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Customer Review

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The PROLONGED Life and Death of Peter Sellers, 9 Aug. 2004
This review is from: The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers (Paperback)
This book is 600 pages too long. I'm a fan of Peter Sellers (his films at any rate), but to be honest, i don't think he did enough in his career, or his life to merit this great doorstop of a biography. Especially as, in the first few pages (and many hundreds of times in the ensuing 1,000 pages), the subject himself declares: "I have no personality of my own."
And so in between stories that illustrate time and time again the man's descent into quite shocking madness, we have a complete and overdone analysis of his every role, from Goon (at the more interesting beginning of the book), through to Clouseau, through to Being There... which Roger Lewis faithfully unpicks through to the very molecules of celluloid, looking for clues.
The problem is - there was nothing intruiging about Sellers, or at least this book doesn't find it. There is no definitive insight into the way he was. To do this, I think we'd have to consult a pyschological textbook, not a biography.
Often, I find Sellers screen characters quite hollow... without life, and this book is quite hollow, too. Yet, disagreeing with other reviewers, I think that Roger Lewis is a good writer, and I think this is an interesting take on the celebrity biography - largely non-chronological, the detailed footnote minutiae, an interesting and direct turn of phrase - but ultimately, his subject matter is such a bizarre individual that perhaps someone who didn't know him, and never met him, would always be floundering.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Aug 2011 23:34:59 BDT
mister joe says:
What a prat you are.He did not do "enough" in his career?Except perhaps changing the face of comedy with The Goons?A stupid,stupid smug assesement.Sellers has done a whole lot more then you have done mate.Nothing "intriguing" about Sellers?You my friend are a total tool.And probably a boring one at that.Your review is a waste of time as is your views.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Aug 2012 17:02:04 BDT
oh lord, i do believe you've read a book about "the goons". when you've fully developed a critical faculty, come back to be and bore me a bit more. At some point in the future, you may deserve a yawn or too at your dreary and gauche pronouncements. Let me know.... although I suspect that he entire world will be consumed by the sun by the time you get around to saying anything that remotely resembles what happens when two brain cells fire electricity at each other.

Posted on 8 Jan 2013 17:37:12 GMT
pennlope4 says:
I love it when an biography is true to form, thats what it's all about.Innit!
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