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Sid James: A Biography [Kindle Edition]

Cliff Goodwin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

Covering Sid's early years in South Africa and life as a ladies' hairdresser, his obsession with gambling and women, his questioning by Scotland Yard in a murder case, Hancock's Half Hour and the Carry On films, and Sid's death on stage at the age of 63, Cliff Goodwin reveals the amazing truth behing the legend.

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'fascinating reading and funny' -- Loaded

'reveals the true nature of the popular star' -- Bookseller

'this is a classic' -- Bookcase

'unpretentious and surprisingly seductive' -- Daily Telegraph

'very good read indeed' -- Film Review

From the Publisher

Everyone knows Sid James from his work on Hancock's Half Hour and the Carry On films, but, when I first read Cliff Goodwin's biography, I was amazed at how much more there is to Sid. Not only does that include his early years in South Africa, including a spell as a very successful ladies' hairdresser, but also his family life and, especially, the fact that he was questioned by Scotland Yard about a murder. To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Sid James's death (1976), Cliff has completely updated this biography with new material and never-before-seen photographs, revealing the amazing truth behind this well-loved actor.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An addictive book makes it a first pick for a fan 31 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been a Carry On fan for over fifteen years, and during the last few years have read four other autobiographies of the series actors. Since I received this book in the mail I was addicted to it, and thought it gave a great insight to the man who made us laugh. It was very detail-orientated, focusing mostly on Sid's early years and how he got started in his acting career (less on his starring in the Carry On film series), and how in reality he had quite a sad upbringing with no real sense of closeness from his mother, which in my opinion made him the seductive charmer and ladies man that he was. Compared to the other autobiographies I have read of the series actors I think that this has been the best one, with the Joan Sims one being second in my opinion. It gave some insight into his character, and I would definitely recommend it, especially as it was very easy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sid James 1 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written-interesting character,
A good even handed review of his life
Wouldn't have like my daughter to bring him home
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A BORING BIOGRAPHY OF AN EXCITING MAN 3 May 2005
By A Customer
I thought this a largely uninspired, dull and rather dirty book on a man who was a comic legend. The book is concisely written but that's about all one can say in its favour. James' private life was obviously enormously complicated and the inner sadness behind the crabby, smiling features was a strong part of his nature - yet we learn almost nothing about the real man. James' journey from South Africa to Europe, his psychological journey from a pedestrian life in the suburbs to film stardom, make him an 18th century figure of myth and mystery. But there is no sense of that here. Goodwin propogates James' own inventions about himself, painting him as a fairly ordinary bloke-next-door. Indeed, in Goodwin's reductionism, James might as well have been a tailor or jeweller.
James' chameleon qualities merit a serious study - a work of colour and dimension, not just another "showbiz biog".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sid James A biography 2 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
loved this book very interesting , sid was as tight as a ducks bum , but lead a fantastic life
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4.0 out of 5 stars Timeline 22 Jan. 2014
By taffman
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting story but needs a more defined timeline. I found it annoying how the writer kept jumping to another story in the middle of telling the first, it made it hard to follow in places
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sid James 28 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book was not easy to read as it was not in accurate chronologocal order i.e. it kept jumping back and forwards so it was difficult to follow.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying, concise - recommended 25 Oct. 2003
Cliff Goodwin's a writer of unpretentious biographies uncluttered by the rhetorical posturing of other exponents of the genre. I'd read his Oliver Reed and been impressed by it, this is similarly impressive - well researched, balanced, unpretentious, this should be the first stop for those interested in finding out more about this fascinating man.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb story of a true genius 25 April 2000
Sid's battered looking face was a good indication of his troubled life. This book gives a superb and sometimes shocking view into his world
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