Dennis Potter: A Biography: The Authorised Biography Paperback – 6 Sep 1999
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Dennis Potter was a brave man. His private life was a torture of extreme psoriasis coupled with arthritis that turned his hands into claws and his skin into snowflakes. His public life was a constant bombardment of censorial criticism as he pushed the boundaries of television with his challenging psychosexual dramas. Despite this, his genius was never questioned and the viewing public was forced to readjust their couch position. The biography takes us from Potter's childhood in the Forest of Dean, through a highly political Oxford career up to his marriage, to his childhood and lifelong sweetheart. After this the work becomes a mutated hybrid of Potter's own life and his dream world constructed from songs and sexual fantasies. Carpenter treads carefully; there are still many living friends and relatives, and some of the material is emotionally complex. He presents Potter through detailed accounts of his work and extensive interviews with friends, lovers and colleagues, leaving readers to make up their own minds about this fiery, brilliant, demanding man. Potter's life has often been reduced to a tabloid blur of slur and, as a writer, he is mainly known forPennies from Heaven. There was much more to him than that. Carpenter's offers readers a chance to see the man in all his guises. --Hannah Griffiths
About the Author
Humphrey Carpenter was born and educated in Oxford, and attended the Dragon School and Keble College. He was a well-known biographer and children's writer, and worked previously as a producer at the BBC. He wrote biographies of J. R. R. Tolkien, W. H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Ezra Pound, C. S. Lewis and Dennis Potter. Among his many books for children were the best-selling Mr Majeika series. He also wrote several plays for the theatre and radio. A keen musician, he was a member of a 1930s-style jazz band, Vile Bodies, which was resident at the Ritz Hotel in London for a number of years. He died in 2005.
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Top Customer Reviews
Background. Forest of Dean. Schools. London. Football fan. Carpenter weaves the quotes, from various sources into the narrative of an unfolding intellect, with great skill. The child abused. The man who grew so tall. It is a fascinating read. I bought the hardback for three pound second hand. Excellent deal.
The author is on the 'Close-Up' extra on the dvd of 'The Singing Detective' being interviewed with others. He mentions in his Prologue the connection with Dennis Potter is through the love of the songs in his television work. 'Obsessed' he states, by the music. I am beginning to understand. Truth in song.