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You Saved My Life tells the extraordinary true story of the charming Algerian con-man whose friendship with a disabled French aristocrat inspired the record-breaking hit film, The Intouchables (the American remake starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston coming in 2018). Sellou's fictional reincarnation, Driss, played to critical acclaim by French comedian Omar Sy in the mov You Saved My Life tells the extraordinary true story of the charming Algerian con-man whose friendship with a disabled French aristocrat inspired the record-breaking hit film, The Intouchables (the American remake starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston coming in 2018). Sellou's fictional reincarnation, Driss, played to critical acclaim by French comedian Omar Sy in the movie Les Intouchables, captured the hearts of millions. Already a bestseller in France and Germany, You Changed My Life shows us the real man behind Sy's edgy charm. 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 has never before divulged the details of his past. In many interviews and documentaries, he has evaded or shrugged off the question of his childhood and his stay in prison, until now. He tells his story with a stunning amount of talent, with humor, style, and-though he denies that he has any-humility. Sellou's idiosyncratic and candidly charming voice is magnificently captured in this memoir, a fact to which his friend Philippe Pozzo di Borgo testifies in his touching preface for the book.


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You Saved My Life tells the extraordinary true story of the charming Algerian con-man whose friendship with a disabled French aristocrat inspired the record-breaking hit film, The Intouchables (the American remake starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston coming in 2018). Sellou's fictional reincarnation, Driss, played to critical acclaim by French comedian Omar Sy in the mov You Saved My Life tells the extraordinary true story of the charming Algerian con-man whose friendship with a disabled French aristocrat inspired the record-breaking hit film, The Intouchables (the American remake starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston coming in 2018). Sellou's fictional reincarnation, Driss, played to critical acclaim by French comedian Omar Sy in the movie Les Intouchables, captured the hearts of millions. Already a bestseller in France and Germany, You Changed My Life shows us the real man behind Sy's edgy charm. 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 has never before divulged the details of his past. In many interviews and documentaries, he has evaded or shrugged off the question of his childhood and his stay in prison, until now. He tells his story with a stunning amount of talent, with humor, style, and-though he denies that he has any-humility. Sellou's idiosyncratic and candidly charming voice is magnificently captured in this memoir, a fact to which his friend Philippe Pozzo di Borgo testifies in his touching preface for the book.

30 review for You Changed My Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Abdel Sellou’s The Upside is an uplifting story of unexpected friendship, and the power individuals can have upon the life of others. I’ll admit this is not my usual kind of read – I’m a sucker for crime fiction with a perchance for romance binge reads – but I was sucked in by this one. They say real life is stranger than fiction, and this book shows how the unexpected storylines of books and movies are not always as far from the truth as we would think. We often get stuck inside of our own head Abdel Sellou’s The Upside is an uplifting story of unexpected friendship, and the power individuals can have upon the life of others. I’ll admit this is not my usual kind of read – I’m a sucker for crime fiction with a perchance for romance binge reads – but I was sucked in by this one. They say real life is stranger than fiction, and this book shows how the unexpected storylines of books and movies are not always as far from the truth as we would think. We often get stuck inside of our own head, we see the world in a certain way, and this one made me look a life differently. It is more than just a story of friendship. It shows the development of people. It shows the impact we have upon others. It shows how life can treat us in unexpected ways. It is no surprise to know this real-life story has been picked up for the big screen – it sends a wonderful message, and people will be sucked into the lives of the characters. Without a doubt, this one is worth reading if you want a heart-warming memoir.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Osborne

    The funny thing about this book is that it took me 7 months to read the first 100 pages, and then 24 hours to read the second 100 pages to finish it. There's something about what books you read during certain seasons of life...but the past 24 hours have been so good that I had to give the book 5 stars. A beautiful story, very cleverly written. Abdel Sellou conveys the emotions that he can't find real words for in a way that you understand, though you can't find words for them either. The funny thing about this book is that it took me 7 months to read the first 100 pages, and then 24 hours to read the second 100 pages to finish it. There's something about what books you read during certain seasons of life...but the past 24 hours have been so good that I had to give the book 5 stars. A beautiful story, very cleverly written. Abdel Sellou conveys the emotions that he can't find real words for in a way that you understand, though you can't find words for them either.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    I loved the movie "The Intouchables" so I hunted down the story and found this account, written by the real-life "Driss" from the movie. I was captivated by the book even more than the movie! Most notable was Sellou's matter-of-fact description of his very rebellious younger self. It was an eye-opening look into the life of a family Parisian immigrants living in poverty and the struggles of transitioning to a new country. Sellou's blunt account of growing up, mostly left to his own devices in Pa I loved the movie "The Intouchables" so I hunted down the story and found this account, written by the real-life "Driss" from the movie. I was captivated by the book even more than the movie! Most notable was Sellou's matter-of-fact description of his very rebellious younger self. It was an eye-opening look into the life of a family Parisian immigrants living in poverty and the struggles of transitioning to a new country. Sellou's blunt account of growing up, mostly left to his own devices in Paris, was unlike anything I had ever read before. It was surprising, funny, and moving. His growing friendship with a prosperous paraplegic man is a heartwarming tale about how life and people grow and change as they come to terms with the beauties and heartbreak that life thrusts upon us. This book is a hidden star.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    A heartwarming memoir about an unlikely friendship and how it has the power to change us. How a chance encounter can ultimately change your attitude and outlook on life. The Upside was open and honest. It didn’t shy away from the truth — the good, the bad, or the ugly. I enjoyed reading about the character growth of Abdel as well as the deeper connection between the two characters from before and after their paths crossed. Overall, I found this to be a decent read. I’m not sure what exactly it w A heartwarming memoir about an unlikely friendship and how it has the power to change us. How a chance encounter can ultimately change your attitude and outlook on life. The Upside was open and honest. It didn’t shy away from the truth — the good, the bad, or the ugly. I enjoyed reading about the character growth of Abdel as well as the deeper connection between the two characters from before and after their paths crossed. Overall, I found this to be a decent read. I’m not sure what exactly it was I was hoping for, but I wanted more. I enjoyed the story line and message obviously, but I think at times the voice fell flat. I look forward to the adaptation releasing this March! I have a feeling it will be a strong reflection of Abdel’s story and one that won’t let you quickly forget it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Iseult Murphy

    Interesting insight As a companion piece to Philippe Pozzo’s memoir, Second Wind, this is fascinating but I don’t think there’s enough meat in Abdel’s memoir bones to stand in its own. His upbringing is interesting to read about. He’s very honest about how he looked on life as everything was his for the taking. I’m glad that he’s turned his life around and seems to be giving his children the parenting he needed but never got.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality The original title of this book was You Changed My Life, and that’s probably a more accurate description of the contents than the new title. The ways of marketing are clearly mysterious to behold. No matter what the title, this book is kind of a cross between a buddy-movie and a bromance. It’s already been a movie, The Intouchables, filmed in France where the real story takes place. And it will be again – the American version is titled The Upside and seems t Originally published at Reading Reality The original title of this book was You Changed My Life, and that’s probably a more accurate description of the contents than the new title. The ways of marketing are clearly mysterious to behold. No matter what the title, this book is kind of a cross between a buddy-movie and a bromance. It’s already been a movie, The Intouchables, filmed in France where the real story takes place. And it will be again – the American version is titled The Upside and seems to have been filmed in 2017, although I’m not sure it was ever in theaters. Considering that the movie was supposed to have come out in October of 2017 as the Harvey Weinstein scandal was breaking, and that the movie was produced by his company and the new edition of the book was supposed to be published by his publishing company, it’s not really a surprise that things got a bit, let’s call it delayed. However, the story existed long before either the movie or the scandal. But this true story was originally told by only one of the partners in this bromance. This version, the one that I read, is told by the other. And it isn’t quite as fictionalized as the original movie seems to have been. Not that the author doesn’t tell plenty of stories on himself, because he certainly does. And he is not the most reliable narrator, not even of his own life. Perhaps especially of his own life. In 1993, French businessman (and noble) Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was severely injured in a paragliding accident, becoming a quadriplegic. In 1995 he hired Abdel Sellou, the author of this book, as his “life auxiliary” or caregiver. Sellou was an Algerian immigrant to France, having been given by his Algerian parents to his aunt and uncle in Paris when he was a child. A child who was young enough to adapt but old enough to remember where he came from. And he was given to people who had never been parents and seem to have no idea of how to be parents. Or perhaps its that Abdel had no idea that rules or limits ever applied to him. By his own account, Sellou grew up fairly wild on the streets of Paris, becoming a thief and a con artist. He saw himself as the king of his little corner of the world, and felt like nothing could stop him, not even jail. As he was always a completely nonviolent offender, jail mostly seemed like a bit of a vacation. The rules never applied to him. He met “Pozzo” when he was basically scamming the unemployment office. He came to pretend to apply for that job as Pozzo’s life auxiliary. He ended up staying for over ten years in a job he never expected to take, and remained as Pozzo’s unpaid caregiver thereafter. All of Pozzo’s rich friends were certain that the conman was there to take Pozzo for a ride, and bilk him out of all the money he could manage to scam. It never happened. Instead, they formed an unlikely but life altering and life sustaining friendship. This is the story of that friendship from Sellou’s point of view (as Pozzo has already told his version of the story in A Second Wind) Reality Rating B: The Upside, by whatever title, is a surprisingly quick read. It’s also not a very deep one, because the author skims over the surface of his life, and never seems willing to dive deeply into his thoughts or feelings. The story that we’re left with is still interesting. Sellou seems to have grown up without a care in the world, or perhaps a better way of describing it would be not caring much about the world or anyone else in it. It’s also clear that this story couldn’t be told until the statute of limitations had run out on his youthful crime spree, which seems to have lasted into his 20s. Mostly Sellou was a thief and even a bit of a shakedown artist. He was also a successful small-time conman. His goal never seems to have been to get rich, just to get enough to last until the next day. He saw the world as free for the taking, and if he got caught, well, jail seems to have been mostly a vacation. There have to have been darker parts to this part of the story, but the author never dwells on them. He seems to be a character who always looks on the bright side, and does not worry much if at all about tomorrow. Going to work for Pozzo was a life-altering event for both of them. Sellou’s ability to always find a bright side seems to have been just what Pozzo needed to keep him going. It’s not that Sellou wasn’t all-too-well acquainted with everything that did not work in Pozzo’s paralyzed body. It’s that Sellou never seems to have let it stop him from pushing whatever boundaries could be pushed so that Pozzo was able to get outside of himself as much as possible, which turned out to often be a surprising amount. It’s also obvious from the story that the two men moved relatively quickly from an employer-employee relationship to a friendship to a partnership – even if most of Pozzo’s family and friends never fully come to trust Sellou even after years of being there for Pozzo at every hour of the day and night. That Sellou seems to feel no bitterness at that lack of distrust is surprising. Or it may be part of his ability to always see the sunnier side of every situation, even the terrible ones. I find myself wondering how some aspects of the story that seem particularly French are going to translate to American audiences. Perhaps I’ll find out if the movie ever shows up on Netflix.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Flaugher

    I was expecting more from the book. Can not wait for the movie to come out. The story is a nice read for an airplane or short train ride.

  8. 5 out of 5

    meghann

    It's interesting, reading a memoir written by someone who does not have empathy. I loved the French Film The Intouchables, so when I spotted this in my local library I had to get it. Abdel is very different from the character in the film he inspired. He grew up stealing from others, and it never occurred to him to stop and think about how that might affect them. He was not great towards his parents or brother, because he only cared about himself. Throughout the book he refers to Philippe, a tetr It's interesting, reading a memoir written by someone who does not have empathy. I loved the French Film The Intouchables, so when I spotted this in my local library I had to get it. Abdel is very different from the character in the film he inspired. He grew up stealing from others, and it never occurred to him to stop and think about how that might affect them. He was not great towards his parents or brother, because he only cared about himself. Throughout the book he refers to Philippe, a tetraplegic, as a "talking puppet," "a dead body disguised as a live rich man" and will say things like "the body" instead of "his body." Philippe is a puzzle to him, and that is why he accepts the job as his caretaker. Over time Abdel develops a little bit of humanity and declares that Philippe is his first and only friend. In the earlier chapters he describes witnessing a murder or knowing that girls at a party would be gang raped, but he expresses indifference as nothing affects him. I definitely want to read Philippe's book now and find out his interpretation of Abdel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luka

    Rating: 3.5 'Ethics are your ethics and action is your action. It’s inside of you, in your inwardness, in your mystery, in its silence that you’ll find the Other and the ground of your morals.' 'To understand the moral of the story: that losing your physical autonomy isn’t losing your life. That handicaps aren’t strange animals that we can stare at without blushing, that there’s no reason to avoid their gaze either.' Rating: 3.5 'Ethics are your ethics and action is your action. It’s inside of you, in your inwardness, in your mystery, in its silence that you’ll find the Other and the ground of your morals.' 'To understand the moral of the story: that losing your physical autonomy isn’t losing your life. That handicaps aren’t strange animals that we can stare at without blushing, that there’s no reason to avoid their gaze either.'

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ayny

    nope will watch movie instead. as recommended by other readers. perhaps it is the translation, but could not finish.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Robinson

    Do yourself a favour and watch the French movie 'The Intouchables" 2011 instead. The movie is fabulous. Do yourself a favour and watch the French movie 'The Intouchables" 2011 instead. The movie is fabulous.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helynne

    This brief, boldly honest memoir did not inspire the French-language film upon which it is based, Les Intouchables. Instead, the film about French-Algerian roustabout Abdel Sellou and his years of caring for the wealthy quadriplegic Parisian Philippe Pozzo di Borgo finally inspired Sellou to begin talking about his own life—before, during, and after his service as a full-time caretaker or “life assistant” to Pozzo. (Before the 2012 film came out, Pozzo had written his own memoirs about life with This brief, boldly honest memoir did not inspire the French-language film upon which it is based, Les Intouchables. Instead, the film about French-Algerian roustabout Abdel Sellou and his years of caring for the wealthy quadriplegic Parisian Philippe Pozzo di Borgo finally inspired Sellou to begin talking about his own life—before, during, and after his service as a full-time caretaker or “life assistant” to Pozzo. (Before the 2012 film came out, Pozzo had written his own memoirs about life with this very unusual choice of caretaker, but Sellou had been very tight-lipped, refusing interviews, and preferring not to reveal anything about his life). This candid look backward on his adventures in Paris and his current life in his native Algeria finally gives those of us who loved the film a more accurate view of this ebullient man who was “given away” by his parents in Algiers to his childless aunt and uncle in Paris, lived years as a juvenile delinquent and petty criminal, spent time in jail, and was finally shown a more promising side of life by a rich, but totally dependent accident victim. Although I found the details of Sellou’s earlier criminal life interesting—lots of thievery, dishonest business dealings, but nothing to do with drugs, guns, or violence—I enjoyed much more reading of his life with Pozzo, who since a hang-gliding accident, needed an employee (and friend) full time to take charge of his daily personal needs such as hygiene, dressing, lifting from bed to chair to car, etc., Sellou’s title You Changed My Life is accurate indeed since his association with Pozzo set him on an honest path in life and the development of a better sense of values. However, he certainly changed Pozzo’s life as well through his mischievous sense of adventure. For example, he loved to drive the unsuspecting paralyzed man through Paris way too fast in expensive sports cars he had persuaded his employer to buy, and insisted on taking Pozzo on trips to southern France and Corisca, which always ended up a comedy of errors. Through it all, Pozzo remained serene and philosophical about his limitations, and Sellou remained fearless. Of course, the two ended up close and dear friends. ”I really believe I loved this man, as simple as that,” says the author, “and that he returned the affection just as naturally. But I’d rather die in a paragliding accident than admit it” (151). Sellou and Pozzo are played in Les Intouchables , respectively, by Omar Sy and François Cluzet. Sellou admits his appearance is nothing like the tall, handsome African-French actor Omar Sy, who plays him in the film. (Sellou is now 40-ish and pudgy. Sy is 30-ish, tall, slender, muscular, and HOT!) The screenwriters changed the Sellou character’s name to Driss and his ethnicity to Sénégalais, but kept the basic background and personality. Sy brings a very accurate interpretation to the role, which in all aspects except physical appearance, Sellou approves.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cardmaker

    Abdel Sellou and Philippe Pozzo di Borgo were two people marginalized by society: Sellou a wisecracking, unemployed immigrant, just out on parole; Pozzo a man born to wealth and privilege, recently paralyzed from the neck down after a paragliding accident. How they came to help each other, and the unlikely friendship that became a lifeline for them both, is an uplifting story that's now been told and retold around the world. In this bestselling memoir, Sellou shows us the irreverent, real-life ch Abdel Sellou and Philippe Pozzo di Borgo were two people marginalized by society: Sellou a wisecracking, unemployed immigrant, just out on parole; Pozzo a man born to wealth and privilege, recently paralyzed from the neck down after a paragliding accident. How they came to help each other, and the unlikely friendship that became a lifeline for them both, is an uplifting story that's now been told and retold around the world. In this bestselling memoir, Sellou shows us the irreverent, real-life character behind Kevin Hart's smiling face. The book takes us from Sellou's 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. Nope, I did not like this book at all. To start, the writer isn't very good at writing. He has a style I guess, but it's not a good one. It's kind of conversational but it doesn't flow well. The part I disliked the most was that for the first half of the book, all he talks about is how great a little thief he was, running through the streets of Paris, avoiding the police and laughing about how easy they were to avoid. A chapter or two of his young life would have more than sufficed. I bought the book to read about his part as a companion to a quadriplegic. It took way too long to get to that part. I sure hope the movie tie-in is better than the book. I do not recommend this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    What an inspirational story. The French movie, The Intouchables (or The Untouchables in Britain) is about the author and Philppe Pozzo di Borgo, a tetraplegic (paralyzed from the neck down). Abdel is his life auxiliary (caretaker) but had no intention of being employed as such. He just wanted someone to sign his employment card so that he could get unemployment checks. He stays on the job for 10 years forming a lasting friendship with Philippe. Subsequently to the movie, both Philippe & Abdel wrot What an inspirational story. The French movie, The Intouchables (or The Untouchables in Britain) is about the author and Philppe Pozzo di Borgo, a tetraplegic (paralyzed from the neck down). Abdel is his life auxiliary (caretaker) but had no intention of being employed as such. He just wanted someone to sign his employment card so that he could get unemployment checks. He stays on the job for 10 years forming a lasting friendship with Philippe. Subsequently to the movie, both Philippe & Abdel wrote books. You Changed My Life is Abdel's story. It's not exactly the same as the movie; there were some liberties taken in the movie but the essence of the story is the same. Abdel tells more of his background, his years with Philippe, and what has happened to both of them since the movie. The book jacket is a scene from the movie. The life auxiliary character is a tall, athletic, black African whereas Abdel is a stocky Algerian. Philippe now lives with his companion Khadija in Essaouira, Morocco. I wish I had known that when I visited there a month ago; maybe I could have tracked them down. My tour guide was a Khadija so maybe I did meet her. yes, I know that Khadija is common Arabic name. Abdel has a chicken farm in Algeria.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This book was narrated by a man using a thick French accent. My only problem with the narration was thinking he was saying "enema" when in fact he was saying "animal". The story of a young man who had no direction or drive, content to con, steal, or swindle for his livelihood. In order to continue to collect unemployment, he needed to look for work. He was sent for a job as a life companion for a rich man who had become a quadriplegic. He doesn't want the job, just a signature that he showed up This book was narrated by a man using a thick French accent. My only problem with the narration was thinking he was saying "enema" when in fact he was saying "animal". The story of a young man who had no direction or drive, content to con, steal, or swindle for his livelihood. In order to continue to collect unemployment, he needed to look for work. He was sent for a job as a life companion for a rich man who had become a quadriplegic. He doesn't want the job, just a signature that he showed up for the job interview. There companionship helped both participants, but Sellou turned his around becoming an honest businessman with a family. Interesting listen. A movie was made about the two main characters. It is called The Intouchables.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    After seeing the movie this book is based on (The Intouchables), I was keen to read this book. Well, this is one instance where the movie was better than the book! Too much time and detail is spent describing Abdel's petty thievery and scams and not enough on the relationship between him and Pozzo, which was the essence of the movie. Abdel said that Pozzo taught him to read (both literally and in the sense of developing insight) and Abdel taught Pozzo how to live: by daring, taking chances, doin After seeing the movie this book is based on (The Intouchables), I was keen to read this book. Well, this is one instance where the movie was better than the book! Too much time and detail is spent describing Abdel's petty thievery and scams and not enough on the relationship between him and Pozzo, which was the essence of the movie. Abdel said that Pozzo taught him to read (both literally and in the sense of developing insight) and Abdel taught Pozzo how to live: by daring, taking chances, doing things. The movie portrays the depths reached in this remarkable relationship between two people who would never have met each other save for the circumstances that brought them together much more effectively and affectingly than the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    Saw the movie "The Intouchables" and liked it so much (5 stars) that I wanted to know how closely the movie followed the lives of the two principals and upon Googling the movie discovered that both had written memoirs so I ordered a copy of each. I read "You Changed My Life" first (5 stars); just finished "A Second Wind" (5 stars) and recommend all three and in that order. And now I think I'll see the movie again. Just went to record my reading of "A Second Wind" and it is not listed by ISBN, ti Saw the movie "The Intouchables" and liked it so much (5 stars) that I wanted to know how closely the movie followed the lives of the two principals and upon Googling the movie discovered that both had written memoirs so I ordered a copy of each. I read "You Changed My Life" first (5 stars); just finished "A Second Wind" (5 stars) and recommend all three and in that order. And now I think I'll see the movie again. Just went to record my reading of "A Second Wind" and it is not listed by ISBN, title or author; nevertheless, it is available at Amazon and the author is Philippe Pozzo di Borgo.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Zahner

    The real-life caregiver from "The Intouchables" tells the story of his life, from pickpocket and petty thief, to the "arms and legs" of a French billionaire parapalegic. Abdel's voice was fresh and real; I got a kick out of his unrelenting "I am the best!" and "Never think about tomorrow" attitude. It was neat to see how he was finally able to admit how he had grown and changed through knowing and helping his employer, who is an amazing man. I recommend this book to anyone who has seen that fantas The real-life caregiver from "The Intouchables" tells the story of his life, from pickpocket and petty thief, to the "arms and legs" of a French billionaire parapalegic. Abdel's voice was fresh and real; I got a kick out of his unrelenting "I am the best!" and "Never think about tomorrow" attitude. It was neat to see how he was finally able to admit how he had grown and changed through knowing and helping his employer, who is an amazing man. I recommend this book to anyone who has seen that fantastic film and wants to know more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Judy-Sug

    The French film The Intouchables is based on this memoir. The film is phenomenal. However, it is quite different from the memoir. Abdel Sellou is an Algerian living in Paris on the streets. In any effort to get unemployment, he applies for a job helping a tetraplegic. (He can move only his head.) To his surprise, he gets the job and an odd couple relationship develops that changes both of them.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aly Shevchenko

    I really enjoyed this book. I loved the movie, that's why I decided to read it. In my opinion, the book is not about heroes' friendship, but it is about changing of the author, as for me, it was really big. It is worth to read about. This book can inspire you, give hope for better and make you think about how lucky you are. I really enjoyed this book. I loved the movie, that's why I decided to read it. In my opinion, the book is not about heroes' friendship, but it is about changing of the author, as for me, it was really big. It is worth to read about. This book can inspire you, give hope for better and make you think about how lucky you are.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    Another common story. The film is much more interesting and entertaining than the story of Abdel Sellou, however curious it is to find all the differences between film-hero Driss, and real-hero Abdel. Sadly this was the last curious part of the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Janine Bowyer

    The French movie -The Intouchables based on this memoir was excellent. This was mediocre. Would not recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Coatesj

    An amazing story but the story-telling wasn’t very engaging.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    This review was originally posted @ Readaholic Zone Why does it take certain smart people longer to live up to their potential? Well, you must read about Abdel Sellou because I think his story might help us all understand why. The book is a quick read since it is not bogged down by abundant details Abdel gets straight to the point. I didn’t do my eighteenth birthday justice. It slipped my mind. I was busy with other stuff, probably. But you can be sure the cops had circled the date on their calen This review was originally posted @ Readaholic Zone Why does it take certain smart people longer to live up to their potential? Well, you must read about Abdel Sellou because I think his story might help us all understand why. The book is a quick read since it is not bogged down by abundant details Abdel gets straight to the point. I didn’t do my eighteenth birthday justice. It slipped my mind. I was busy with other stuff, probably. But you can be sure the cops had circled the date on their calendar because when it arrived they didn’t waste too much time in getting ahold of me. They came at me all at once...My turn to look like a happy idiot: I didn’t know that the tourist complaints that had been piling up for months could put me away for years. I was astounded by his family's behavior. I realize that in African cultures that things are done differently but HELLO? Where is the functioning adult in this boy's life? Therefore, even though I don’t agree with his behavior and life choices when you read on what he was up against from the start, I give him some slack. Nevertheless, I kept thinking you have to be a man sooner or later and quit screwing the system and finally he did! As Pozzo rightly says, I’m “unbearable, vain, proud, brutal, fickle, human”...I pushed a wheelchair, shock-anaesthetized a man whose sufferings seem intolerable, I was his companion for a few painful years. Painful for him, not for me. I was, as he says, his “guardian demon” When? As Abdel becomes Pozzo’s life assistant, as a reader, I am joyed as he becomes a responsible man, though at times that rebel child still shines through. Also, it is indeed the best part of the book. This section is only 1/3 of the book while in my mind it could have been larger. Additionally, this is where there is happiness, humor, and inspiration occur. This is a delightful memoir and I know you will enjoy it too. I got through those difficult hours by respecting the same logic as I did at Fleury-Merois: the situation was bad, I wasn’t in control of it, but I knew it wasn’t permanent. I just had to wait it out. So, read this book first then go see the movie.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scherry at The Novel Lady

    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 savan 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. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amber Martin

    Some people write brilliant memoirs, unfortunately Abdel is not one of those people. I expected so much more from this book but at a grand total of 204 pages it didn't get good until 111 pages in. Abdel spends the first half of this book describing his early life as a hood rat in Paris, running from the cops etc. On some level I had conflicting feelings about it, I appreciated his honesty when it came to his past but eventually got to the point where enough was enough and I wasn't looking forwar Some people write brilliant memoirs, unfortunately Abdel is not one of those people. I expected so much more from this book but at a grand total of 204 pages it didn't get good until 111 pages in. Abdel spends the first half of this book describing his early life as a hood rat in Paris, running from the cops etc. On some level I had conflicting feelings about it, I appreciated his honesty when it came to his past but eventually got to the point where enough was enough and I wasn't looking forward to the twentieth chapter about what he was going to steal next. When he eventually got around to working for Philippe it felt like I had picked up a totally different book. Their friendship was a nice change of pace after pushing through the repetitiveness of the first half. You could honestly tell he cared about the man even if he was still trying to play himself off as the person he was before. It came across as though he was and still is somewhat afraid to admit he is a changed person. I'm not saying this was a terrible book, but I wish he had spent more time focusing on not just the time spent with Phillipe but also on his family life after the fact. A quick read if you can push through his excessive focus on his life of crime. (Although had he not been that person he wouldn't have become the person he is today. We all have a past for a reason.)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Just finished reading the book “THE UPSIDE” by ABDEL SELLOU. I read this book while listening to the audible version narrated by RAY CHASE . 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 retol Just finished reading the book “THE UPSIDE” by ABDEL SELLOU. I read this book while listening to the audible version narrated by RAY CHASE . 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. This book wasn’t quite as good as the movie but both were inspirational and very humorous at times. BRYAN CRANSTON and KEVIN HART were excellent in the movie.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Yulia Lutskaya

    Like most of us, I enjoyed the Untouchables movie. I enjoyed this book, too. And it even didn't spoil my opinion about the movie. The book surprised me by two moments: 1) it proved that the movie is really great. It's amazing how the actors and directors managed to show the characters so close to the real ones. Many fanny and hearty situations pictured in the movie happened in real life. 2) Adbel himself. In addition to many of his talents, his is a good writer. And a frank one. He does not use Like most of us, I enjoyed the Untouchables movie. I enjoyed this book, too. And it even didn't spoil my opinion about the movie. The book surprised me by two moments: 1) it proved that the movie is really great. It's amazing how the actors and directors managed to show the characters so close to the real ones. Many fanny and hearty situations pictured in the movie happened in real life. 2) Adbel himself. In addition to many of his talents, his is a good writer. And a frank one. He does not use posh words, smart expressions describing his relationship with a tetraplegic person. The book explains the background of the characters, life of Abdel before his job for Philippe. Not many books give you this feeling that the world is actually full of kind and hearty people, and we still have a chance to improve ourselves :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    K

    Once again, I should have heeded the advice of the 1-star reviews on Goodreads and skipped this book. But I want to see the movie with Kevin Hart and Brian Cranston, so I bought this book anyway. Maybe someday I’ll learn. I disliked the author of this book so much, I couldn’t even warm up to him once he started working for the paralyzed man and supposedly became a better person. I never felt like his transformation was authentic. He still came across as a man with little regard for anyone but him Once again, I should have heeded the advice of the 1-star reviews on Goodreads and skipped this book. But I want to see the movie with Kevin Hart and Brian Cranston, so I bought this book anyway. Maybe someday I’ll learn. I disliked the author of this book so much, I couldn’t even warm up to him once he started working for the paralyzed man and supposedly became a better person. I never felt like his transformation was authentic. He still came across as a man with little regard for anyone but himself. This is one time when I hope the movie is not at all like the book. Side note: the book I bought, and the movie are called The Upside, but the original title is shown on Goodreads as You Changed My Life.

  30. 4 out of 5

    JoAnna

    We absolutely loved the movie The Intouchables, so I was excited to read the book that inspired the movie. However, while the movie was heartwarming and endearing, the book was an endless diatribe about how much criminal activity Abdel was involved in, how much he got away with, and how ignorant the French police were. It definitely left a sour taste in my mouth, so by the time (more than halfway through the book) it got to Abdel meeting Philippe, I had very little interest in the rest of the st We absolutely loved the movie The Intouchables, so I was excited to read the book that inspired the movie. However, while the movie was heartwarming and endearing, the book was an endless diatribe about how much criminal activity Abdel was involved in, how much he got away with, and how ignorant the French police were. It definitely left a sour taste in my mouth, so by the time (more than halfway through the book) it got to Abdel meeting Philippe, I had very little interest in the rest of the story. If you want a depressing story steeped in reality and coated in machismo, read this book. If you want the feel good parts without the rancid aftertaste, go watch The Intouchables.

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