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As I Am Book Reviews
As I Am - The Book
OUT OF PRINT
updated version being written

 

 
Sandra Griffin | Your lovely photo came on July 7  
5 Stars
Loved your sensitive performance in Rollin's Iron Rose."As I am" was the best celeb bio I have ever read! Hope you write another book and good luck with future acting roles
Canadian fan, Sandra

 
 
Katrina Smith | One simply does not read "AS I AM" by Francoise Pascal  
5 Stars
One is engulfed in the experience with Francoise, she has redefined telling her story. I felt invited in and led by her hand as we walked through her memories I felt afraid for her and some parts overwhelming joy in others. I heard her make a simple statement once "if you want to find out who I am read the book" I can now say I found you Francoise right where you said you would be. Funny fabulous anecdotes as well as love affairs. I have read many autobiographies however "AS I AM" has been the only biography I have ever read that pulled out all the stops and in the end was honest. All closets stripped of their secrets, lies, rumours and skeletons with all my respect Francoise Xxx Katrina

 
Yvonne Fielding | A feisty and fascinating woman.  
5 Stars
 

Warren (Nutsar2) | MY FAVOURITE MAURITIAN  
5 Stars

I've read a lot of both biographies and autobiographies over the years and there seem to be very different pleasures and rewards associated with this form of writing, it seems to me. On the one hand, for example, a person may not have done very much in their life but a skilled wordsmith on biography duties can use their skill for language and drama to weave a fascinating picture of somebody who just sits around drawing comic strips all day and leads a fairly uneventful life... and make it so interesting you feel compelled to keep reading. In contrast, a person writing their own memoirs can sometimes have little to tell or share with their intended audience and it can all, in some cases, leave you feeling a bit uninspired and flat.

I'm happy to say, though, that Françoise Pascal's self written (no ghosts here... at least not ghost writers) autobiography is written from the perspective of somebody who has had a very full life and the writer seems to have absolutely no worries about conveying her ups and downs over the years in no uncertain terms.

I first met Françoise earlier in the year, quite by accident in fact, at a Westminster Film Fair (now aggrandized to London Film Memorabilia Convention) where she was signing her book and I went to have a chat and got a signed photograph of her. She's an absolutely charming lady and as i was talking to her I realised that she was one of those sexual icons of my early youth who I'd never really put a name to but remembered as "the sexy french girl" from the TV situation comedy Mind Your Language from 1977 and onwards (actually she's from Mauritius but the sexy part was absolutely true and, I can attest, still is to this day). I would have been 10 at the time that show was on the air and so that kind of makes sense in terms of timing when my hormones were getting a little more antsy than usual.

She's actually slipped out of my memory all these years but I had recently seen her in a movie by one of my favourite genre director's Jean Rollin (called The Iron Rose and reviewed here
I found the lady so approachable, chatty and downright charming that, when she was in attendance at a recent screening of another movie she appeared in (Burke and Hare... reviewed here
I went along to the event specifically so I could meet Françoise again and ask her to sign a copy of her autobiography for me. Again, it was an absolute pleasure meeting her and the time had finally come to read her book.

Well, as I said before... Françoise Pascal has led a very full life.

Some people tend to hold back a bit when writing their memoirs and concentrate on the more positive aspects of their life or, at least, the parts of their life they think their fan base want to hear about. However, it soon became very apparent, even from her accounts of her early life on the island of Mauritius, that there was going to be no holding back where Ms. Pascal is concerned. This book is very much a book about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth as far as this writer is concerned and while there are some really nice moments and highs in the book, there are also very many terrible low points in her life that most people, I think, would have been less than willing to share... especially in an official autobiography. But this is the absolute correct course to take and her life is presented with no extra frills or polish and, as I'm sure you'll realise, this makes the book even more compelling and un-put-down-able.

Ms. Pascal has met a lot of people, from celebrities to princes and right back down to, well, the absolute worst people you would ever want to meet on a dark night... but I don't want to spoil it for you. She's had untold experiences which she breezily lays out for you in her book and has survived fires, heartbreak and long term relationships which have tested her spirit but never, it seems to me, broken it.

I was personally surprised when learning of the actions and attitudes of one of my favourite genre actors in regards to the long and stormy relationship he had with Ms. Pascal and it was quite a revelation to me (and no, I'm not going to name him here... buy the book). I know I shouldn't make the mistake of equating actors and actresses with the roles they play on stage or screen but it's certainly given me pause for thought and I won't quite watch his films with the same admiration I did before, I think.

Of course, the author tells her story just as she would chat to you in real life (which is why As I Am is such a good title for the book) and the whole reading experience is completely compelling, compulsive and, despite some of the events depicted, hugely entertaining. The structure of the events occasionally folds back in on itself in some cases when a particularly interesting point is explored in more detail and the occasional use of foreshadowing events in a future chapter is used but it doesn't take long for the "narrative strands" to right thermselves and steer back to a chronological course when this does happen and the decision to explore those deviations results in a richer reading experience and certainly helps to clarify things later on when they turn up as main points in the text.

My only minor criticism would be that I would like to have seen... not more pictures exactly, but certainly the photographs which were chosen could have been presented in a better light and captioned so you know where you stand with them in regards to relating them back to the author's personal history. I'm guessing this was a cost issue in terms of the publishers not wanting to go in that direction but I think it would have been worth doing especially since... well... well presented pictures of the gorgeous lady in question is always something we could do with more of.

At the end of the day, though, it's not about the illustrations and Ms. Pascal's words paint a truly interesting picture of her life and certainly mark this book out as one of the more vital autobiographies of recent years. Even if you are not that familiar with the actress yourself, this book is worth seeking out because she has met so many people and done so much and it's certainly a nice timepiece of everything an autobiography can be in this day and age. Definitely pick this up if you are into reading about a strong woman and the life she has truly lived to the full. So... this is a remarkable book.


 
Shane Spall | I loved your book  
5 Stars
I loved your book! Funny, vulnerable, innocent, courageous.l. xx

 
Freddie Valentine | An honest autobiography for once!  
5 Stars

Francoise writes with total honesty and from the heart, which is rare in this age of glossed-over autobiographys from people who have just spent five minutes in the limelight. This is the story of of someone who has lived a life, been through some extreme up an extreme downs and has come out of it all a positive, wonderful person.

The book is written in an engaging way, as if you are in conversation with Francoise herself. There are some heartbreaking moments in the book as well as happier times, lesser people would have crumbled under the things that Francoise has been through! What comes out of it is an incredibly talented survivor with plenty of tales to tell. The pure honesty within this book is refreshing to read. I recommend this completely.


 
Terrytxcali | As we become one, even for a moment  
5 Stars

As I read this book , I hadn't expected to relate to it, so much , to see, search and find myself in parts of this book. There were days I couldn't put it down but one has to sleep. I appreciate the rawness and how available she makes herself to us. At times she was left with no pride in herself. For someone to suffer so much in the hands of strangers who took advantage of a delicate little flower, spoiled at times with thorns, who would of thought she would have to reveal them most of her life, at times to no fault of her own. But to protect herself and to survive in her life.

Most women don't survive or they live life just existing , being on the outside of peoples lives looking in. With no life of normalcy. But yet she overcomes the brutality of existing and becoming a mother in the most horrible way, then it slips from her hands many times in her life, but she remains as strong as she can be with the gentle heart she gained from her father and the beauty of her mother. But yet her story is nothing like of her parents and siblings . Her story is hers and hers only. And for all that , I admire this women who was not afraid to tell her story while she is still living. That for me a mother since the age of 14 also with a story of my own I can say I admire Francoise , she has encouraged me with her story, that one should not be afraid to tell there story,
whatever it may be and no matter what, especially if it helps others , in different ways. Thank you for being AS YOU ARE !!!! Terry


 
Mark A Miller | I was inspired to order your autobiography  
5 Stars

Dear Ms. Pascal,
I screened THE IRON ROSE in my basement theatre last night and found it an extraordinary visual lyric, almost as though a group of artists came together to make a loving manifestation of Poe's poems. The cinematography is often sublime, and your performance of a young woman's descent into madness is sharp, observant, and totally believable. (I love your "dance macabre" in the graveyard.) I was inspired to order your autobiography on the Internet this afternoon. Sincerely, Mark A. Miller USA


 
Kimmi Crosby | Loving this autobiography  
5 Stars
I am still currently reading this book but so far it is a delightful read. You can almost hear the author speaking the words to you from the pages. Funny yet poignant and certainly endearing. This is one book I will be sad to finish. Kimmi

 
RJ | As I Am - review  
5 Stars

Hi Francoise, so I finished reading your autobiography. I could easily write an essay about it but I'll try to be concise instead.
Wow what a roller coaster it was! It is very hard to sum up because you covered so many emotions. One thing is clear you have had some very tough times amongst the good ones. You have a lot of courage to tell things exactly as they were and you freely admit your own character flaws which is admirable. Some people would try and make themselves out to be a saint but you never did. I read your book whilst I was on holiday in Turkey. My days were filled with visits to historic sites and then my nights were spent reading about your ups and downs....it was a bizarre mix!
I must say I came out of it thinking I have led a comparatively sheltered life lol.

The overriding sensation I got was it felt like I had sat with you in a darkened room for a couple of days and listened to your life story first hand rather than actually reading a book. Your voice and personality came through the words really well. Oh and Francoise, brunettes are far more attractive than blondes, you should never have worried!. hugs RJ no relation :)


 
John Peter Ashworth | Francoise - As I Am is how she is and was!  
5 Stars

Françoise Pascal's autobiography is a book I have been looking forward to for a long time. Maybe best known for her role in the British classic sitcom of the 70's, Mind Your Language, but that only scratches the surface..She was there right in the middle of the 60's pop culture environment. Not a mere spectator, but with so many up's and, yes some downs, Françoise tells it like it was.

From her starring roles in films with Peter Sellers to performing Shakespeare in Hollywood, it's all here, plenty of famous names and lovely anecdotes this is a book that will have you totally absorbed, and my own experience was that it was like sharing a private conversation with Françoise, and yes, I feel I know her much better now. Anyone with an interest in British TV, Hollywood, and the 60's and 70's, this book is a must.
Due to lack of time, I sadly don't read as much as I would like at present, but I'm so pleased I chose this book.


 
Mike Power | As I Am - Book review  
5 Stars

I was a young Hormonal teenage lad, when "Mind Your Language" hit our TV screens and have loved this gorgeous lady ever since. I therefore was very excited about reading her autobiography and it certainly did not disappoint. I could not put it down and finished it in one day, something that I never do. It has made me laugh and cry in equal measures and Francoise has had more comebacks than the "Rolling Stones". She has coped with some dreadful experiences, but is still there today, as a true survivor.

It is written in a way that makes you feel that you are with her at every step of her journey and my life has been enlightened by that experience. Yes I loved her as that Teenage lad with the poster on my wall, but now between you and me, I love her even more.
You will really miss out if you don't read this fantastic book very soon.


 
Simon W. Golding | As I Am | Reviewed at Amazon  
5 Stars

As a published author myself I read many many biographies but Françoise Pascal's autobiographical work, As I Am, is an outstanding piece of entertaining literature. It is a very intimate journey that follows Françoise's early life and how she rose to fame. There are tears of laughter and of pain along the way - but the journey is well worth taking. I was gripped from page one and just did not want to finish this `bare all' catalogue of love, fame, betrayal, humour, lust, passion - the list goes on and on. It's an adrenaline fuelled expedition of literary delight. Beautifully written and excruciatingly honest, the words are crafted in such a way one feels like you are sitting opposite Francoise and sharing confidences over a coffee.
You can not help but be enchanted and enraptured with this volume and I am sure, as I did, you will fall in love with the author, Françoise Pascal.


 
Julie Andrews | Reviewed at Amazon  
5 Stars

This is a book I cannot put down it makes me cry, makes me laugh, makes me scared !!!! It's so genuine and totally written from the heart...a wonderful read probably for the ladies.... but some guys may enjoy...
I sincerely hope it's a best seller, it deserves high recognition.


 
D. M. LAWBUARY | Reviewed at Amazon  
5 Stars

From innocence & serenity on the idyllic island of Mauritius to the drug-fuelled hedonism of 60's London. I read this book in only a few hours, such was the subject and subject matter. I also read the book not only as a fan, but as a friend. So the last thing I wish to achieve here is any kind of blind loyalty or sycophancy. This would benefit neither potential readers, nor Ms Pascal. I latched myself firmly onto the hem of her skirt in the summer of '77 when she opened my school fayre, and never let go, metaphorically speaking.

Whilst for a lot of us, our first introduction to Francoise Pascal was in LWT comedy MIND YOUR LANGUAGE - which was not a bad place to start by any means - there is far more history, substance & versality to this actress. From starring in comedy films alongside Peter Sellers, appearing in Coronation Street, to performing Shakespeare in Hollywood for starters. A list of her co-stars and dalliances reads like a Who's Who of entertainmant. A couple of names shocked me to the core. With that though, one must admire the brutal honesty displayed. I am convinced that revisiting certain times and events must have been painful for the authoress.

I was immediately attracted to the conversational style of writing. Knowing how Francoise talks, I could actually hear her speaking these words. With the turn of every page, seemingly, one wonders just how much more tragedy & misfortune a sometimes naive woman could take. I'm sure Francoise will be the first to admit that she was oftentimes too trusting of the wrong type of man. Within the moment, the promise of excitement leads her from one heartbreak to the next, sound judgement understandably blurred, in a life alternating to and fro across the Atlantic. Through these pages we learn that all she craved was the love of a good man, and success.

Her life has been truly nomadic - rarely allowed to plant & establish roots anywhere for long. Moving from one apartment to the next. Constant upheaval, bereft of any welcomed stability and continuity. I found the relationship between Mother and Son particularly bittersweet. One MINOR criticism, which I have raised personally with Francoise, would be the publisher's unfair limiting of permitted photographs. I, for one, would have appreciated captions alongside the photos to understand the 'who and where'. Let me stress here, this in no way detracts from the reading experience & journey.

I truly hope that writing this book has proved to be a catharsis - emotionally cleansing - for Ms Pascal. Beguiling, unfortunate, talented, generous to a fault. Personally, she gives all her time to friends and fans. Upon completion, this reader had suffered shock, laughter, elation and both sympathy AND empathy.
I, and I am sure many others, will want to thank her for the ride.


 
discodiva | Reviewed at Amazon  
5 Stars

All she ever wanted was a family and the love of a good man ! Instead she got a man that was to rule her with possessiveness and jealousy and boy did he try to make her jealous beyond the point any woman would stand for today but hey it was the swinging 60's.

Francoise gives a frank account of her life in this compelling Autobiography. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down !!!!!!!

The Men ,Drugs,Rapes couldn't hold this strong willed lady back she fought harder than anyone for what she wanted. Eventually she got what she wanted a SON that she loved the most but all that wasn't to go smooth for Francoise. Once he was born how long would it be before
the forces that be would take him away.

But it all made her a stronger woman as you learn in the the book. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves a true autobiography and not something a 20 year old would write today to further their bank balance and update in another 3 year. This is a frank and gutsy autobiography.
I give this 5 out of 5


 
George Peter Algar | As I Am Reviewed at Amazon  
5 Stars

Take a convent-educated, star-struck beautiful young girl from the idyllic island of Mauritius and propel her into the swirling, Swinging Sixties scene in the metropolis of London and you can almost guarantee what happens next. As I am is the autobiography of talented and much-loved actress Françoise Pascal. Many Brits will remember her role as Danielle Favre in the 1970's TV sitcom Mind Your Language, but Françoise has a much wider repertoire than that and has acted in many movies, such as There's A Girl in My Soup with the legendary Peter Sellers.

A propensity to pick the wrong guys and sometimes end up in the wrong company, through sheer naivety more than anything else, leads Françoise to make some wrong life choices with disastrous consequences. She is in a doomed relationship with an uncaring partner, a Svengali figure who tries to control her life and career. Does she accept conditions as they exist or does she accept the responsibility for changing them? Feisty Françoise triumphs over adversity, resists the pressure to abort a pregnancy, and goes it alone to raise her beloved son Nicholas.

I had the privilege of spending a week or so in Françoise' company a few years ago and can tell you that her prose is just like listening to her talk. Words pour onto the page nineteen to the dozen, and she flits about from one subject to another like the proverbial butterfly she is. The revelations in the book are nothing short of shocking and I cannot believe that many people would have the guts to be so open about their innermost secrets and bêtes noires. Today's celebs, famous for being famous, will not come close. Françoise is the genuine article. She has led life to the full and you can read every detail in this no-holds-barred. A real page-turner of a book.

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