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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Audiobooks (2 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846570212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846570216
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 2.4 x 14.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Read, as only Sir Peter can, with wit and charm ... His renowned gift for mimicry is exploited to the full" (East Riding News)

"Ustinov is undoubtedly an intelligent storyteller, and having him read his biography demonstrates his skill at mimicry" (Glasgow Herald)

"Comes alive on CD, thanks to Ustinov's repertoire of voices" (Park & Holiday Home)

"With his renowned talent for storytelling, and incisive charm and wit, Sir Peter recounts his memorable life full of astonishing anecdotes... One autobiography that gains immeasurably by being read by the author himself" (Good Book Guide)

"Read in his inimitable tones, this audiobook is irresistable" (The Scotsman)

Book Description

The hilarious and riveting autobiography from the late, great Sir Peter Ustinov

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Renate Bahnemann on 20 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
What a fascinating character!

One of those books that I was reluctant to finish as the last page drew nearer.

Prior to reading this book I only knew Peter Ustinov as the delightful character Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie films. But I learned that he had a very long career in the theatre and that his talents seemed to include almost all areas in it.

His background alone makes for interesting reading. He is the child of Russian immigrants who settled in England but his (very talented) ancestors came from far and wide and included countries such as Ethiopia and Israel.

Parts of the book is written in the style of a soul searching dialogue between Peter Ustinov and himself, hence the title. He makes some insightful comments about life and the world. In general throughout the book I was struck by what appears to be the extreme intelligence of someone who oddly enough did not do well in school.

Many parts of the book are pure entertainment. I laughed aloud in many places. His descriptions of his eccentric relatives, his experiences in the army, how he dealt with rebellious students at Durham university are all very funny.

I can recommend this book. It is highly entertaining and amusing. But it also contains some insightful observations by a highly intelligent, observant and unique personality.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Jacoby on 18 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Autobiography usually sets the record crooked. This one is diffent: it is LIFE seen from the corner of an eye. This passage (pp 139-140) says all that need be said:

<Here I stood in my civilian clothes, together with a few other depressed recruits, staring into a roaring fire, under the penetrating scrutiny of an old sweat who had remained a private soldier for nigh on forty years. He had lived totally without ambition, with a clear, precise concept of his position in society. The coming of war had prevented his retirement, and now he studied us and our civilian sadness with eyes both critical and kind.
'I'd 'ave to cast me mind back forty years and more to put myself in your shoes, an' yet I remembers it as though it was yesterday,' he mused, and then, with a sudden buoyancy, he added, `There was an old sweat like myself to greet me the day I said goodbye to civvie street, and I'll tell you the story he told me to cheer me up, see. The story went as follows. Once upon a time there was two private soldiers engaged in latrine fatigues. It was autumn, and they was sweepin' the bits o' soiled toilet-paper into piles for incineration, see, when a gust o' autumn wind come along, and sent one of these bits o' bumph up in the air like a leaf, just out o' reach o' the two men, and before they could do anything about it, it 'ad gone in the Colonel's window. Now one of the men says to the other, "Listen, you go on sweepin' up. If there's any questions asked, I've been taken short. It's only 'uman, isn't it? Meanwhile, I'll go in there and try to get that bit of soiled bumph back. The old man's quite deaf, short-sighted an' all, 'e may not notice me." After a couple o' minutes, 'e's back, see, and the other private, still sweepin' away, says, "Well?"
`The first private shakes 'is 'ead, gloomy-like. "I was too late," 'e said. "'E'd already signed it."'>

If you don't enjoy this book and learn from it, I'm sorry for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DubaiReader VINE VOICE on 6 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD
I listened to an abridged version of this book and couldn't get through the first CD (1 star from me). Fortunately for Mr Ustinov, my husband put it in his car and absolutely loved it (5 stars from him), so the book gets 3 stars on average.

I found his 'hilarious' anecdotes tedious and rambling, my husband, on the other hand, though he was hugely amusing and, knowing many of the famous people who he name drops, was immediately drawn in.

My husband has a typically male sense of humour, puns and word games, my sense of humour is more demanding, more subtle. Which group do you fall into??
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill Wright on 18 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the book very much although the words he used were mostly not in my vocabulary so a dictionary was required at times. Having said that it was very funny, interesting and informative. I enjoyed his description of his army days and early career. I would certainly recommend this book to people who had a better grasp of the English language than I have or have a good dictionary like me.
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By BRH King on 16 Feb. 2010
Format: Audio Cassette
Those of us old enough to have watched the world of theatre, film and television emerging from the aftermath of the war will have been aware of Peter Ustinov as a gentle, humourous but imaginative actor, director and comedian. His autobiography more than illustrates the background against which he grew and developed into the person he was - it involves you, and entices you to get to know this man. His distant parents (he was an only child), conventional schooling, against which he rebelled, tongue in cheek; his time at drama school, and then in the Army - all these he recounts with a mixture of almost sentimentality, and disdain, laughingthe while. Hearing him read his own writing, with his amazing ability to mimic almost any style of ch aracter with whom he came into contact, is compelling - I was reluctant to stop after a couple of hours listening, while on a long car journey - and there's still more to come. Can't wait!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I am still enjoying this book, but I would not recommend it to readers who expect it to be funny throughout. It has some very comic and hilarious situation, which are highly entertaining but it is also interspersed with some serious issues and profound thoughts beautifully written.
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