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Publisher's Summary

Film historian and acclaimed New York Times best-selling biographer Scott Eyman has written the definitive, “captivating” (Associated Press) biography of Hollywood legend Cary Grant, one of the most accomplished - and beloved - actors of his generation, who remains as popular as ever today.

Born Archibald Leach in 1904, he came to America as a teenaged acrobat to find fame and fortune, but he was always haunted by his past. His father was a feckless alcoholic, and his mother was committed to an asylum when Archie was 11 years old. He believed her to be dead until he was informed she was alive when he was 31 years old. Because of this experience Grant would have difficulty forming close attachments throughout his life. He married five times and had numerous affairs. 

Despite a remarkable degree of success, Grant remained deeply conflicted about his past, his present, his basic identity, and even the public that worshipped him in movies such as Gunga Din, Notorious, and North by Northwest

Drawing on Grant’s own papers, extensive archival research, and interviews with family and friends, this is the definitive portrait of a movie immortal.

©2020 Paladin Literature, Inc. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Cary Grant

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Enjoyable

I have enjoyed listening to this book and getting to know a little more about Mr Cary Grant whom I have always enjoyed whether in comedy or mystery movies.. I would like to add a little something about the narrator, Angela Di Loreto. It took me a little bit of time to start this book because right before I was going to start it I found out that this man with the wonderful voice actually passed away on October 17. As crazy as it sounds I was very sad to listen to this book by this man who passed away so suddenly. I've listened to other audio books by him under his other pseudonym Brian Pallino and I've always enjoyed him. So I just want to say I salute him for doing what I think is a wonderful job with this narration.

6 people found this helpful

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Disappointing...

I never read multiple bio's on the same subject but I don't remember much of anything of the first book I read on Grant and Scott Eyman wrote a great book on John Wayne so I thought I would give it a try. The problem isn't the writing as much as it is the subject. Grant is not nearly as interesting as I hoped he would be and, like Henry Fonda, is clearly not a person I would want to know. Grant apparently had a never-ending problem reconciling Cary Grant to Archie Leech, his birth name. This, along with a pretty nasty relationship with his parents (especially his mother) seemed to provide him with a never-ending list of excuses why he treated everyone around him like garbage, especially his first four wives. Unfortunately this takes up a huge chuck of the narrative which results in an unnecessarily long book. In the final run what I will remember is that Cary Grant was a prisoner of his own public image which never allowed him to take any real risks professionally which resulted in a LOT of bad movies. The other major beef I have is that whoever edited this work needed to tell the narrator how to pronounce the names of famous people which he butchered on a regular basis: Leslie Caron, Mel Ferrer, Michael Curtiz. I mean if you can't pronounce the name of the man who directed Casablanca and White Christmas properly then what are you doing here?

5 people found this helpful

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Mispronounced Names

The narrator’s mispronunciation of celebrity names was distracting. Author’s incorrect statements of certain geographic and historical facts undermines his credibility.

4 people found this helpful

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Balanced Review of a Movie Legend

This biography accomplished the difficult task of balancing the positive and negative aspects of Grant’s personality. However, the narrator’s mispronunciation of many names and words was jarring. Wonderful book, but it should be read, not listened to.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliantly addictive

I'm one of those biography and memoir junkies. And this new biography of Cary Grant is like candy to me. Yum. I didn't want it to end. I was pulled in from the very beginning with Grant's hardscrabble youth in Bristol, England, in the company of a distant dad and a mother who, without warning or explanation, suddenly disappears.

I've read other reviews that bash this biography for being "exhaustive" with detail and dull as a phone book. Maybe you'll agree. But I never felt the narrative bogged down. To me it clipped along, from English music halls and American vaudeville to Hollywood--all in the company of Archie Leach, aka, Cary Grant. The author jumps between personal and professional life without missing a beat. So Grant's marriages and significant relationships/friendships get a going over as well as his important films.

My one qualm was I wished, occasionally, the author would spend more time on a certain film, like "Bringing Up Baby" or "North by Northwest." Or Grant's working relationship with Alfred Hitchcock. And they do get discussed. I just wanted more. But the author was wise to pare down the stories. Otherwise, the book really would've bogged down.

Other reviewers have also complained that the author keeps returning to that old question, "Was he or wasn't he gay?" Yeah, it comes up and this author, like others, can't seem to pin Grant down. Grant was and is a mystery on so many levels. Yet this biography still succeeds in making you feel like you're in the room with this intriguing, complex character--even if you never get close enough to smell his cologne.

Narrator Angelo Di Loreto does an excellent job. He has a smooth delivery and keeps the story lively.

2 people found this helpful

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Recording needs better editing.

I was distracted by the many mispronunciations throughout the book. The reader has a good voice but maybe not enough familiarity with material. Not sure how the author, editor, producer allowed this to be sold without going back to fix. Mispronounced John Huston, Olivia Dehaviland, Claudette Colbert and others. I lost interest in the book because of these repeated errors. Sorry. I love Cary Grant but I’ll read this myself.

1 person found this helpful

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Everything you wanted to know

Comprehensive life story, to say the least. The result of prodigious research. If you are interested — at great length — in CG this is for you. My one criticism is that while the book was well-read there were a number of mispronounced proper names. Very distracting! I know because I lived through much of the period recounted. Who vets these issues for audiobooks?

1 person found this helpful

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Master story teller Eyman holds you every page.

So man have tried to tell Grant's story Eyman does it with the same style Cary projected on the screen. He tells the good and the "That's just Cary." in such a way one knows the followed the facts, not some path he thought the story should go. When you read this book breath in because the scent is there, old Hollywood, with double breasted suits and single minded artists.
What a great read sincere, with care and love.

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Great book, great narration

I’ve read many books over my long life, few I’ve loved any more than this one. Great narration as well. Book you not only love but learn from. Hated when it was over.

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Fascinating book / cynical sounding narration

Thank you Scott Eyman. Fascinating, wonderfully detailed, highly interesting content, I enjoyed this very much. I was disappointed by narrator Angelo Di Lreto who has a sort of constant Joe Friday (from the "Dragnet" TV series) unhelpful cynicism in his tone of voice that didn't serve the content of the book well.

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  • che1sea4ever
  • 12-24-20

A FABULOUS CREATION

As I child born in the early 50s, the first films I remember watching on TV in England were either silent films or films from the 30s & 40s. The film that I adored and can still watch with original glee was Bringing Up Baby. It was surreal, madcap and Cary Grant & Kate Hepburn just sparkled. They say you should never meet your heroes and in this case, I was apprehensive about listening to this. The story does not open up truth about his private life in a modern "exposed" way and I was enlightened into his complex personality. A really interesting life story read really well.. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 02-07-21

a gift from God

truly a much blessed man who was loved and gave pleasure to millions of people

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  • D. Baker
  • 01-10-21

Good bio, some interesting pronunciations

Eyman’s book is mostly great, albeit clearly written with a US audience in mind, as it explains fairly basic things about Grant’s early life in the U.K.

Loreto’s reading contains some odd (mis)pronunciations: John ‘Huss-ton’, 'Lewis' B Mayer. 'Rose-a-lind' Russell, Halivand instead of Havilland, ‘Hippo’-drome, plus English place names that he can perhaps be forgiven for (Noor-which).

But it rattles along, is divided up into the sections of it’s subject’s life nicely, and the research Eyman has clearly done is well deployed.

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  • flowertoes
  • 11-06-20

The narration spoiled i.

On first listening yo this biography I just could not get into it,the story it,self is very interesting,and I perseivered then I realalised,the narration was too low and gravelly.I persivered and got used to the narration,it could have been bettered but I really enjoyed the biography in the end.

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  • Pete Mc
  • 11-03-20

1 man 2 people

I enjoyed this very much I must admit I knew very little of the man behind the image. well written with a balanced view of Grants life without fawning or pandering to sensation. I liked Cary Grant as a actor and I like him as a person after listening to this.

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  • Saffron R
  • 10-25-20

Impressive detail, great insight

Loved this account of an idol who was anything but straightforward. Drawn by my Mother's admiration & his British beginnings. I avoid biographies generally since I can obsessively research them afterwards but no issues here. His movies are my regular go to's. We are so lucky to have his legacy, something he discounted. The detail was robust but the narration struggled with some Brit terms & names. This leaves you with questions and greater interest and that's a good sign. Does this great man justice.

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  • ann cartwright
  • 10-23-20

I’m sorry but I can’t finish this book

A bit of a disappointment it’s like listening to someone reading the phone book. No life and energy in this book just a chronological factual list of a life. The narrator is doing his best but he’s up against the writer.
Not entertaining and not good