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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
I bought this book as, being a Cumberbabe, I wanted to know more about the actor, but was eager to stay away from garbage such as "The B.C. Handbook". "In Transition" turned out to be exactly what the subtitle promised: a performance biography. Instead of feeding her readers silly fan girl type stuff, Lynnette Porter offered a serious, well researched, eloquently written und perfectly spell-checked piece of work, at the end of which I felt entertained, well informed and - dare I say? - educated. As a previous reviewer stated, "In Transition" only touches on the actor's private life if and when it influences (or is influenced by) his work. That very fact makes this book a very pleasant read instead of making me, the reader, feel like a voyeur or stalker. Also, the absence of illustrations in this book adds to its seriousness and gives it a sense of sincerity. Having said this, at the same time the author's fondness for the subject of her book does shine through, lending welcome warmth to this volume.

Whilst reading the book I had the distinct impression that the author has an academic background. Although the book is entirely readable, humorous and entertaining, it is so well put together, has such thorough notes, bibliography and index, that I thought by myself, I'd wish Ms Porter would submit the volume as a doctoral thesis. Looking up Ms Porter's Amazon Page just before typing up this review, I was not surprised to see that she is, indeed, a `master's and doctoral student'. This, of course, explains her very high quality work on Benedict Cumberbatch.

In summary, I would have no hesitation in recommending "In Transistion" to anyone interested in learning more about Mr Cumberbatch's career and choice of roles, or indeed, anyone interested in the art of acting. Having thoroughly enjoyed this book of Ms Porter's, I'm looking forward to exploring more of her work as listed on her Amazon Page.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2013
Something entirely new and excellent from MX is "Benedict Cumberbatch, in Transition: An Unauthorised Performance Biography" by Lynnette Porter. Dr Porter is the editor of "Sherlock Holmes for the 21st Century: Essays on New Adaptations", so I was confident that the new book would not be simple hagiography. As title and subtitle suggest, this is a survey of Cumberbatch's career as an actor, touching on his extra-curricular life only to the extent that it influences his acting or is influenced by the transition from jobbing actor to star to celebrity. The facts are meticulously (but not tediously) referenced, and the writing, as one would expect, is both literate and engaging. "Sherlock" is the turning-point, but it's good to be reminded of the extent and importance of the actor's career, before, during and after the breakthrough to stardom - acclaimed rôles in "Rhinoceros" and "Hedda Gabler" at the Royal Court, "After the Dance" at the Old Vic, and "Frankenstein" at the National Theatre; performances as Van Gogh and Stephen Hawking on television; leading parts in "Copenhagen", "Neverwhere" and the continuing comedy series "Cabin Pressure" on radio; "War Horse", "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" in the cinema, and his emergence as a real film star in "Star Trek: Into Darkness". Benedict Cumberbatch is a great actor, unpretentious, honest and dedicated. He's also a genuinely nice man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This books is well organized and informative. What I liked most of all is that the author gives references to every fact mentioned. There is nothing based on rumours or suppositions. Of course, the book would be more presentable if there were some images but it doesn't spoil it. Very positive impression.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2013
this is quite a serious book reviewing the work that Benedict Cumberbatch has done in theatre ,radio , television and on film. It goes deep into his acting motivation and is quite scholarly .if you are looking for a book of gossip this won't be the book for you
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on 11 March 2014
I have to say, I think this book is pretty spectacular in the way that it concentrates on the things that should really matter about any actor: his work.
More than one actor has proclaimed that the profession is full of lost souls and I think in many ways that's true, in which case the work really is all that should matter to us, because it is in the work that the person is most fulfilled usually.
I don't believe Benedict Cumberbatch is a lost soul, far from it, but i do think that this read tells you everything that should matter. He is undoubtedly an extraordinary and very hard-working actor and his abundant talent is now starting to reap the rewards his work deserves.
This book is very good at giving you all the details as to why.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2013
A good book and well written, exploring the professional life of Benedict Cumberbatch. I agree with the writer that the best is yet to come!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2014
It appears to be a collection of information and old news already out there and available to true fans. Very disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2014
Present for a Cumberbatch fan, she was over the moon with this book and of course any Cumberbatch fan would love it.
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on 5 February 2014
I find his recent personal journey from relative obscurity to global stardom fascinating - the book gives considered perspective on this - is up to date - and although obviously written by a fan the arguments presented still hold weight
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on 9 April 2014
I enjoyed reading this book.I learned many interesting facts from the biography of Benedict. It is a pity that there are no illustrations.
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