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Alfred Hitchcock Hardcover – 2 Apr 2015


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (2 April 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701169931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701169930
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.7 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Superb, insightful short life... Deft and moving" (Bee Wilson The Guardian)

"Irresistible" (Louise Jury The Independent)

"An elegant and hugely enjoyable read" (Alexander Larman Sunday Express)

"[A] nutritious, compact and superb critical biography" (Roger Lewis Daily Mail)

"Shelves of serious biographies have been written on Alfred Hitchcock, but perhaps none as pleasurable as Peter Ackroyd’s" (Kate Muir The Times)

Book Description

Peter Ackroyd turns his gimlet eye to one of the twentieth century's most revered directors.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ian P on 21 April 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr Ackroyd has written a concise enjoyable biography of Alfred Hitchcock, unlike many biographies on the "Master Of Suspense" this it is pretty straightforward account of the director's life. This may appear to be too lightweight for hardcore devotees of Hitchcock's work but as other weightier biographies and works concerning his impact on cinema and his relationship with many who worked with him are available and may well be sought out by readers of this book. If you have an interest in the great director's life and works I highly recommend this book as a good primer on the subject
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 April 2015
Format: Hardcover
Alfred Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone in 1899. His father was a greengrocer, part fishmonger. A big boy with a distinctive appearance he was unpopular at school. The smell of fish on his clothes didn't help. Interestingly, Covent Garden market featured prominently in his penultimate film, 'Frenzy'.

In Ackroyd's biography, the film director is portrayed as a man obsessed with his image, an image that changed dramatically after the huge success of 'Psycho' The author writes that by the 1960's Hitchcock had become ' What he aspired to be, imperturbable and indifferent'. Ackroyd examines the facade that Hitchcock hid behind. He looks behind the cultivated mask. Whether he sees all is doubtful.

From an early age Hitch was fascinated by crime and the legal system. He read murder stories avidly and with relish. The author wonders if Hitchcock 's films were a means of concealing desires of which he was ashamed. Ackroyd has long been fascinated with Cockney visionaries. These include Turner, Blake, Chaplin and Dickens. He argues here that Hitchcock was very similar to Dickens. Also, he explores his fascination with birds, predators and death. He loved to anticipate an audience's terror. He loved dirty stories and practical jokes. There was a cruel streak in Hitch.

In the film ' I Confess' he plied Montgomery Cliff with drink until he collapsed. He did so knowing the star was an alcoholic. He gave others brandy laced with a laxative. Hitchcock had an odd habit of falling asleep in the middle of a conversation. He dined with film stars and fell asleep before the main course. The author wonders if he was taking opiates to combat depression and anxiety. After all, Hollywood to where he and his family emigrated in 1939, was notoriously pill-happy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Rochester on 17 May 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have not yet read this but I greatly admire Peter Ackroyd and his work so I am sure I will find it extremely interesting.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Butler on 14 May 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great present for M-I-L
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Philip Price.... on 29 April 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
taking it on holiday but expect it to be very good.
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