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Publisher's Summary

Read by Philip Jackson with an introduction by Sean Bean.

After training as a teacher, Pete Postlethwaite started his acting career at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre, where his colleagues included Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Antony Sher, and Julie Walters. After routine early appearances in small parts for television programs such as The Professionals, Postlethwaite's first success came with the acclaimed British film Distant Voices, Still Lives in 1988. He then received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Name of the Father in 1993. His performance as the mysterious lawyer "Kobayashi" in The Usual Suspects is well-known, and he appeared in many successful films including Alien 3, Brassed Off, The Shipping News, The Constant Gardener, Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (as Friar Lawrence), and in Inception with Leonardo di Caprio.

©2011 Pete Postlethwaite (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Marion
  • Cronulla, Australia
  • 07-29-11

Pete's story of the love of his craft

I enjoyed the narration of this book but think I would have lost interest if reading it. The narrator spoke in Pete's voice which kept me glued but he went into so much detail on every aspect of his craft that I felt it was more a text book for actors than of general interest to a layperson. This does not detract from his total dedication to fine tuning that craft and I am a great admirer of his work and will look up movies that impressed me at the time. As he says, his face is no oil painting but his love of his chosen path shines through on screen. Unfortunately, the opportunity to see him acting on stage was never possible. I would have loved to have witnessed his "King Lear". His complete lack of regard to his health with heavy drinking, drugs and smoking seem an anathema for one so dedicated to his career. That he had the love and respect of his peers and total commitment to his family makes his early death so much sadder.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A great read!

I am very glad Pete shared his life with us through this memoir. A testament that people can make it in this arena and remain human, kind, just, and civil and still be a raving success in the entertainment industry. This was a fine gift to leave behind for anyone who has ever been or will be part of the entertainment industry. I loved the memoir.
Just one big positive, real, sincere gush. A pleasure to read and a joy to view life and entertainment through Pete's eyes. A book you will not forget.

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Well worth listening to.

What a great audiobook. I thought it would be quite boring at first when he talks about his love of King Lear but it develops into a great, honest story of a guy who just wanted to have fun. The ending is heart wrenching.

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  • Colin
  • 02-26-14

An Extraordinary Life

This has got to be the best written, best presented and most engaging autobiography I have ever listened to. From early beginnings in the priesthood to teaching and then to full-time acting Postlethwaite never once sacrificed his standards or allowed himself to be swayed against his will.

Quite probably the busiest actor ever he weaves a tale of such interest, such exhilarating highs and devastating lows, that the listener is swept along, with each chapter bringing new and greater challenges that Postlethwaite not only rose to, but overcame.

But never did he allow himself to get caught up in the heady glitz of the Hollywood Set nor did he ever forget who he was or where his roots truly lay.

And then the final chapter where he has to face terminal cancer; without a doubt some of the most moving words I have ever heard.

An extraordinary man and an extraordinary life.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs Janet MearesDavies
  • 06-28-17

Did not disappoint - offers hope and positivity

I enjoyed this book. Having admired the amazing work of PP I was intrigued to know the story behind the image.

As a cancer patient I was also a little nervous of what I might hear.

The book is very well narrated by Philip Jackson, a very great talent himself, but his narration complimented the story, not overshadowing the biography at all.

Overall I feel inspired by the mindfulness of Mr Postlethewaite

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  • Steve Parke
  • 03-12-17

Breathtaking

Always liked Peter and this was a very touching book and with the events was very touching. Great read and a must you will love it

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  • Jth
  • 03-10-16

solid down to earth actor Who tells it straight

the final chapter made me cry so humbling to hear his final stage call

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  • M. Broom
  • 11-17-15

Compelling

Loved Pete's story - felt like I was listening to a friend telling me about his journey

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  • Mr. Simon Scott
  • 06-11-15

A spectacle of dust

Wow! This is a fantastic book, probably one of the best autobiographies that I have ever 'read'. Written with honesty and a whit that only Pete Postlethwaite could deliver. Thank you!

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  • Annie
  • 12-10-14

This was not a story, it was a life!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loved Pete, to anyone who loved the world actors or, indeed, to anyone.

What other book might you compare A Spectacle of Dust to, and why?

I think I can only compare it to a good book, because I have never come across anything that makes a loved person return, as this does.

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

Reading the book, could never make Pete come back to life, as this does. It brought back memories of his voice and nuances, I would never have expected. I love Philip's work too, but he has excelled himself here. Please can you ensure that he gets to read this. He did Pete proud.

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

I don't think a film could be made, Pete was an exceptional actor and I don't think that he could be replicated.

Any additional comments?

I would like the author who worked alongside Pete to be complemented on the quality of his work. My condolences to Pete's beloved family.

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  • Sandor
  • 01-31-14

Fabulous Autobiography

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Well written and well read, a very good and interesting listen and I have recommended it.

What other book might you compare A Spectacle of Dust to, and why?

" The Moons a Balloon " , although David Niven and Pete couldn't be more different as people ,but they both produced very intelligent and engaging books which make the reader feel they know and like the writer.

Any additional comments?

I read this and immediately wanted to watch some more of Pete's great performances and was not disappointed, he comes across as a lovely down to earth human being, it is sad he is no longer with us but his book and his vast contribution to the film world are, for this we should be grateful.

  • Overall
  • j
  • 11-13-12

Extremely Moving

Quite simply the best autobiography that I have ever read!! Interesting and gripping from the 1st word to the emotional last. The story is so well written that you feel you know Pete personally by the end of the book, a man true to his roots and himself, down to earth and a real professional. God bless you Pete.

  • Overall
  • Andy
  • 03-27-12

No nominations for awards

This book was a huge disappointment for me.
I knew straight away that there was something missing, something I could not put my finger on, then after about an hour it came to me.
There is no personal background, no information on growing up, schools, parents, hobbies, who were his friends, where did he go on holiday etc.
I am sorry to say, despite good narration the content is to focused, it is what the books ‘write up’ clearly says - it is a list of plays and movies with additional information about how Pete Postlethwaite forced directors to his way of thinking and how he changed the scripts.
Sorry Pete you were a great actor but the book does not have your sparkle.