VERY, VERY SAD,
This review is from: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (Hardcover)
Assuming the `conversations' in this book are accurate, it paints a very sad picture of a once great man fading into a disillusioned old man unable to discern truth from fiction and unable to come to terms with his own life. He revels in anguish believing that he has never been given his rightful due.
He speaks of people, almost everyone he mentions, in a most disparaging and disingenuous manner. Very, very few are accorded a compliment.
These conversations which took place towards the end of his life where he recounts, with great authority, story after story, comes across more like misremembered memories carved out to his own taste. In places his monologues read like lectures.
None of this is in keeping with the number of live interviews I have watched on YouTube where he sounds like the brilliant, witty, accomplished professional I thought him to be. Perhaps Wells had the ability to be one person in public and quite another across a lunch table with one person.
It was surprising to me to learn the difficulty he encountered in later life being unable to find ready financing for any project of his, but then as I arrived at Pg.276 where Wells says of (John) Houseman "A real mystery: why they prefer Houseman, with his petulant, arrogant, unpleasant manner. I don't know what is the matter. It's a very weird and terrible situation. I don't know where to turn." it struck me that perhaps it was Wells himself who had a petulant, arrogant, unpleasant manner. At least that is the feeling I am left with from reading this book.
I think it best to judge Orson Wells by his work rather than his `conversations' in this book - if judge we must!