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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
112
4.3 out of 5 stars


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on 17 August 2017
Being of a certain age (almost 50) I missed the best stories that they created. But I grew up with some great films, played out on a rainy afternoon. These were all larger than life stars, the sort we'll never see again, and I loved the stories in this book that brought back a few good memories !!
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on 25 March 2017
Hilarious book on the main Hellraisers, Richard Harris, Richard Burton, Peter O'Tool and Oliver Reed; a must read.
Unfortunately in this age of polite fascism, characters such of these cannot exist anymore.
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on 12 May 2017
Brilliant read,im reading the A to Z book by him now,enjoying it,it was great reading about these 4 legends,in fact, i might read it again,will read the third book after this.
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I would suggest that there is nothing earth shattering in terms of revelations here about any ot the characters involved, but the book is well assembled and interesting to read. I did enjoy reading about these greats of the stage and screen especially when out coming crop of actors and musicians seem to be so very bland. Interesting and amusing book.
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on 13 August 2017
Great read
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on 10 July 2017
Best book read in a long-time. Read it in a weekend
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on 15 August 2017
Absolutely brilliant read. Sadly I've made many of their mistakes too !!
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on 20 March 2015
Hilariously comical!
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on 9 August 2016
A fascinating story of four drunken, promiscuous, selfish, destructive and talented actors. I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Just when you thought the behaviour of these thugs could not get any worse it often did and certainly got no better. Women were treated like shagging material and casually cast aside in their scores when they had served their brief purpose. Faithful wives were treated appallingly. The exception being the spoilt, demanding, drunken Elizabeth Taylor who screwed Richard Burton, in every sense, till the end of their two marriages. A former husband of Taylor, Eddie Fisher, said a $50,000 diamond would please her for only a few days.

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.
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on 25 March 2013
Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Burton, Harris, O'Toole and ReedThis book is a great collection of all the anecdotes you ever wanted to read about Harris, O'Toole, Burton and Reed. However, as it goes on, intentionally or otherwise, the 'fun' of it all begins to wear thin. The reader might glory in a hard-drinking Harris and his endless fights with restaurant waiters (who have to put up with such abuse for probably less money a year than Harris earned per film) but this soon begins to wear thin. Likewise, the tales of Oliver Reed and his violence, are pretty harrowing.

The author doesn't really question many of these anecdotes (such as Reed's alleged 100 pint binge)

As the laddish appeal begins to wear off, the sad fate of these hellraisers begins to appear: a pathetic Richard Burton, lamenting that few people remember his Shakespearean theatre roles, A shambling Reed, telling how his young wife looked after him, unable to get (or keep) a job because of his antics. For all the jaunty tone, the underlying sadness of their stories comes through... even the fact that you read the book to learn the tales of their drinking (as I did :-)) rather than the skill of their acting is obvious.

It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but certainly worth a look, especially for those interested in the destructive effects of fame.
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