Oliver Reed may not have been Britain's biggest film star - for a period in the early 70s he came within a hairsbreadth of replacing Sean Connery as James Bond - but he is an august member of that small band of people, like George Best and Eric Morecambe, who transcended their chosen medium, became too big for it even, and grew into cultural icons.
For the first time Reed's close family has agreed to collaborate on a project about the man himself. The result is a fascinating new insight into a man seen by many as merely a brawling, boozing hellraiser. And yet he was so much more than this. For behind that image, which all too often he played up to in public, was a vastly complex individual, a man of deep passions and loyalty but also deep-rooted vulnerability and insecurities. Why was a proud, patriotic, intelligent, successful and erudite man so obsessed about proving himself to others, time and time again? Although the Reed myth is of Homeric proportions, he remains a national treasure and somewhat peculiar icon.
©2013 Robert Sellers (P)2013 Audible Ltd
I read about half of this book when first released. Purchased the audio version so I could listen while on the move. This is Oliver Reed's life, passions, work, family, friends, houses, cars, pubs, rough games and hard drinking. This isn't a sentimental journey nor a bitter one either. I have never been a huge Oliver Reed fan, but I am a fan of some of his films. Women In Love, Burnt Offerings and Gladiator. I'm a fan of well written and well researched biographies. I can see why England LOVES this man. Oliver was so in love with his country and countrymen. He died too young. His career was on a come back and he still had so much to give. RIP Ollie.
Have not read the print version....
All of it!
Gives very amusing distinguishable impressions of each person, which bring real life to the incredible stories.
Both....Oliver Reed's life was clearly a roller coaster from start to finish.
Reed's antics are truly unbelievable, an absolute must read and the narration is just brilliant...One of the best biographies I've ever read/heard....I strongly advise getting this book....it made my monotonous tube rides rip roaringly funny and the the time flew by!
"A Talent Wasted"
I love biographies and autobiographies but found this one of my least favourites, so wished I'd tried someone else, as I found myself disliking Mr Reed.
Didn't quite get to the very end, gave up.
Didn't have one.
No, it annoyed me, not because it wasn't accurate I'm sure it was, I found Oliver Reed to be an overgrown school boy to whom life gave everything while he squandered it.
Yes I enjoyed the book it was well read and interesting
I cant really compare it to any of the other books I have read.
His voice in some parts of the book did manage to sound reasonably like oliver reed and also some of the other actors he knew so sean ,for me anyway made this a great book to listen to.
Yes near to the end of the book when Olivers wife Josephine is talking about his last moments that the only thing he said was Help Hurt! and then he collapsed I just thought it sounded so sad.
Thought it was a good story well told about a very complex and misunderstood actor who many think wasted his life and career because of his addiction to alcohol
"Such sad sweet fun"
A wonderfully read account of the life and times of the late great Mr Reed - the pace and depth of insight and speculation about his motives (and others) hits the right balance. To hear his exploits is heartening, amazing and sometimes very moving...by the time the story of his death is played out, tears were in my eyes.
Red Carpets and other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett
A lovely gift for voices and sccents
Very moving - sometimes shocked by his behavior, sometimes amazed and in the end it felt like somebdy I knew had been taken too soon.
Better than other available biographies.
"Depressing yet compelling"
Very well read and compelling to listen to in spite of it coming over as a catalogue of self destruction of a superbly talented actor. In the end you realise that this was how he wanted to be when not working and although you might see it as a waste it was his choice. If only...
Now I must go watch 'Gladiator'.
Full of humour mixed with amazing pathos, I fell in love with Ollie all over again. This book has inspired me to seek out Ollie's films and watch them again. It brought his brilliance to the fore.
"spoiler alert!!! Oliver reed is a drunken oaf"
I bought this book because it was on offer and thought it might be quite interesting. It's repetative and too long. he gets drunk, he acts, he gets drunk, he acts and so on. His "japes" and "pranks" involve people getting teeth knocked out, legs broken and almost dying. He gives his wife a black eye "but not very often" and pours tomato sauce over her head. he marries a 17yr old when he is 61 and I think he would have died a lot sooner if he had really drank as much as is claimed in this book eg a bottle of wine straight down followed by a bottle of whisky. "A National Treasure"? not in my opinion , just a drunken misogynist. He was very generous to his friends though. I will give him that!.
This is my first review. I loved this book from start to finish. Ollie's story is incredible and the narration is fantastic.
What a fantastic voice.
If I didn't have to work or sleep; of course.
And I thought I could drink!
"One hell of a boy!"
At the top
Apart from being "story" it's real life
Marvellous narration. Beautiful dulcet tones. A pleasure to listen to.
What a life!
As a 51 year old male I thought I knew about Oliver Reed, but I really didn't. I adored his humanity. He left his mark. In a world where we're becoming homogeneous almost non sentient beings it was a delight to have him for the hours of the book.
"By the numbers biography. Somewhat sanitised."
Told in a very chummy style that started to get on my nerves.
Functional biography but too often just recounting drunken encounters over and over which got tedious. I couldn't help but wonder what wasn't being included.Didn't touch enough on how Reed's behavior affected people that weren't prepared to make excuses for him (with the notable exception of Glenda Jackson). I was hoping there might be more to him than the public image but little comes through in this account.
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