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An Actor's Life: A Dark Comedy by [Whitehead, Duncan]
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An Actor's Life: A Dark Comedy Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2374 KB
  • Print Length: 24 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: UOL; 4 edition (24 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CLH1PHM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #205,649 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is the story of Terry Sparkes. A failed actor, he is reduced to catching glimpses of his hero, Sir Michael Brookes on TV. Tonight he is watching him at the Oscars, hoping he will win the double of best supporting actor, and best actor...

Right off the bat I will admit I find short stories really hard to review, its so difficult to give a quick synopsis without giving away the entire story! That being said, on with the review. This was a lovely quirky little tale. It made a passing nod to Duncan's full length novel, 'The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club', which I have also read and enjoyed. This story had the same offbeat, slightly flawed characters, and the same vein of dark humour running through it. I would recommend this as an excellent introduction to Duncan's work. A nice, light easy read over a cup of coffee.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This is an interesting read which I believe links to his book The Gordonston ladies dog walking club. Like walking through a tangled forest, it introduces each character and their role until the reader is himself entangled as if he too were part of the intrigue. Cleverly written it gives an insight into a section of society we rarely encounter.
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Reading 'An Actor's Life' reminded me rather of going down the famous Cresta bobsleigh run on a tin tray, something that I haven't done since my dear late mother accidentally hired a Swiss nanny during the domestic staffing crisis that followed Daddy's unfortunate revelations in re spying for the Russians. It's awfully good fun on the way down, dashing around the curves and watching the course marshals fly, but you do rather know that it's not going to end well for the protagonists, and most splendidly so.

My first five minutes after reading the story were spent in quiet nostalgia, thinking of brand new Ford Capris and ten pence bus fares. Thereafter I fell into a period of reflection, comparing my own disastrous choices in life with those of the characters in the story. Buy the story, watch the timeline unfold and hold on tightly for the wreck that you just know will greet you at the bottom of the mountain. It will make you squirm in sympathy, empathy and personal discomfortpathy. [NB 'discomfortpathy' is not an officially recognised reading condition, but it ought to be.]

Delicious fun. Highly recommended.
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Having enjoyed Duncan Whitehead's longer pieces, The Reluctant Jesus for example, you kind of know what to expect. Good quality writing, quirky characters with dark humour throughout. An Actor's Life is about two British actors, one at the Oscars hoping to score a double triumph and the other stuck in his dingy London flat. It reminds me of a film I once saw starring Peter O'Toole, an acclaimed actor who's assassinated and then spends his time with his assassin in a hotel in heaven. Can't for the life of me remember the title. I digress, this is another splendid story with a surprising twist at the end and, being a short story, perfect for a lunchtime read. 5 stars!

Elias Zapple, author of Elias Zapple's Rhymes from the Cabbage Patch (Zany, Funny, Illustrated Poems For Ages 9+ Book 1)
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Format: Kindle Edition
This short story is more or less about everyone's life on this planet, as it reviews some common existential problems of a modern-day person, who wants to achieve something big, to become somebody and enjoy the 'cheers' of others. Apparently, the protagonist, has got a certain talent, but somehow does not quite manage to develop his full potential; or possibly - he is never in the right time, in the right place, and never makes the right choices. Whether the latter is accidental, we should judge for ourselves somehow. The reasons behind this sad storyline are presented in a rather humorous and amusing way.
The plot is very natural, though with sufficient unexpected twists and surprises, together with a pinch of black irony. The style is really superb and enjoyable. Characters are quite realistic and oftentimes, allegedly, refer to real-life celebrities and events, without actually incurring any insult or overdone parody.
In essence, the moral of this narrative is nicely interwoven into the plot, so that the reader could arrive at it without any additional 'push'. The author definitely implies some interconnectedness between humans, their talents, relationships, value systems and sacrifices on the way to success. The key word here is perhaps success, but at what cost? Are we prepared to bear the cost indeed? Whatever the cost?
On the other hand, what are our priorities: family, career, friendship, success, fame? Could we always find the right balance between all those goals?
In a way, it is a 'soul-searching' exercise, both from a Shakespearean perspective and a 21st-century viewpoint. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, whoever is not afraid of being sincere with themselves and wants to be a better person or more successful professional in the long-run, should read this great literary work.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This short story is cleverly tied to the author's novel The Gordonston ladies dog walking club. The focus is towards Oscar night and one of the nominees for best actor in his role as one of the characters in a film adapted from the phenomenally-successful novel--you guessed it, The Gordonston ladies dog walking club. The story is carried by Terry Sparkes, a has-been actor who admires and envies the nominated Sir Michael Brookes. Unbeknownst to him he's the person instrumental in Brookes becoming the top actor he is today.

The story is terrifically told with the crescendo towards the denouement steadily building.

Well worth reading and not dependent on having read the novel, although it may well spur you to do so.
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