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What Fresh Lunacy Is This?: The Authorised Biography of Oliver Reed | [Robert Sellers]

What Fresh Lunacy Is This?: The Authorised Biography of Oliver Reed

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  • Jay
    Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
    11/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thoroughly enjoyable!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of What Fresh Lunacy Is This? to be better than the print version?

    Have not read the print version....


    What was one of the most memorable moments of What Fresh Lunacy Is This??

    All of it!


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Gives very amusing distinguishable impressions of each person, which bring real life to the incredible stories.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both....Oliver Reed's life was clearly a roller coaster from start to finish.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sandor
    banbury, oxon, United Kingdom
    1/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Talent Wasted"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Didn't quite get to the very end, gave up.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favourite?

    Didn't have one.


    Was What Fresh Lunacy Is This? worth the listening time?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    GOUROCK, United Kingdom
    8/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "oliver reed"
    Would you listen to What Fresh Lunacy Is This? again? Why?

    Yes I enjoyed the book it was well read and interesting


    What other book might you compare What Fresh Lunacy Is This? to, and why?

    I cant really compare it to any of the other books I have read.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Neil S. Reddy
    England
    7/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such sad sweet fun"
    What did you like most about What Fresh Lunacy Is This??

    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.


    What other book might you compare What Fresh Lunacy Is This? to, and why?

    Red Carpets and other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A lovely gift for voices and sccents


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Very moving - sometimes shocked by his behavior, sometimes amazed and in the end it felt like somebdy I knew had been taken too soon.


    Any additional comments?

    Better than other available biographies.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Reluctant Hermit
    Scotland
    9/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S. DUNBAR
    Stockport, UK
    5/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is my first review. I loved this book from start to finish. Ollie's story is incredible and the narration is fantastic.


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    What a fantastic voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I didn't have to work or sleep; of course.


    Any additional comments?

    And I thought I could drink!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    Swansea, United Kingdom
    3/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One hell of a boy!"
    Where does What Fresh Lunacy Is This? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At the top


    What did you like best about this story?

    Apart from being "story" it's real life


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Marvellous narration. Beautiful dulcet tones. A pleasure to listen to.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    What a life!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    United Kingdom
    2/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "By the numbers biography. Somewhat sanitised."
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Told in a very chummy style that started to get on my nerves.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Bensheim, Germany
    8/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "all a bit shallow"
    Would you try another book written by Robert Sellers or narrated by Sean Barrett?

    yes


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Sellers again?

    yes


    What three words best describe Sean Barrett’s voice?

    good, the story is a bit teenage boy level though


    What character would you cut from What Fresh Lunacy Is This??

    none, just the story is one episode after another of almost bragging about how much, how many, how long etc .


    Any additional comments?

    I've read for instance autobiographies / biographies from larger than life characters which had more high and lows, strengths and instabilities, extremes and the average shown, and written frankly better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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