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George Cole - The World Was My Lobster: The Autobiography - Limited Signed Edition Hardcover – 21 Nov 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Blake Publishing; signed edtion edition (21 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178219777X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782197775
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 3.1 x 15.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 227,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

After more than seven decades in the acting profession, George Cole, OBE remains one of Britain's most recognizable faces. His first walk-on part at the age of 14 in a stage musical, and his subsequent coaching by well-loved actor Alastair Sim, led to more than 60 stage plays, 60 film titles and close to 300 episodes of more than 80 television shows. Brian Hawkins recently retired after 40 years as a medical scientist. He has published extensively in the medical literature and has written two medical books. Born in England, he has his roots in east London and became attracted to the "Minder" series when he saw it overseas because it closely resembled the people and language that surrounded him when he was growing up. This interest eventually grew into a book, and during the course of his research he paid a visit to George Cole for an interview. They stayed in touch and, after a few nudges from Brian, George eventually asked him to help compile this autobiography. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mr. I. Day on 2 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover
Like many others who have rated this book poorly I really wanted to enjoy this book and learn a little more about an actor who remains enigmatically aloof from the media.
I felt the book was poorly written, with many repetitions within the same chapter, and was extremely patronising (clearly the ghost is hoping for overseas sales) in that many English place names and colloquialisms had to be laboriously explained.
I was left with the impression that an intensely private man had little desire or interest in sharing his public life with his many fans, and had been cajoled by avaricious publishers into putting his name to a book that does not feel worthy of him.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Rallyman on 27 Dec 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this era of 'celebrity' I tend to stay clear of autobiographies because there are far to many people who think they have something to tell us within minutes of being weaned onto solid food. With all that George Cole has achieved in his career I thought this was worth a punt and so downloaded the Kindle version.

To be fair you can actually hear George telling the story but from the outset it was clear that this book needed a firmer hand on the editing as you would frequently read something and then effectively re-read it in a different form in the next paragraph.

The book takes a fairly chronological approach to George's career and, while he repeatedly explains he's a private person, I did expect him to reveal more about himself than the few anecdotes scattered through what is little more than a list of the plays/films/shows he's been in. I couldn't quite work out the anomaly of the way he more or less reveals that Alistair Sim was pretty tight with money and often showed an unpleasant streak and yet at the same time retains a massive affection for his unofficial stepfather. It gets a bit more interesting during the Minder years but, for most of the people reading this book, there is little that is uncovered that isn't already in the public knowledge.

What really grates, though, is how soon the story comes to an end. The Kindle edition stops 67% of the way through the book leaving more than a quarter of the book dedicated to a list of George's appearances (which could easily have been obtained from Google).

The world may have been George's lobster but this book offers only the body and does not deliver the claws which, as anyone who has eaten lobster will know, are the tastiest bits...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ed Flack on 22 Dec 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to this - 70 years in the business - must be brim full of anecdotes I thought but no. This is an autobiography which plods along and reads like a bibliography. I respect George's rights to privacy but if you are going to charge for your life story you owe the reader a duty to at least let a few interesting tidbits out about yourself. The actual book (kindle edition)ends at 66% (thankfully) the rest is an extensive film and play list which in truth you can get from the net. Unless you are desperate for an autobiography I would suggest almost anything else.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GPT on 3 Sep 2014
Format: Hardcover
One would think that someone with a career spanning over 70 years would have a great many annecdotes, stories and interesting things to say. Not so. Like so many others who have reviewed this book, I really looked forward to learning a little more about the man I've admired since his St Trinians days. However this book is an absolute shocker. Mainly a chronological list of productions he's been in and actors he's worked with, very little else. I struggled to read half of it and the rest will remain unread I'm afraid. A huge disappointment. I've given it a one star rating simply because I'm unsure if I can give it no stars! This must be near the top of the poorest autobiography ever list.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon CustomerJohn from Bewdley on 14 Feb 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was bitterly disappointed with this book. What I imagined would be an insight into the life of one of our greatest comedy icons, turned into a boring diary of George Cole's Movie, Theatre and T.V. roles.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Schunowho on 20 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want to read a long list of the plays, films and TV shows George Cole has been in then read this book. Or you could save your money and read his Wickapedia page! This is a very dull book without any interesting or insightful storys. How someone can be in the industry this many years without having anything funny or revealing to say beats me. Even his Minder reminisces are dry and boring. There are no revealing or candid comments about fellow stars, living or dead. Avoid, unless you want an aid to a good nights sleep!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ian S on 28 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quite a lot of the book includes details of plays/films as you would expect. But, it does get rather repetitive. 'Was in a play/film written by, produced by, directed by, starring this person, that person' Then details of the story line. Read it on my Kindle and was surprised to see that when it indicated that I was just over 50% through the book, it ended. The rest of the book was taken up with lists of film,TV and stage performances all in chronological order. Learned quite a bit about the guy and in undoubtedly a really nice bloke so don't really want to be to critical.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Phill Jenner on 16 Dec 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A disappointing read, having been a huge fan of 'Minder' I was looking forward to finding out about the man behind the character. Unfortunately, very little about the man or his life away from his profession is revealed here...more bibliography than autobiography...maybe he was just too busy all the time to have a life as such?
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