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Free Association: Autobiography Paperback – 3 Nov 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New Ed edition (3 Nov 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571192696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571192694
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 823,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Steven Berkoff was born in Stepney, East London and started acting at the City Literary Institute when he was 19. Following more training at the Webber Douglas School of Drama, he worked extensively in repertory theatre in England and Scotland - doing every job from understudy to stage management. In 1968 he formed his own company, the London Theatre Group. Through mime, gymnastics and voice, the Group liberated themselves from the conventions of mainstream theatre and started to evolve an innovative, more integrated theatrical language. Berkoff's encounter with the mime artist Jacque le Coq in Paris was seminal in this. Steven Berkoff's plays include East, West, Sink the Belgrano!, Decadence, Kvetch, Acapulco, Ritual in Blood, Oedipus, Messiah: Scenes from a Crucifixtion, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, West, Decadence, Sit and Shiver, Greek, Harry's Christmas, Lunch, Acapulco, Sink the Belgrano!, Massage, Sturm und Drang and Brighton Beach Scumbags. He has written an autobiography, Free Association, and the theatre books I Am Hamlet, Overview and Meditations on Metamorphosis. Among Berkoff's film credits are Octopussy, Beverly Hills Cop and his own production of Decadence.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "rpdoran" on 6 Mar 2005
Format: Paperback
Berkoff has written a deep, intense and thoroughly entertaining account of his life in this book. As one of the most prevalent and fascinating practitioners working in the theatre today my expectations were high, but his autobiography did not disappoint; he not only charts his artistic development throughout his life and writes with bravado and charisma but he also expresses some of the fragility and disappointment in his life. His honest treatment of his seeming inferiority complex, personal loss, disappointment and disillusionment as an actor and his dismissal by the theatre industry in Britain provides revealing insights into the REAL Berkoff behind his larger-than-life persona.
However, I have two complaints with the book:
1. It is titled 'Fee Association', this means that Berkoff's account is not chronological, instead he writes in sections, starting new sections when he has a new thought. This is EXTREMELY frustrating; it makes it impossible to judge his development, and leaves the reader confused and redundant. I realise that this scatty writing is suitable for Berkoff's personality, however unlike the other reviewer I found it gimmicky. Although Berkoff is a glutton for originality, I wish he had observed time continuity in this book- it would have saved me from flicking back to a section earlier in the book to recap on a particular period in his life.
2. The paperback edition of this book has one of the poorest bindings I have come across. I do not mistreat my books and have only read it once yet lots of the pages have fallen out. The binding is so poor (shame on you Faber!) that I've bought the hardback- I would advise that others buy the hardback until Faber improve their paperback binding.
These two complaints should not stop you from enjoying the book and are minor complaints when compared against the content and magnetism with which Berkoff pulls off this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Norx on 6 Jun 2000
Format: Paperback
This is just a stonkingly good read. Berkoff avoids the tedious autobiographical structure and instead moves from era to era of his life as he recalls early memories that have influenced his work and the process involved in his writing and directing. As someone with a great respect for his work, I was fascinated. However, as an insight into the theatrical process in a juicily good read - witty ascerbic and thoroughly entertaining.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Good 29 Dec 2012
By Andrew Collier - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This item was just as it was described in the posting and I was very happy with the quality. Thanks!
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