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The Moon's a Balloon [Paperback]

David Niven
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Oct 1994
Takes readers back to David Niven's childhood days, his humiliating expulsion from school and to his army years and wartime service. After the war, he returned to America and there came his Hollywood success in films such as "Wuthering Heights" and "Around the World in 80 Days".

Frequently Bought Together

The Moon's a Balloon + Bring on the Empty Horses (Hodder Great Reads) + My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn
Price For All Three: £25.18

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (27 Oct 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140239243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140239249
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

* 'An immensely enjoyable, witty and racy memoir (Sunday Times * 'Forthright, bawdy and often hilarious, zany and zestful, his anecdotes should keep you entertained for hours’ )

Sunday Express --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

David Niven's first volume of autobiography, which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a great read. 22 May 2006
By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Are you looking for an excellent read which will make you or someone in your life laugh? Then look no further. The Moon's a Balloon (and "Bring on the Empty Horses!") are two of the funniest and most satisfying books I have ever read.

David Niven was not always a star. He had to go away and learn his trade in "B" movies before being allowed to enter the big time. He learnt that trade so well he eventually won an Oscar. Unlike some who were destined to become greats of Hollywood, he also put his entire acting career on hold whilst he served as an officer in a fighting unit throughout WW2. This book tells the first half of his life's story and what a story it is. Like every biography ever written, the best bits are not found at the beginning, so some readers, therefore, might find it slow going at first - though most will not. Then we meet the rich and famous stars of Hollywood from another era and learn a little about each of these people and their various relationships as we move from one to another and sometimes back again.

Written in David Niven's own hilarious style, there is so much humour here that you "will" find yourself insisting others read this book. In fact, it is so funny - especially his descriptions of the wrong use of English words by foreign movie directors, one finishes the book in the knowledge that had David Niven not become an Oscar-winning movie star, he would easily have achieved great success as a writer.

Refreshingly, Niven writes about his fellow personalities from that golden age of the Hollywood of yester-year with charming frankness. Where others might expose drunkenness or sordid behaviour, Niven simply makes us laugh and, in so doing you really do get the feeling that those of whom he speaks would approve.

The underlying theme, of course, is David Niven's life and, as one reviewer has said elsewhere, this book leaves you wishing you had met this man. Me too.

NM
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If, as a novelist, you set out to create a fictional character who is sublimely witty and supremely charismatic but who has a lively capability to disregard "acceptable behaviour" then the end product would surely mimic Niven.
Niven's anecdotes and recollection of experiences from early childhood through his schooling and military career had me enthralled and laughing out loud on more than a few occasions. Recalling his Hollywood years in the company of a "Who's Who" of the Silver Screen enlightens the reader perhaps too young to have followed his career at the time.
There is no doubt Niven lived his life to the full. Equally, be in no doubt that he has the skill and humour to write of his experiences and to keep the reader absorbed and cheered.
How I wish I had met David Niven. An aristocrtic "Diamond Geezer" of the highest order!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found this book hard to put down. This book gives an honest account of a most extraordinary man and his life from childhood to the height of his hollywood career. His meetings with Women of the night and some of the worlds most important political figures. A story of love, hate, tragedy and ill health.One of those "must read" books
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like many of the reviewers, I first read this book many years ago when it was originally published. It is always the first book I recommend to anyone who asks me for something worthwhile to read.
It's an amazing account of the highs and lows from birth to late age of one of our greatest screen actors.
The humour and self deprecating wit will have you laughing out loud, whether from his boyhood, his time in the army or the hilarious accounts of Hollywood life, these recollections form the basis of my favourite autobiography.
David Niven was pretty much done with films when he wrote this, but the reaction to the book granted him a new lease of life and brought on more parts in film and television which certainly helped him in his later life.
Although subsequent biographies revealed that his private life was a little more troubled than indicated in "The Moon's A Balloon", it is a testament to this wonderful man that his memory will live on through these words.
Read it, enjoy it and recommend it to someone else!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a great read. 29 May 2011
By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Are you looking for an excellent read which will make you or someone in your life laugh? Then look no further. The Moon's a Balloon (and "Bring on the Empty Horses!") are two of the funniest and most satisfying books I have ever read.

David Niven was not always a star. He had to go away and learn his trade in "B" movies before being allowed to enter the big time. He learnt that trade so well he eventually won an Oscar. Unlike some who were destined to become greats of Hollywood, he also put his entire acting career on hold whilst he served as an officer in a fighting unit throughout WW2. This book tells the first half of his life's story and what a story it is. Like every biography ever written, the best bits are not found at the beginning, so some readers, therefore, might find it slow going at first - though most will not. Then we meet the rich and famous stars of Hollywood from another era and learn a little about each of these people and their various relationships as we move from one to another and sometimes back again.

Written in David Niven's own hilarious style, there is so much humour here that you "will" find yourself insisting others read this book. In fact, it is so funny - especially his descriptions of the wrong use of English words by foreign movie directors, one finishes the book in the knowledge that had David Niven not become an Oscar-winning movie star, he would easily have achieved great success as a writer.

Refreshingly, Niven writes about his fellow personalities from that golden age of the Hollywood of yester-year with charming frankness. Where others might expose drunkenness or sordid behaviour, Niven simply makes us laugh and, in so doing you really do get the feeling that those of whom he speaks would approve.

The underlying theme, of course, is David Niven's life and, as one reviewer has said elsewhere, this book leaves you wishing you had met this man. Me too.

NM
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