, chiefly because once you come at people from a place of love and compassion, as faith teaches us, then the world begins to improve. Capitalism has no such value belief system at its core, and this is where we as a society are failing our neediest and most vulnerable. 

Russell does his part and then some, as he shares stories of his years of 12 Step volunteering for recovery groups and meetings. This is a man who always reminded me of the wildness of my youth and my musician boyfriend from then, who used to joke that if I ever met Russell, he’d leave a light on for me. 

There is so much more to this audio experience, Russell has a great voice and is a pleasure to listen to. His use of language is always a pleasure, he has verbal dexterity denouncing the ‘dream capture claptrap of the new age’ and other nice turns of phrase.

He is concerned with God, and how the systems that run society need overhaul. ‘‘The solutions are not delivered by the systems that benefit from our current stagnation’ a transcendent solution is necessary’’ and I am inclined to agree .

‘’Yoga, meditation, chanting and plant medicine are effective ways of transcending the nausea and disappointment of the post secular material world.’’ As a Yoga practitioner, I loved hearing his thoughts, because I’m relatively new on my yogic path to Russell who is very well schooled on the practice.

A great listen, but not an easy listen. Engage your mind, be open minded and listen without prejudice. The serial shaggar grew up and he is still speaking truth to power, so my advice is, listen.

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From tiny acorns mighty oaks grow.

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