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Patrick McGoohan: Danger Man or Prisoner? [Paperback]

Peter Falk , Roger Langley
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Patrick McGoohan: Danger Man or Prisoner? + Not A Number: Patrick McGoohan, a Life: 1 + The Prisoner Handbook
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Product details

  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Tomahawk Press; 1st edition (8 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0953192644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953192649
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Surely no-one is better qualified than Roger Langley… Langley's book is heavyweight in its authority but everyman in its voice… Spend some time with Roger Langley's Danger Man Or Prisoner? and you'll come away feeling you know what truly makes the heart beat inside this extraordinary and quite unique British actor of ours. --Brighton Magazine

The book is a must for all Patrick McGoohan fans of which there are thousands worldwide. --Book Review Programme European Radio Features

Roger Langley s in-depth biography manages to provide a detailed and tantalizing look at the actor and his career whilst at the same time not overtly invading his privacy. Solid examinations of such classic McGoohan films as Hell Drivers, Ice Station Zebra and Scanners and stunningly illustrated with over 450 rare stills make this a superb study. --Film Review Magazine

Synopsis

This is the definitive tribute to one of Britain's brightest stars, affirming his cult status as a guiding light in international film, television and theatre. Often combining the key roles of actor, writer, director and producer, Patrick McGoohan is a complex Renaissance artist with an impressive body of work. His achievements and failures reveal a driven, highly moral, highly creative star, who steadfastly abhors the glare of publicity. Despite his reluctance to embrace the media frenzy which surrounds 'show business', McGoohan's enigmatic screen persona and his fearless dedication to the performing arts continue to conquer and fascinate new audiences all over the world. He has been described as "The British Orson Welles" by folksinger and fan, Donovan. McGoohan and his work still have fan clubs all over the world. This book will tell you why! Lavishly illustrated with never before seen images, the book explains the enigma that is McGoohan! It includes 450 rare photographs.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A REALLY EXTRAORDINARILY WRITTEN BOOK 10 May 2008
I just found this a really extraordinarily badly written book. Here's a typical sentence, where caution, syntax, grammar and common sense are all thrown to the same wind: "Whether the star's possible mid-life crisis, a realisation that there was a crossroads in his career mid-decade or whether the actor harboured a wish to be experimental - like his mentor, Orson Welles - might never be known". And this in a book, touted by the publisher as explaining "the enigma" that is Patrick McGoohan. Well, the author doesn't know, so how can the readership?

The other thing that the above dog's dinner of a typical sentence demonstrates is that the author hasn't even begun to get under the skin of his subject, otherwise he wouldn't write such compromising cobblers. The surface of the subject is hardly scratched. This isn't a biography of Patrick McGoohan so much as a depthless look at those aspects of his life that are already in the public domain, much of it on the 'Net. What is pointedly missing is commentary from the subject on those "black holes" in his life, where speculation fails to replace substance.

Worrisome also is the author's uneasy relationship with his subject. The whole handful of their abrupt personal telephone conversations and snippets are recorded verbatim but, if they are meant to be passed off as interviews, well, the author's interviewing technique needs some upping. These pointedly brief exchanges only serve to highlight the paucity of original thought and the fact that the author has rarely spoken to his subject, never actually met him and certainly never formally interviewed him - and, hey, doesn't it show?
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58 of 70 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid 30 Jun 2008
There are great actor bios such as Callow's Orson Welles. There are middling actor bios such as Chandler's Joan Crawford.

Then there are actor bios such as this rather awful book.

Apart from a few new interviews regarding McGoohan's early career, there is precious little information in here which has not been previously published or which is not available online.

So if you want some detail on his formative years, by all means go ahead and buy the book. But if you are like me and were expecting some insight on his actual career, you will be sorely disappointed. The book is particularly poor when attempting to discuss his body of film work following his brief television stardom in the sixties.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Give it a miss! 1 Mar 2012
The whole book reads like a cheaply produced fanzine type thing, you can sense the authors enthusiasm for the subject but there are much better and more structured books available. A lot of it seems to have been written for the authors benefit rather than the paying reader.

I'm sure the definitive book about McGoohan can be written to sit alongside other quality books about The Prisoner TV series.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Compendium 23 Aug 2008
I have at last taken the opportunity to look through this work, and have given it two stars- for the volume of information contained within, and for some nice photographs (some of which have reproduced remarkably well). The problem is that ultimately the reader must decide for him or herself whether it best fits the criteria of biography, or a resource compendium of largely previously existing facts and information in one heavy volume (which is for the most part well laid out, if a little crowded). As the latter it may prove a worthy addition.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment 2 Nov 2007
By R. Davy
Many people have waited for the ultimate biography of McGoohan's interesting life, but i'm afraid this book disappoints. With the author having not spent any time with the subject, then it feels more like a fan's book than a book written by someone who would have inside knowledge of the subject.

A plus point is the extensive section on McGoohan's early life in Sheffield, much of which has not been talked about a great deal before.

However, as one international magazine commented in their negative review of the book, the rest of the book is more about the author's fandom of the subject than the subject itself. It is a very difficult to read volume due to the author's writing style, and in choosing his friends to try and sum up McGoohan as a man at the end of he book, rather than people who have met him which would have surely been the better option, it is an insult to the man and his integrity.

As McGoohan himself has always stated he did not want a biography written about him, one wonders what he makes of the book. Many were hoping for the definitive guide to his career, and an insight into the great man himself. On the former the author includes most things, but so does any website list of roles. On the latter, the author and the book disappoints greatly.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Information we want information... you wont get it! 26 April 2011
By P. Rowe
This is a slightly odd book from a slightly odd writer. Langley has for many years exerted a vice like grip on the Prisoner fan club and whilst deifying the lead actor has also been a keen proponent of a high degree of 'news management'. In many ways this book resembles the oddity that the fan club has become. It's a bitty, rambling affair that occasionally provides insight into McGoohan the enigma. However it only does half the job and so much of the man's career is skated over in preference of rehashing past commentaries on those 17 tv episodes. There are now better books out there on Patrick McGoohan. Equally, almost all books from small publisher Tomahawk are better - so check out Whatshisname: The Life and Death of Charles Hawtrey and Hammer Films - The Unsung Heroes: The Team Behind the Legend as well as The Battle for Bond: Second Edition all are far better researched, more skilfully written and much more fun to read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Prisoner
Really rather good. Shame the product is not being made available as a re-print/new. Good read, lots of facts., and interesting too.
Published 17 months ago by OO54DWL
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
a marvellous piece of work by roger langley who must have known pat mcgoohan inside out.no stone left unturned from birth upto those long many years in america
Published 20 months ago by paul hobson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prisoner Must Have
If you are a fan of The Prisoner and of all things McGoohan then you will want to add this to your collection as it gives a good background to the great man's career as well as... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2010 by marcoscu
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have
I bought this as a surprise present for my husband who is a big fan of The Prisoner, Danger Man etc. and he has not been able to put it down since it arrived. Read more
Published on 29 Aug 2009 by E. Emmett
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book Ever On McGoohan Highly Recommended
This is an amazing book on the life of this great actor so much information I have not seen before , it has been thoroughly researched and is an excellent read, I love the Prisoner... Read more
Published on 29 Aug 2008 by J. D. Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing read
Always been a fan of McGoohan and had heard of his legendary need for privacy. So it was with trepidation that I decided to purchase this book. Having read it I'm delighted I did. Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2008 by Jacob
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time...
Once upon a time a book comes along that you have wanted to see for a long time. For Prisoner and Paddy McGoohan fans this is it! Read more
Published on 29 July 2008 by S. S. J. Maltman
5.0 out of 5 stars patrick mcgoohan dangerman or prisoner
A really good read about this enigmatic star with lots of good and unusual photos including some nice behind the scenes pictures as well . Read more
Published on 22 July 2008 by I. F. French
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Source for, all things McGoohan "
Considering McGoohan's well known reluctance to get involved in anything to do with fandom and with an impressive foreword by non other than Columbo himself Peter Falk, this... Read more
Published on 9 July 2008 by Steveiboy6
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