Snakes and Ladders (Dirk Bogarde's Autobiography) Paperback – 26 May 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
The account of his war years is familiar English, soldierly territory, told by someone who was actually there. While the war is a part of Bogarde’s life, it doesn’t necessarily define or shape his life in the way that war is supposed to, according to popular fiction. It’s interesting too that he does most of his
growing up after the war rather than during it.
It's Bogarde's post-war life that dominates this autobiography. His road to success as an actor is anything but smooth and even when he does eventually achieve critical acclaim, there are many
who think he doesn’t deserve it.
There are descriptions of Bogarde's many and varied houses in England and on the continent. In all of these places he plays host to an assortment of characters from stage and screen, some famous, others not so. Many of these visitors become loyal friends and make regular appearances throughout the story. The weekends, the parties, the walks in the country and the Christmases are delightfully evoked.
It's a shame that Bogarde says nothing about his love interests or sexual inclinations. It leaves a big hole in his story. The reader is left to speculate wildly on the writer's reasons for his silence.
Nevertheless, this is an absorbing autobiography written attentively and lovingly. It's a book that is a pleasure to read.
The recent television biography of Bogarde seems to be perpetuating the image of him as an unhappy genius and left me feeling quite depressed, which "Snakes and Ladders" didn't. It's a full and often richly humorous read that I prefer to remember him by.
If you like a bit of show bizz now and then but get bored with most actors' memoirs then you'll find this book a surprisingly satisfying read.
if this seems the simpering of a fan, believe me, most of my reviews on Amazon tend toward the ultra critical, as I do not suffer bad writing or bad plotlines - when I read, I want to be entertained and my attention held. Dirk Bogarde does just that.