This is Alec Guiness' journal of the eighteen months after the summer of 1996, tumultuous times for the nation - the death of Diana, the arrival of New Labour, Hale-Bopp planet and local events in Hampshire - the dying plane tree, the vulnerability of the hassocks in Steep Church .This is Alec Guiness' journal of the eighteen months after the summer of 1996, tumultuous times for the nation - the death of Diana, the arrival of New Labour, Hale-Bopp planet and local events in Hampshire - the dying plane tree, the vulnerability of the hassocks in Steep Church .Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1999-10-04 Erudite, droll and modest, this sequel to My Name Escapes Me, written in the form of a diary from the summer of 1996 through 1998, comprises the distinguished actor's celebrations of life's pleasures great (the solace of Catholicism; a loving marriage) and small (a good meal, a devoted pet). The opening description of a cataract operation?so successful that seeing the world "sharply and in full color" prompts the actor to "burst into happy tears"?is typical of a book that acknowledges how powerful and how evanescent such pleasures can be. The book is shadowed with dark ruminations about the rise of germ warfare, the ethics of abortion and the arms race between Pakistan and India. At the same time, Guinness?married for 60 years to a woman who drolly blames "the aggressiveness of Donald Duck" for all that is deplorable in Western civilization?refuses to take himself too seriously, and the book can be ferociously quaint. Although his greatest fame came belatedly with his role in the Star Wars trilogy, Guinness is disdainful of the films' cultish appeal, calling them modest entertainments whose acolytes have lost themselves "in a fantasy world of secondhand, childish banalities." He asks one favor of a 12-year-old boy who claims to have seen the film more than 100 times: "Do you think you could promise never to see Star Wars again?" Guinness describes his 1939 Romeo as "the worst... ever to disgrace our boards." Such puckish self-effacement comes easily to a man who thinks, upon seeing the Hale-Bopp comet?a spectacle "not even seen by Socrates, Christ, or Shakespeare"?that it makes the hurly-burly of a British election year "no more than a tiny puff of dust." National publicity. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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