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George Cole - The World Was My Lobster: The Autobiography

George Cole - The World Was My Lobster: The Autobiography [Kindle Edition]

George Cole , Brian Hawkins
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The World was my Lobster tells the story of George Cole’s more than 70 years in the acting profession that began with a walk-on part at the age of 14 in the stage musical The White Horse Inn in 1939, and continues today having included such roles as David Bliss in the radio and television versions of A Life of Bliss, Flash Harry in the St. Trinian’s films, and Arthur Daley in television’s Minder.

Adopted when he was only 10 days old, George Cole grew up in south London in the 1920s. On the day he left school he saw a newspaper advertisement seeking a small boy to join the cast of The White Horse Inn and was selected the following day. A year later, he found himself in the West End play Cottage to Let playing a cheeky wartime evacuee. Here he met legendary comic actor Alastair Sim who, with his wife, took him as an evacuee in their country house and coached him in the finer skills of acting.

A flurry of films and theatre performances in the late 1940s, after his RAF service, culminated in a memorable role as a young Ebenezer Scrooge in the classic 1951 film Scrooge alongside Sim. Henry V, Cleopatra (with Elizabeth Taylor), Don’t Forget to Write, Blott on the Landscape, Henry Root, and Dad are among other titles for which he is well known. But it was in 1979 that he landed the role that would elevate him to international recognition when he was offered the role of Arthur Daley in Thames Television’s new series Minder alongside Dennis Waterman.

In The World was my Lobster, a title taken from a classic line in a Minder episode, George Cole talks candidly, humorously and sensitively about his adoption, his life, his roles and many of the people he has worked with throughout his long career.

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6899 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake; unsigned edtion edition (7 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EU9XI2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Disappointment 2 Jan 2014
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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promised more than it delivered 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely disappointing 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring 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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Funny name, terrible book! 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
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed 28 Oct 2013
By Ian S
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Still a mystery... 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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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars George Cole Autobiography 22 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If ever there was a misconception regarding a well known person, this was it. I expected a book full of interesting anecdotes but was sorely disappointed. Ok, so he tells us at the beginning that he will not mention his first marriage - that's ok but he also doesn't mention his RAF service or indeed delve very deep into anything much. After 67% (Kindle edition) the book finishes and there follows a list of his accomplishments, basically a repeat of the first 67%.
"I feel we've been 'ad, Terry my son."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
If you would like to know everything that George Cole appeared in this is the book for you. If you would like to know more about the man then avoid. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Andy
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought for my husband. He liked it.
I have not read this and does not interest me. It was bought as a present for my husband, he requested that I purchase it.
Published 9 days ago by Mrs Gwendoline Hart
2.0 out of 5 stars George Coles CV
This is no more really than George Coles CV on the vast amount of work he has undertaken as an actor, since the book contains very little interesting gossip or stories, unlike... Read more
Published 13 days ago by GREYHOUND
2.0 out of 5 stars We Have IMDB
Love the actor, book started well with all sorts of tidbits of English history. But soon moved on what just seems to be list after list of what George had been in. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Andy Gooner
3.0 out of 5 stars In my opinion
George Cole's biography is more like a CV of all the jobs he's had and a who's who of everyone he's worked with and only contains a few interesting facts about his life. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Gee-Bee
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor
Rubbish. I learned as much from this book as I could have through reading his biography on Wikipedia. Obviously a nice little earner for the author.
Published 20 days ago by Mr G Jeffery
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but a little dull.
Certainly full of interesting facts and detail but not as enjoyable read as the David Jason's which I read before and thoroughly enjoyed.
Published 23 days ago by anastasia
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Sorry George, as an actor you are fine, stick to that please. I only read half this book as I found it incredibly boring. Mostly just a list of parts played.
Published 1 month ago by Engerlish
2.0 out of 5 stars You Dont Really Like To Talk About Yourself
The words above are those of Michael Parkinson after he had interviewed him.Cole seems to think that he has disproved Parkinson's words whereas this book has proved Parkinson... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Wingate
4.0 out of 5 stars Longtime favourite
Excellent autobiography of an actor who has been constantly in the public eye since the age of fifteen.
an absorbibg read
Published 1 month ago by chalky
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