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A Postillion Struck by Lightning (Dirk Bogarde's Autobiography) [Paperback]

Dirk Bogarde
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Feb 1988 Dirk Bogarde's Autobiography
Dirk Bogarde's first volume of autobiography, published originally in 1977, traces the first steps of a young actor who went on to achieve worldwide acclaim. It details not only his early stage experiences, but also some evocative scenes from his childhood in Sussex, where his family lived in a cottage in the South Downs. Later came a technical college in Glasgow, an apprenticeship in printing, an art education at Chelsea, and finally a scholarship to the Old Vic - just as war broke out. Other volumes of his autobiography are: "Snakes and Ladders", "An Orderly Man" and "Backcloth".

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 Feb 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140105387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140105384
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,051,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The first part of Dirk Bogarde's autobiography is highly romantic and dreamy. The writer captures the beautiful heady sights, sounds, smells and tastes of an English summer as he shares with us his idyllic childhood in the country.
This long glorious summer, which is a condensation of a number of boyhood summers, comes to an end, as all summers must, and gives way to a winter of discontent. In this gloomy winter, the young Bogarde discovers that life can be unpleasant, even brutal. We learn of his unhappy experiences at a school in Glasgow, his greater success upon transferring to an Art School, his introductions to the world of theatre and finally his call-up into the army.
The autobiography ends rather strangely, however. Bogarde says little about his war experiences. Instead, he leaps ahead a few decades where we find him in Hollywood. This jump takes us to a
place that is somewhat incongruous with the rest of the autobiography and it jars considerably.
Nevertheless, Dirk Bogarde's life is worthy of an autobiography and he writes and illustrates his story very well. I especially appreciated the craftsmanship that went into the structure of the narrative. I will definitely be reading the next volume of this interesting man's life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Postillon - First of a great series 14 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the first of a series of Dirk Bogarde autobiographical books (if we include Great Meadow and A Particular Friendship) that makes eight.Postillion is full of memories of sunny childhood days in the thirties and late twenties in a small English village.But you don't have to be a 1930's child to remember some of these charming rustic scenes - I was a small boy in the mid 1960's and spent my summers at my Aunties cottage in a farming village - sitting on the wooden platform that held the large metal milk pales we would hitch a lift on the passing wagons - a wooden kiosk that resembled a Canadian cabin served as village post office and kiddies sweet shop.Dirk Bogardes memories refresh our own and in later books we envy his idyllic life in France.He is a brilliant writer and everyone I know says how easy his books are to read - the words flow naturally.I became a fan of his watching Death in Venice and The Night Porter as a young teenager at the cinema( Baker Street Cinema ,London)- A very talented man.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An uncertain childhood 20 July 2002
By Beverley Strong - Published on Amazon.com
This book is the first part of an autobiographical trilogy and deals with Dirk Bogards childhood up to the age of 18. He and his sister spent the pre war years of the late 30's in an idyllic setting where everything was safe and gentle.Things changed however when he was sent to school in a harsh and unforgiving Glasgow to "whip him into shape".Then followed a few years where he tried to get into the theatre and finally to his call up to an Army camp. Everything rings perfectly truly and I can't wait to start book 2 ,"Snakes and Ladders".
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful. Bogarde was an exceptional writer. 29 May 1999
By Thom Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette
The first book I had ever read by Dirk Bogarde was AN ORDINARY MAN. I couldn't wait to read the rest of his books and now have a fairly complete collection. A POSTILLION STRUCK BY LIGHTNING is one the best, full of humor, insight into human frailities, and pure craftsmanship. I'd recommend it to everyone. When I first read AN ORDINARY MAN I wrote him a fan letter addressed to his publisher. Remarkably, they passed the letter on to him and I received the most charming response. We carried on a correspondence right up to the time he became ill. It was so sad to learn of his death.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic outlook on a hard life 11 July 1998
By Jihan Askar( jihoaskar@yahoo.com) - Published on Amazon.com
In my opinion, Sir Bogarde is the most fascinating actor ever to grace the screen. His talent as an author is no less fascinating. He describes his early childhood with all the beauty and gentleness of a fairytale , accompanied by sweet , nostalgic sketches. As he proceeds , he describes the hardships he encountered later on with amazing frankness and clarity ,particularly a heartwrenching day of his life when he was brutally raped by a sadistic child molester. There is much strength , beauty , humour and sadness inside this amazing man. It must be an enriching experience to know him personally.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DIRK BOGARDE'S ABUNDANT LIGHT 14 Jan 2001
By Shadow Woman - Published on Amazon.com
What can I say? Bogarde's a genius, and this book, like all his others, is evidence of that fact. They broke the mold when they made the Dirkster, and the world is a better place for it! His light is so bright it'll blind you if you stare directly at it, just like the sun. Approach with eyes averted, as if humbly bowing down to the gods.
5.0 out of 5 stars It is somewhat unusual as it is written like a novel 22 July 2014
By MS. GODWIN - Published on Amazon.com
It is somewhat unusual as it is written like a novel, but still very interesting reading. I have always appreciated Mr. Bogarde's acting, and now I am learning that he was an accomplished author as well.
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