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Best Biography?


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Posted on 22 May 2009 10:34:24 BDT
Raoul Duke says:
1. Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson;
2. Cash: The Autobiography; and
3. Big Bosoms and Square Jaws: The Biography of Russ Meyer, King of the Sex Film.

When you read autobiographies like these it makes you wonder why on earth people have a single iota of interest in the biographies of Jordan and other such non-celebrities, as most of them have absolutely nothing to say and lead pretty unspectacular lives in comparison to true greats like these.

I would say, however, that the 'Gonzo' book is probably more suited to those who are aware of who Hunter S. Thompson is (possibly the greatest man to have ever walked the planet) as it's more a collection of anecdotes from friends and family.

Posted on 22 May 2009 14:03:27 BDT
J. Robson says:
Edith Piaf by Simone Berteaut - she had a tragic life but an interesting one.

Posted on 23 May 2009 15:08:14 BDT
Edvard Radzinsky's tome on Grigory Rasputin. An exhaustive study of a fascinating subject. Manages to dispel a couple of the urban myths about him as well - he was NOT the lover of the Tsarina and he DIDN'T die the nigh-on superhuman death that has been attributed to him (this was fabricated by his assassins to detract from the bungling they made of what should have been a routine shooting).

Also, baseball fans out there should check out Gerald Eskenazy's biography of maverick franchise owner Bill Veeck, whose publicity stunts led him to being declared by the sport's bigwigs as a 'menace to baseball'. Brilliant stuff - loved to have met the man.

Posted on 25 May 2009 09:34:39 BDT
Aw Hobbs says:
what about spike milligan war war diaries a must read

Posted on 25 May 2009 20:29:27 BDT
Barry Mullen says:
1. Steve Martin - Born Standing Up
2. Liam Clancy - Memoirs of an Irish Troubadour (really not as boring as it sounds!! I'm talking Playboy Mansion, drink, drugs etc..)
3. Frank Skinner - Frank Skinner
4. Patrick Maguire - My Fathers Watch (memoir of one of the 'Maguire Seven')

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 10:55:06 BDT
David Hooper says:
Explaining colours to a blind man. It's a story that could happen to anyone. Very moving.

Posted on 31 May 2009 21:03:17 BDT
karl says:
Read many unfair to pick one here is a list of five all an absoloute must for any reader.
-Frank Skinner, Very funny laugh out loud at time also quite inspriational at times
-Dwayne Chamber, unquestionably honest and contreversial
-50 dead men Walking , cant remember the author its about IRA infiltraitor one word OUSTANDING i belive they have made this into a motion picture.
-Barrack Obham "Dreams.... Very well written easy read and quite surprising this guy became president.
-Roger Cook , Cant remember name of his book he use to do the cook report , old style donal macintyre read this book in one sitting.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2009 21:05:14 BDT
karl says:
Yes , Mr Nice classic forgot about that one

Posted on 1 Jun 2009 17:18:22 BDT
Christiana says:
I really enjoyed the true and compelling story of Lajos Jakab, who, even though he was struck down with Polio at the tender age of seven, escaped from Hungary during the 1956 revolution . He made it to England alone at the age of 21 and with no knowledge of the English langauge he became a teacher of his own creation of defence and fitness, not only to thousands of ordinary people but also to the 'stars', amongst them Sir Roger Moore as "The Saint" and then later on as 007 in "The Man With The Golden Gun" and singer Engelbert Humperdinck to name just two.
Once you pick it up it's very difficult to put it down again, that's how compelling it is.

Posted on 3 Jun 2009 09:08:28 BDT
frapatroo says:
One of the best biographies I've read is that of Bonzo Viv Stanshall, "Ginger Geezer". The authors have done a grand job of telling a chaotic life.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2009 17:49:37 BDT
Lee Holton says:
Sylvia Townsend Warner's biography of T.H. White, author of The Once and Future King and The Goshawk. White was a troubled, difficult, perhaps not very likeable man - the art of this biography is to bring the man in all his complexity alive and, yes, to engender compassion and pity for White and for all humanity. A memorable, memorable book.

Posted on 13 Jun 2009 16:11:36 BDT
The Moons a Balloon by David Niven is charming and entertaining (also read his 'Bring on the Empty Horses - it is hilarious). I also enjoyed Peter Ustinov's autobiography.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2009 16:31:32 BDT
audio freak says:
Dawn French - Dear Fatty

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2009 16:35:21 BDT
audio freak says:
I really likes Peter Ustinov's too got it on audiobook read by the author which helped

Posted on 13 Jun 2009 19:23:06 BDT
Mrs. S. Hurt says:
te best biography i have ever read sylvias hurt i couldent put it down this author is a true insperation lean dolton

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2009 19:25:10 BDT
Mrs. S. Hurt says:
read sylvias hurt i couldent put it down lean

Posted on 13 Jun 2009 19:33:09 BDT
Mrs. S. Hurt says:
my frien lean says that my story is compelling reading and i have to say it was my way of moving on and healing a feature film is in the pre production stage to be in full production next year not bad for someone lab subnormal and incacerated in a low grade mental institute my story really can change lives sylvia hurt

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2009 17:57:25 BDT
Cwynarski says:
The best Hollywood biography is a very close call between Lee Server's excellent book on Bob Mitchum and Patricia Bosworth's one on Monty Clift. For anyone who has a love of the perverse and fantastic, I recommend Francis Wheen's book on Charlotte Bach and for conspiracy theorists, the fascinating book on Wilhelm Reich by Myron Sharaf called Fury On Earth.
At the moment I'm reading a well researched biography on Arthur Rimbaud by Charles Nicholl which is as good as his biography on Leonardo DaVinci.
My favourite bio of all time is the Albert Goldman one on Lenny Bruce which makes his books on Lennon and Elvis tame in comparison.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2009 13:46:21 BDT
For me the best Hollywood Biog's were David Nivens own, 'The Moons a Balloon' and 'Bring On The Empty Horses' they bring that whole Golden Age of Hollywood alive. Trust me you'll never look at the original 'Around the World in Eighty Days' in the same way again.

For sheer insight, I'd recommend Eric Sykes' 'If I don't write it, no one will'.

The one I enjoyed the least.

Moab is my Washpot, by Stephen Fry; lord the self-loathing in that book is just utterly over the top. It is one thing to be brutally honest it is quite another to lose any sense of balance of one's self.

Posted on 22 Jun 2009 16:03:28 BDT
Have you read 'Letting Go, a true story' by Agneta Mills?

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2009 17:10:29 BDT
Are you by any chance related to Carol and Martin Hames? When I lived at The Knowle, Knowle Sands, Bridgnorth I knew them and I seem to think they had a son called Ashley.
If this is nightmarish or a nuisance I won't go into a snit if you don't answer. Your name rang bells with a pleasant sound.
Bunty Chinner (McGuire)

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2009 06:49:58 BDT
Eric Clapton The Autobiography (the first one) ....ah the mistakes of youth! Reading it was like entering a time machine,particularly if were around London at the time.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2009 13:18:56 BDT
Malcolm X and I Am Alive And You Are Dead - A Phillik K DIck Biography that places his life within his stories

Posted on 27 Jun 2009 09:45:00 BDT
Most biographies, even if they are called 'The Life and Times of ...' focus so much on the man or woman that there is some distortion as far as the background is concerned. Isaac Deutscher's superbly written three-volume biography of Trotsky (The Prophet Armed, The Prophet Unarmed, The Prophet Outcast) is an absolute model of integrating the man with the events and the issues of his time.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Sep 2009 10:58:48 BDT
Frik Larssen says:
Strangeland by Tracey Emin. Astounding, brutal, brilliant prose. I can't rave enough about this book. Can be gruesome and was really not what I was expecting.. it's much better than i ever thought it would be. Never thought she was a genius before, but I'm now converted. A must read, even if you weren't really interested in her before. Funny too at times. tracey Emin is not just an artist. This woman can really write.Strangeland
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