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.