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Judi Dench: With A Crack In Her Voice Paperback – 1 Aug 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; 18th edition (1 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752848941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752848945
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

First full biography of Britain's leading actress of her time.

About the Author

John Miller's career has principally been in TV and radio (for the BBC) and for ten years until 1992 for the south of England ITV company, TVS. His writing has mainly been associated with actors (including John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson).


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on 28 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
This biography is a rarity. Its purpose is to share the tremendous career and achievements of Mrs. Judi Dench, and it happily is lacking what biography has often become. It is not several hundred pages of dubious gossip or borderline slander. It is not a litany of innuendo from those who claim some dubious relationship to the subject and then do their best to damage the individual's reputation. If you are looking for gossip-strewn trash, buy history as revised and fictionalized by Kitty Kelly. Mr. John Miller has written a wonderful book about a woman of substance and of great personal and professional merit. Unlike other biographers who survive based upon how low they will sink for tabloid attention, he did not write whatever someone would spew to relate a story that was not there.

Dame Judi's career has spanned a period that has allowed her to work with many of the greatest names of the theatre of the 20th Century. Additionally the actresses, the Directors and Playwrights also read like a list of those most accomplished in their fields. Many fans first met her as "M" in the James Bond Film Series, or as "Mrs. Brown", in her portrayal of Queen Victoria, or Queen Elizabeth in, "Shakespeare In Love". The latter two films won her nominations for The Academy Award and the trend continued this year in Chocolat.

If you are interested in a story of a hard working actress, a woman who is a consummate professional, and respected by virtually all who have worked with her, this book is for you. However if you are like the journalist that opened a press conference by asking her a personal and intimate question, which caused her to rightfully dismiss the press conference format of dirt gathering from that day on, you will have to look elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
Parts of this book are very interesting and supremely funny. This is not a biography (or, at least, not a good one), however, and to call it that is an error. John Miller is Dame Judi Dench's friend, and has clearly written this book with an eye to her approval and favor. Because of this leash on his research, the book is not anything approaching even-handed. The first half is a laundry-list of her early stage roles, and the second is a series of anecdotes regarding a lady I began to refer to as Saint Jude. If Miller is to be believed, she has never set a foot wrong, never been less than generous and perfect, and everyone in the world loves her. Come now. I adore Judi Dench, but there are no perfect people in the world, and that's just a fact.

Even the pranks that Judi pulls onstage, which when read one after the other after the other, take on the sheen of the childish, are mentioned as adorable things that that scamp Judi loves to do to keep her actor friends happy. Backstage tantrums, which are alluded to, only occur because she's so darned concerned about "getting it right," not because she's a human, and therefore inherently imperfect, human being, who sometimes loses her cool.

In addition to the above, this is an incredibly slow read. John Miller is not a particularly compelling writer, and there are times when it takes 30 minutes just to travel 15 pages in her life, because the prose is so stilted and dull.

Judi Dench is the greatest living British actress. There is no disputing that. She is someone with a fantastic sense of humor; someone I'd love to know. She is also human, and I would have preferred to read a biography that explores her less-stellar moments in a more objective way. Judi Dench: With a Crack in Her Voice is not that biography.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Halfway through this book, very interesting, Judi's humour comes through brilliantly! Really enjpying it. Recommended if like me you are a Judi fan.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So many insights behind the scenes. A very enjoyable read.
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