xoxoxoe, #18, Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, and Oliver Reed, by Robert Sellers, #CBR3

Here is an excerpt from my review of my #18 book, Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, and Oliver Reed, by Robert Sellers, on my blog, xoxoxo e:

Another sloshy biography … Here is an excerpt from my review of my #18 book, Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, and Oliver Reed, by Robert Sellers, on my blog, xoxoxo e:

The only thing slightly analytical comes from some quotes by the actors:

“Burton, Harris, O’Toole [and] Reed …shared the common experience of being war babies, of being bombed, of being evacuated, of facing compulsory service … there was rationing: no meat, no food and no booze. …’Bollocks,’ railed O’Toole. ‘We … wanted the roaring twenties, please. The … drinking was a liberation from the fear and restrictions of the war years. The frivolity and the fun had gone. Booze was a way of recapturing it. We certainly had a bloody good time.'”

The joyful inebriation that O’Toole described was probably intended by the author, but reading about drunks is not the next best thing to being there. One drunken story after another does get to wear a bit thin. How many times do we need to read about Reed throwing a table through a pub window or Harris trying to get into a barroom brawl? Their constant state of inebriation gets as tedious for the reader as it must have done for the (sober) people in the actors’ lives. After twenty years of carousing, each man’s health started to fail, and the drinking got a bit much for them (excluding Oliver Reed who was out looking for a party until the end.)

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “xoxoxoe, #18, Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, and Oliver Reed, by Robert Sellers, #CBR3

  1. Oh, yay, I’m glad you read this. Such fun stories! It’s just sad that the editor needed to’ve put down his own drink. Or something. 🙂

  2. Thanks for suggesting it! I’m kind of on a biography roll at the moment. The author actually contacted me, as my original draft assumed he didn’t talk to any real people – I missed that acknowledgement page- oops! I fixed the mistake, but I still wish it had been better …

  3. It really was kind of a mess; I definitely agree with your assessment. The stories are fun, but that’s no excuse to not write a proper book!

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