I had no idea who Eddie Izzard was until I was flipping through channels one night, many years ago, and came across his comedy special Dress To Kill on HBO. I stayed for a couple of minutes to listen, and I have yet to recover.

It may take a few minutes to jump on his train, which makes sense, as his train of thought seems to be running on several tracks simultaneously, but once you jump on, you just hang on and keep riding for as long as he’ll let you.

His comedic style and energy are truly unique, in the most interesting and brilliant way. So imagine the glee in this bookish boy when I found out he has a memoir. Hitting stores tomorrow, Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens is just as brilliant and fascinating as all of his performances.

Believe Me starts with Izzard’s childhood, and it breaks your heart early with the way-too-soon death of his mother. This becomes the defining moment of his life, as everything he has done since has been an attempt to bring her back. He does ramble a bit through the years, jumping from subject to subject in his stories, as he does in person. It’s a little jarring at first, and then it becomes completely endearing, as it is as much a part of him as his warmth or his dyslexia or his cross-dressing or his ambition.