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Customer Review

on 7 August 2013
Like so many other people, over the years I was shocked by Oliver Reeds behaviour, particularly some of the famous TV interviews. Reading this biography for me was more about trying to understand if his behaviour was real due to alcohol, drug abuse or possibly madness, or if it was all about shock tactics to gain media attention for his career. The author seems to have chronicled much of his extraordinary life and times, though it never truly attempts to understand why he was as he was. He was an addict of alchol, though it would appear not from a chemical depencency, but more to do with a social need to be popular with those around him. He was not an actor who hung out with other actors for fame, but someone who chose his inner circle of people because he felt some human connection with them. They could be brick layers, plumbers or a Lord of the realm, as long as there was that connection. Keith Moon stands out as a lost soul that he identified with, someone who also needed to be noticed. Oliver Reed was an excellent actor who it seems took his work seriously throughout his career and rarely abused his status in the profession by being late or causing trouble on the set. Having finished the book I had to come to the conclusion that Oliver Reed was the way he was because he could not cope with mediocrity. His early life showed that he was intelligent, but held back by dyslexia only discovered at the end of his education. This with his early life experiences of his parents separation and their relationship with him unbalanced his outlook on life and he was constantly looking to be noticed by all around him. His career in acting meant that he constantly needed to draw on his inner feelings to play the screen parts and this left him raw inside, never able to heel. His acting gave him financial securtiy and the pride he needed in life, but he always felt that he had to live life on the edge by mustering up feelings through alcohol, brawling and daring to do things that others would find shocking. The truth seems to be that most of all Oliver Reed was addicted to the attention of anyone around him, all of the time in order to prove that he was worthy of the life he was leading!
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