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With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E.Grant [Paperback]

Richard E Grant
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 April 1997

‘An exceptionally vivid and penetrating insight into Hollywood film-making . . . What most of us want is gossip about stars, and this is something the book delivers in spades . . . Qualifies for that exclusive niche reserved for film star memoirs that are worth much more than a casual flick on the bookshop shelf’ Jonathan Coe, Observer

‘It’s a star-packed savagely observed delight, and as a vivid psychological insight into one actor’s complete experience of a film, it really does stand alone’ Empire

‘In these dashing diaries of his recent years in the movies, Grant shares with candour his wonder at this aberrant universe and its inhabitants’ Sunday Times

‘There are enough barbs and shrewd observations here to merit the title. Funny, bitchy, utterly fascinating’ Independent on Sunday

‘Fresh, funny and full of insights . . . it is the most attractive feature of this attractive book that he retains all the enthusiasm of an innocent abroad enjoying the holiday of a lifetime – and willing to invite the reader along for the ride’ Daily Mail

‘Grant has produced a classic Withnail himself would have been proud of’ Vox

Frequently Bought Together

With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E.Grant + The Wah-Wah Diaries: The Making of a Film + Withnail And I [1986] [DVD]
Price For All Three: 22.74

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Ed edition (4 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330349678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330349673
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Richard E Grant was born and brought up in Mbabane, Swaziland. He came to London in 1982, where he waitered, repped, toured and fringed until getting a role in a television satire about advertising, Honest, Decent and True. This led to his being cast in the seminal movie Withnail And I (1986). He is the author of a book of film diaries With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E Grant (1996) and the novel By Design: A Hollywood Tale (1998). He has written occasional pieces for the Sunday Times, Observer, Vanity Fair and Premiere Magazine. Richard E Grant lives with his family in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special and Different 24 Jun 2000
By A Customer
What a wonderful gem of a book! Its appeal is broader than may initially be imagined. Hilarious for those who love humor, uniquely informative for those who love the film industry or are fascinated by celebrity culture, and revealing in unusual ways for those who favor biography and value the insightful as well the factual, this book has much to offer. But its best feature is Mr. Grant's humanity in explaining himself and his characters. How lucky this talented chap is to see so many sides to a situation all at one time and to be able to communicate them so wonderfully well. Some of the most beautifully stated, warm and/or witty insights into self, others, and life's various experiences that I have ever read are contained within the covers of this very special book. Mr. Grant, a lifelong diary writer, apparently practices the diary style of "talking" directly to his journal as if it were another individual. The end result is a conversation between the reader and the author that leaves the reader aching to meet Grant in person to continue the dialogue. Grant's wit, intellect, and originality could be (and should be) applied to many, many different topics, biographical or otherwise. Highly recommended - as pleasurable in the rereading as it is the first time through!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and insightful 5 Jun 2007
I just got this book recently after seeing Richard E Grant interviewed on TV (in NZ). He came across so well in the interview, funny, and insightful, and rather cute too... Hearing that he's a writer I decided to check out his books. Within two pages I was laughing out loud, and then a little further on I had tears in my eyes (no not from laughing, but from a reading his account of the birth and death of his first child).

Grant has an interesting way of writing - stream of consciousness, and it really works well, taking the reader along for the ride. At a quick glance the writing is similar in a way to Tom Wolfe (father of New Journalism) who is well known for writing in that stream of consciousness vein. But whereas Tom Wolfe's writing comes across as purely observational - there's no emotion, he's just retelling what he sees... Grant's writing is more personal, he has great observational strengths, but it's his insight, perceptions and intelligence that really jumps out from this book.

I love the book, and can't wait to get my hands on The Wah Wah Diaries, and also his novel, By Design.

Totally agree with other comments on this book - Grant's style just makes it feel like a conversation between him and the reader, and as one reviewer said: "leaves the reader aching to meet Grant in person to continue the dialogue".

And completely feel the same as the other reviewer who said that finishing the book felt like losing a best friend - I so didn't want to finish reading the book - I wanted to continue the conversation - I was enjoying it so much.

Totally worth getting hold of this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humble actor reveals all about life in Hollywood 29 Oct 1999
By A Customer
Having recently watched a "Withnail & I" night on Channel 4, being a cult fan of the film and being impressed by Grant's contribution I decided to take the plunge and ... get this out of the local library! Now I want it in hard back. The man is a sensitive, humble and fascinating person. I laughed, I cried a lot and I bored my husband by reading out many passages. Never before had I read such an honest portrayal of life in Hollywood. it was a real insight and the book threw a lot of light on to the "fictional" By Design - Grant's first novel. He seemed to stay overawed by the whole experience and yet connected with all the big names. A fascinating read for any film buff, one trips over all the dropped names in a intriguing romp through his film career.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine book about the life of an actor 5 July 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The opening section concerning the filming of Withnail and I is an absolute highlight and worth the cover price only. The book fills up with other worthwhile projects, his friendship with Steve Martin is a tad worrying and he does come over as a bit of a luvvy, but Ill always remember him as Withnail.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative 22 Aug 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This guy can write as well as act. He gives a great behind-the-scenes look at the film industry and writes amusingly about his own life. I changed my opinion of Richard E Grant after reading this.One of the best showbiz autobiogs I have ever read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! 25 May 1999
By A Customer
What a man!!!!! I didn't know much about Mr Grant except for having seen him onscreen a few times, so I picked up this book with an eye to learning more about this talented fellow. "With Nails" is a wonderful read, full of humour, irony, and self-deprecating revelations of the trials and tribulations of one just-another-guy's adventures in the labyrinth of acting. There are plenty of peeks at what some of our other idols are like behind the scenes, and while Mr Grant does dish, he doesn't throw dirt. A highly recommended book!
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