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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and very witty
What a fascinating character!

One of those books that I was reluctant to finish as the last page drew nearer.

Prior to reading this book I only knew Peter Ustinov as the delightful character Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie films. But I learned that he had a very long career in the theatre and that his talents seemed to include almost all areas in...
Published on 20 Jan 2008 by Renate Bahnemann

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depends on your sense of humour.
I listened to an abridged version of this book and couldn't get through the first CD (1 star from me). Fortunately for Mr Ustinov, my husband put it in his car and absolutely loved it (5 stars from him), so the book gets 3 stars on average.

I found his 'hilarious' anecdotes tedious and rambling, my husband, on the other hand, though he was hugely amusing and,...
Published 8 months ago by DubaiReader


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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and very witty, 20 Jan 2008
By 
This review is from: Dear Me (Paperback)
What a fascinating character!

One of those books that I was reluctant to finish as the last page drew nearer.

Prior to reading this book I only knew Peter Ustinov as the delightful character Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie films. But I learned that he had a very long career in the theatre and that his talents seemed to include almost all areas in it.

His background alone makes for interesting reading. He is the child of Russian immigrants who settled in England but his (very talented) ancestors came from far and wide and included countries such as Ethiopia and Israel.

Parts of the book is written in the style of a soul searching dialogue between Peter Ustinov and himself, hence the title. He makes some insightful comments about life and the world. In general throughout the book I was struck by what appears to be the extreme intelligence of someone who oddly enough did not do well in school.

Many parts of the book are pure entertainment. I laughed aloud in many places. His descriptions of his eccentric relatives, his experiences in the army, how he dealt with rebellious students at Durham university are all very funny.

I can recommend this book. It is highly entertaining and amusing. But it also contains some insightful observations by a highly intelligent, observant and unique personality.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peter Ustinov 'Dear Me', 18 Jun 2009
By 
M. C. Jacoby - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dear Me (Paperback)
Autobiography usually sets the record crooked. This one is diffent: it is LIFE seen from the corner of an eye. This passage (pp 139-140) says all that need be said:

<Here I stood in my civilian clothes, together with a few other depressed recruits, staring into a roaring fire, under the penetrating scrutiny of an old sweat who had remained a private soldier for nigh on forty years. He had lived totally without ambition, with a clear, precise concept of his position in society. The coming of war had prevented his retirement, and now he studied us and our civilian sadness with eyes both critical and kind.
'I'd 'ave to cast me mind back forty years and more to put myself in your shoes, an' yet I remembers it as though it was yesterday,' he mused, and then, with a sudden buoyancy, he added, `There was an old sweat like myself to greet me the day I said goodbye to civvie street, and I'll tell you the story he told me to cheer me up, see. The story went as follows. Once upon a time there was two private soldiers engaged in latrine fatigues. It was autumn, and they was sweepin' the bits o' soiled toilet-paper into piles for incineration, see, when a gust o' autumn wind come along, and sent one of these bits o' bumph up in the air like a leaf, just out o' reach o' the two men, and before they could do anything about it, it 'ad gone in the Colonel's window. Now one of the men says to the other, "Listen, you go on sweepin' up. If there's any questions asked, I've been taken short. It's only 'uman, isn't it? Meanwhile, I'll go in there and try to get that bit of soiled bumph back. The old man's quite deaf, short-sighted an' all, 'e may not notice me." After a couple o' minutes, 'e's back, see, and the other private, still sweepin' away, says, "Well?"
`The first private shakes 'is 'ead, gloomy-like. "I was too late," 'e said. "'E'd already signed it."'>

If you don't enjoy this book and learn from it, I'm sorry for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny but at times confusing., 18 Feb 2011
I enjoyed the book very much although the words he used were mostly not in my vocabulary so a dictionary was required at times. Having said that it was very funny, interesting and informative. I enjoyed his description of his army days and early career. I would certainly recommend this book to people who had a better grasp of the English language than I have or have a good dictionary like me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depends on your sense of humour., 6 Feb 2014
By 
DubaiReader "MaryAnne" (Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Dear Me (Audio CD)
I listened to an abridged version of this book and couldn't get through the first CD (1 star from me). Fortunately for Mr Ustinov, my husband put it in his car and absolutely loved it (5 stars from him), so the book gets 3 stars on average.

I found his 'hilarious' anecdotes tedious and rambling, my husband, on the other hand, though he was hugely amusing and, knowing many of the famous people who he name drops, was immediately drawn in.

My husband has a typically male sense of humour, puns and word games, my sense of humour is more demanding, more subtle. Which group do you fall into??
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dear Me, is that all?, 9 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Dear Me (Arrow Autobiography) (Kindle Edition)
Uproariously funny in places and I expected 'an audience with' but Mr Ustinov does pontificate a lot on life in general. Thank you Nicholas Parsons for recommending this book as your favourite autobiography it is worth a read but some of the people he mentions such as American politicians or French actors are irrelevant to modern readers. More anecdotes about people who are remembered by history would have been welcomed by shallow perusers like me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not light read, 16 July 2013
By 
D. Brodala (Chesham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dear Me (Arrow Autobiography) (Kindle Edition)
I am still enjoying this book, but I would not recommend it to readers who expect it to be funny throughout. It has some very comic and hilarious situation, which are highly entertaining but it is also interspersed with some serious issues and profound thoughts beautifully written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Me by Peter Ustinov, 18 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Dear Me (Arrow Autobiography) (Kindle Edition)
Encountered by accident as a reference in another book,I had watched Ustinov in my youth so thought it worth a read. Well worth the effort, an enjoyable sojourn through reflections with himself of events which he knows only to well but where you are taken along for the ride in situations which (with maturity) you will probably recall in outline. Anyone who knew of him would enjoy the same journey. A frank and fairly honest look at the life of what would now be termed a superstar but in a time where such was considered to be vulgar but which gives the book an endearing quality. A right good read.ght
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Me, 6 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Dear Me (Audio CD)
This is one of my favourite books, so I am very pleased to have it in audio format. It's ideal for long journey in the car or sitting at home.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review, 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Dear Me (Audio Cassette)
It was just what I ordered thank you. Mr Ustinov is a welcome relief from the ordinary author so articulate and dry.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Peter Ustinov comes across as very intelligent and erudite, 2 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Dear Me (Arrow Autobiography) (Kindle Edition)
Very well written. Peter Ustinov comes across as very intelligent and erudite. For me there was not enough about his Hollywood years. Quite a bit at the start about his family and ancestry. This should be covered but maybe without the indepth family tree. I was getting bogged down with names and dates and was starting to lose interest. For me not a page turner more a lazy Sunday afternoon browse.
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