- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Preface Publishing (19 Feb. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848090188
- ISBN-13: 978-1848090187
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Burton, Harris, O'Toole and Reed Paperback – 19 Feb 2009
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"A rollicking read" (Sunday Express)
"Sellers' biography is a jaw-dropping account of their twisted, tortured, politically incorrect lives" (Daily Record)
"Robert Sellers gleefully follows the seedy lives of the four liver-abusing actors as they drink, brawl and shag their way through the decades into eventual oblivion" (Metro)
"The best book we've ever read involving binge drinking, botched stage entrances, Hollywood floozies and British movie stars . . . Sometimes the form of a piece so perfectly fits its content you can actually hear the angels of accordance purr. Such is the case with Hellraisers . . . The sprightly smash 'n dash of the prose so wonderfully captures the wanton belligerence of both bingeing and stardom you almost feel the guys themselves are telling the tales" (GQ)
"Unputdownable ... Sports book of the half-century, you might even say" (Frank Keating Guardian)
An extremely entertaining biography of four charismatic and much-loved actors: Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Oliver Reed. Robert Sellers follows their stories through five decades of boozing, brawling and braggadocio.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is largely all about the drunken escapades of the four Hellraisers, and is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud more than once. It's worth remembering though, just how talented and unique these men were though and it's that talent/charisma/uniqueness/last of a dying breed, call it what you will, that makes them truly worth remembering.
Sellers delivers the narrative with laddish zeal, but the book is actually light on why these actors felt compelled to knock it back with such dedication. Was it as a consequence of being tortured creative artists, egomaniacs or just plain old-fashioned alcoholics? You may be left wondering, but ultimately not caring.
Worth a read for the funny stories; if nothing else, you'll be able to recount some of them in the pub where they'll probably get a laugh. Just don't expect to read well-rounded biographies - this is specifically a history of drinking and drunkenness.
They got away with their destructive behaviour - smashing up restaurants and hotels was their forte - because of the adulation, amounting to a societal disease, that we accord to those we deem to be celebrities. But Nemesis stalked them in the form of alcohol. Their daily consumption, throughout their days and much of their nights, was gargantuan. And when the party was over their end was pitiful as they deteriorated in body and mind.
Yet this was a story with lessons offered to rest of us. Most of us, certainly myself, lead constricted lives, anxious to please, concerned about our reputations. These four renegades defied authority, ignored the restrictions of society and lived life without restraint. Having read their
stories I found myself wondering if I too could benefit from being a lot less ready to submit to the petty tyranies that are visited on us. The
book is full of stories that will make you laugh and at other times your skin will crawl. And, as another reviewer rightly said, they are so
different to the bland celebrities of today and the telling of their banal activities.
If you want an entertaining escape into lives so outrageous that they seem to recognise no limits then this is the book to provide it.
In our sanatised age when a couple of drinks too many will send a present day celebrity to the Priory for six weeks of counselling, post war Britiain produced a group of actors who drank, fornicated and caused hell wherever they went.Possessing larger than life personalities, distinctive of feature and voice, while at the same time having star quality and a crate full of raw talent they lived life to the full. Beginning in the fifties, this group of actors boozed their way through three decades, untill death, ill-health and too many late nights caught up with them. Out the four actors featured in this book, and many more mentioned in passing, only Peter O'toole, now frail and in his mid-seventies is still with us.
Robert Sellers has written a cocktail of a book, weaving biography and well worn tale together. Rather than give us a six chapters on each actor, Sellers jumps around from one to the other as we follow them up the ladder to stardom and the booze soaked tales. Although some of the stories in this book are as old as the hills and have become drinking folklore such as Oliver Reed drinking 126 pints in 24 hours or Richard Harris being so paralytic he went to the wrong room in his hotel and climbed into the bed of a young couple, Sellers sets such a pace that reading Hellraisers is like spending a boozy night out at the pub and laughing yourself stupid at the same story your've heard many times but actually finding it funnier in the upteeth telling.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
got this for my dads birthday ! The book arrived quickly and was in very good condition as described. My dad who loves all these actors said it was a great read ( he loved it!) . Read morePublished 6 days ago by mrs jayne a gibbs
Got this as a replacement for my missing copy. I love the Robert Sellers books. This one is one of my favs as I am a big Ollie Reed fan.Published 3 months ago by Zen
Really enjoyed this book. Some great stories in here which provided a laugh and pause for thought on occasion. Read morePublished 6 months ago by john
An entertaining and eye-opening read about the lives and antics of four famous British thesps who were very over fond of the bottle. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tea for Two
How much can a group of men drink. Read this to find out how on earth they managed to have such a great time, and enjoy their lives to the upmostPublished 9 months ago by Peter Ellwood