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The Man Who Became Sherlock Holmes: The Tortured Mind of Jeremy Brett Hardcover – 20 Mar 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; First Edition edition (20 Mar. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852276169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852276164
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 15.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 487,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Book of the Year' -- Dr Vernon Coleman, Sunday People --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 98 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
... my overwhelming impression of this biography is of a highly disjointed narrative, with facts being presented apparently in the order they were discovered, with vague gestures towards chronological order. There are blatant contradictions. The overall impression is of a hasty, uncareful, undercollaborated work; one gathers that the author had in mind to convey more about manic-depressive illness, from which Jeremy Brett suffered, than he wished to write a life of Jeremy Brett. That said, Brett's courage and determination in the face of such a terrible and debilitating illness is well portrayed. Still, I would like to have seen more interplay between Jeremy Brett and Sherlock Holmes than between manic depression and Sherlock Holmes. Jeremy Brett may well have suffered from manic depression, and that is significant, but to reduce Brett to 'a manic-depressive actor' is a profound mistake. It is not a mistake I suspect Manners of making: only of perpetrating. His portrayal of Mr. Brett himself is, overall, shallow (one gets the impression that Jeremy Brett did little throughout his life than call people 'darling' and create party atmospheres frm which he would evaporate). The emphasis on sex in the beginning of the book is ad-hoc and off-putting in nature, and, for those who are thrilled by such things, noncontinuous throughout the narrative. I was initially suspicious of a biography of such slim porportions, and I fear my suspicions were not falsified by piercing concision. I did learn a thing or two, but very little I could not have learned by perusing the vast amount of Internet bandwidth devoted to Jeremy Brett as Jeremy Brett as well as as Sherlock Holmes.Read more ›
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jan. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Having been a huge fan of Jeremy Brett for a few years, I snapped this book up when I saw it and settled down for a good read. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that this was going to be an uncomfortable experience.... The author manages the extraordinary feat of seeming uncomfortably intrusive without imparting any insight into an incredibly complicated, and potentially fascinating life. The description of his death is both tacky and morbid, written as it is from Brett's point of view. The author seems to have taken a huge liberty in imagining what was going through his mind immediately before he died. For years, I've eagerly anticipated a sensitive and incisive biography of a complex man - and I'm still waiting.
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116 of 118 people found the following review helpful By lcfsherlock@aol.com on 30 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
I pray the day will never come when Sherlock Holmes fans have only this insulting account of the late great Jeremy Brett on which to base their opinion of him. Mr Manners has set out to turn the life of a fine actor and human being into a gothic horror story. The result is a sensational and to my mind a distasteful treatment of the man who to me will always be Sherlock Holmes.
Jeremy Brett deserves a better memorial then this and I hope someone soon will set out to provide the thoughtful biography he deserves. In the meantime this is a slap in the face for his memory and all his fans. If you want a better account of JB as Sherlock Holmes try the great "A Study in Celluloid" by Michael Cox. Then wait in hope for a biography that portrays JB the man and not just a sentionalist image of the manic depression he fought so bravely. There was much more to Jeremy Brett then his illness, I wish Mr Manners had taken the trouble to show that.
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85 of 87 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
How insulting that an actor who played a character devoted to facts would fall victim to such slipshod, tawdry writing. Manners is obviously out for tabloid shock value rather than accuracy, and in effect manages to slap every Jeremy Brett fan in the face with this sophomoric garbage. If you must read this, save your money and find a library copy... If there were a "no stars" option, I would have used it.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Wilde on 13 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a firm believer in forming my own opinion free from influence even from the influence of my friends. So despite my admiration running deep for Jeremy Brett, and seeing so many shout down this book, I had to take up the challenge and read this book for myself. I now feel in a good position to state what I feel are the pros and cons of this controversial biography. I shall highlight, first, things I liked or found of interest within the book.

# Detailed information on Jeremy Brett's family background and upbringing (including schooling), with particularly heart warming information about Jeremy's mother (whom Jeremy thought the world of).

# Pleasant and interesting information about his lifelong friendship with Robert Stephens. If you can't track down Robert's autobiography this is the next best thing if you wish to find out about the great friendship the two men shared. Having also read Robert's own book, I can tell you Manners clearly used Robert's book as a key reference source.

# Detailed information on Jeremy Brett's acting career. Including information copied from a fair number of reviews/ articles.

# Linda Pritchard at some point gave her help to Terry Manners (see acknowledgements page). The information on her friendship with the great actor bares a strong resemblance to Linda's 'Wings' book which was to follow. Surprisingly the reader will find information copied straight from Linda Pritchard's own personal diary (something you won't find in her own book). It must be noted however that the diary entries make for upsetting reading.

# The information on how Jeremy met the only woman to ever fulfil his image of the ideal wife and friend (producer of Masterpiece Theatre, Joan Wilson) makes for interesting reading.
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