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Niv: The Authorised Biography of David Niven Hardcover – 1 Oct 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; 1st ed edition (1 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752853066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752853062
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

NIV was strictly embargoed until 22 September. The press date for NIV is 9thOctober. SERIAL Serial ran in MAIL ON SUNDAY & DAILY MAIL over 4 days - from 21-24 September. Second serial ran in THE WEEK on 27 September. The David Niven episode of HOLLYWOOD BRITS, featuring an interview with Graham Lord will be on CHANNEL 4 on 25 October at 8pm. MEDIA Graham will be in the UK from4-19 October and available for interviews. Niv has been credited in ESQUIRE magazine (August issue) in a feautre article about David Niven's life. Diary stories about the book have run in THE GUARDIAN (29 September) and THE DAILY MAIL (30 September). Graham has been interviewed about his book for a featureon BBC RADIO SCOTLAND ARTS SHOW which airs on 13 October. Confirmed RADIO interview with Graham include: BBC RADIO SHROPSHIRE, BBC RADIO HUMBERSIDE, BBC RADIO NOTTINGHAM, BBC RADIO MERSEYSIDE, BBC RADIO JERSEY, BBC RADIO LEICESTER. EVENTS Graham Lord will be speaking at the CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL on 14th October, appearing with Piers Paul Read and John Miller.

Book Description

The first authorised biography of the movie star who was also the author of two of the biggest-selling books of the last 30 years.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Niven was the quintessential Hollywood Englishman. He never became a U.S. citizen and always maintained his Anglo Saxon mannerisms and diction which were to become his trademark.

Graham Lord has written a good biography of "Niv" here and its certainly very entertaining. I can feel the heavy hand of David Niven Jr's influence in certain sections of the book which do read as if Mr Lord was given firm instruction as to what to write. Never the less, it's a thoroughly enjoyable romp through Hollywood's golden age when the doors to stardom were perhaps charmed open a little more easily and the silver screen was magically aloof. Niv's friendships with Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers etc make interesting reading and one cannot have anything but respect for his wartime service in WWII which saw him finish up as a Lt. Colonel with the Phantom squadron.

There is a often used quote that Niv's best ever role was "playing David Niven", which to some extent comes through in this book. His screen and public persona was largely a heavily romanticised version of his real self, which hid a lot of insecurity, tragedy and a loveless relationship with his second wife "Hjordis". Rita Hayworth put it very well when she said "Why is he married to the one woman in the world who cannot stand him?".

Niv was that heady mix of professional success and personal unhappiness. Perhaps he's always destined to be something of an enigma, but I would recommend that you supplement your knowledge with his own books "The Moons a balloon" and "Bring on the empty horses", which give you the fun side of his recollections.
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Format: Paperback
This is the second major biography of David Niven and is much more revealing than the previous one by Sheridan Morley. Like the previous bio Graham Lord focuses perceptively on the contradiction between the public and private Niven - the witty, gregarious and carefree celebrity and the darker and often very painful private world carefully hidden from public view. Lord has the huge advantage of writing after the death of Niven's widow and where Morley could only hint at the marital traumas Lord can go into much more detail.
This bio is not necessarily an improvement over the previous one it just has certain advantages of more available information. Sometimes this leads to to much unnecessary detail for the reader to wade through but in general Lord has got the balance right between an examination of Nivens career and private life. At the end of the bio the reader is left with an impression of a brave and admirable man who never let his guard slip and kept his stiff-upper lip in often very difficult circumstances.
This bio is a largely well-researched and engrossing read which should appeal to fans of Niven and indeed anyone interest in the film world of yesteryear
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. David Niven was I believe one of the great characters of both Hollywood and the British film industry. This book contains so much information about Niv and all the famous people he mixed with. It does not over glamourise him nor does it go to lengths to damage his image. It relies on a lot of comments and opinions of people who knew Niv well. This book also corrects a great deal of Viv's "over the top" claims for which he was famous. The latter part of Niv's life was was increasingly traumatic for him and his illness which culminates with his death all alone in Switzerland is covered in considerable detail by Graham Lord. His attention to detail and the extensive research that he must have carried out is to be congratulated. To all David Niven fans I would say - please read this book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the book to read if you want a well researched, detailed account of David Niven's life, warts and all. Lord reveals the Niven stripped of anecdotes and easy chatter. After half way through, I found the detail tedious and an endless list of 'who's who' in which film - and he made a lot of films. It depends on what you want, facts for a film buff or the stretched truth of 'The Moon's a Balloon' and 'Bring on the Empty Horses' for entertainment. .
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Format: Hardcover
The early part of the book is heavily borrowed from "The Moon's A Balloon" but offers expansions on Niven's time at Stowe, his family finances, his ambition and names some of the conquests whom he declines to identify in his own books (esp the GBS).
The second part of the book offers more original material, but in parts is simply a complete hatchet job on his second wife who is portrayed as the nightmare alcoholic bitch from hell. There is little light and shade where she is concerned, with only a few redeeming comments aired. It's a shame that an interesting biography at times loses its way with a desire to state yet again, what a harpy she was.
Also, there's an implication that she slept around because she was a bitch, whereas he slept around because she drove him to it! This conveniently ignores the evidence that he couldn't keep it in his trousers as a bachelor, and indeed cheated on his first "beloved" wife.
Double standards abound, but it's still an interesting protrait.
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