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Title:Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography
Format Type:Ebook
Author:
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
ISBN:0743244982
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:632
Category:Biography, Non fiction

Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography by Piers Paul Read

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography Sir Alec Guinness was one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century With a talent recognised by discerning critics from his very first appearance on the stage he gained a world wide reputation playing roles on the screen such as Fagin in Oliver Twist and Sidney Stratton in The Man in the White Suit His performance as Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai won him an Oscar and in his later years he captivated a new generation of admirers as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Guinness was a man who vigorously guarded his privacy and despite publishing an autobiography and two volumes of his diaries he remained an enigma to the general public and a mystery even to his family and closest friends .

After his death in August his widow Merula asked the author Piers Paul Read who had been a friend of her husband to write his authorised biography Given full co operation by the Guinness family and free access to Sir Alec s papers including his private and unpublished diaries Read has written an enjoyable yet penetrating and perceptive account of an intriguing and complex man .

Read shows how Guinness s quirks of character and genius had roots in the circumstances of his early life His marriage to Merula Salaman a young actress of great promise is chronicled by the many hundred letters Guinness wrote to her when serving in the Navy during World War II while his post war diaries reveal that readjustment to civilian life was traumatic with doubts about his talent and a confusion about his sexual nature leading to bouts of severe depression .

Guinness s conversion to Catholicism in partly exorcised his demons but he never wholly escaped the contradictions of his life his domestic ties vying with wayward passions a yearning for holiness with an intolerance of constraint a raw sensitivity to the feelings of others with an irascible and domineering nature Yet from the diaries and letters to his friends quoted extensively in this biography there emerges a man of great compassion generosity wit and charm intellectually curious a talented writer a great gossip bon viveur and munificent host

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Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography, The Misogynist, The Dreyfus Affair: The Scandal That Tore France in Two, A Married Man, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades, Scarpia, Ablaze: The Story of the Heroes and Victims of Chernobyl, The Death of a Pope, Alice in Exile
Jomier broods He broods about the present He broods about the past He types his gloomy thoughts onto his computer screen a digital journal When he has nothing more to say about the present he returns to the past copying entries from old notebooks onto his computer Jomier has reached the age of retirement What will he do, John Strickland is a middle aged barrister with a wife Clare and two children Staying with his parents in law at their house in Norfolk he reads Leo Tolstoy s novella The Death of Ivan Illych and this precipitates a mid life crisis What has happened to his youthful ideals to do good in the world What has happened that has made his marriage go stale It is the period of strikes political crisis and the three day week Strickland determines to stand as a Labour MP His ambition is mocked by his wife and blaming her for his life s stagnation he starts an affair with another woman, The bestselling author of Blaze presents a heart pounding account of the world s greatest nuclear disaster based on sources not available before the fall of the Soviet Union Read s enthralling account is filled with acts of courage and also bumbling confusion secrecy lies and coverups Read spent many months in Russia interviewing hundreds of survivors and experts Photographs maps, Juan Uriarte a handsome and outspoken Spanish ex priest seems to be the model of nonviolence and compassion for the poor and downtrodden So why is he on trial accused of terrorist activities His worldwide Catholic charitable outreach program is suspected of being a front for radicals The trial is covered by Kate Ramsay a young British reporter who sets out to undercover the truth about Uriarte and his work She travels with him to Africa to see his work first hand but soon finds herself attracted to him Meanwhile an international conspiracy is growing one that reaches into the Vatican itself When the death of Pope John Paul II brings the conclave that will elect Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI a terrorist plot involving blackmail subterfuge and mass murder begins to fall into place a plot that could spell disaster for the Catholic Church and the world Piers Paul Read s powerful tale combines vivid characters high drama love betrayal faith and redemption in a story of intrigue of church espionage and an attempt to destroy the longest continuous government in the world the Papacy The Death of a Pope races toward an unexpected and unforgettable conclusion