Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming
I did not feel as if I was listening to a memoir while I listened to Alan Cumming read this remarkable book. Cumming somehow infused the memoir with so much suspense that I felt like I was reading a mystery; a really good mystery. Cumming's memoir follows the pattern of many current mystery so by alternating from the present to the past.
The past is Cumming's horrific childhood with an abusive, and probably mentally ill father. The present is the filming of a British television show which will delve into his ancestry and which he hopes will shed light on the death of his maternal grandfather in Malaysia after World War II. The writing is taut and effective causing me to race through the book seeking answers the mysteries which unfold.
I laughed; I cried and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride! Highly recommended!
Kirk Douglas gives us a fascinating memoir on the making of an epic movie during the shameful era of Hollywood blacklists. Spartacus had some of the biggest stars of the day Kirk, Lawrence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis and Jeanne Simmons. Listening to the interplay among this outsized egos was fascinating.
But more importantly, the book reminds us of the damage the blacklists had on the careers of those who stood up for their rights in the face of the House on Unamerican Activities and Kirk Douglas's courage in helping to break the blacklist. Recommended!