Monday, March 13, 2006

Some of what I'm reading this Month

Brando Unzipped
A hugely controversial biography of this cinema icon promises to be the most revealing yet. With candour, the author unveils the details of that ongoing disaster that Brando called "my life." The mysteries that enveloped the late superstar Marlon Brando are unwrapped and exposed in a richly anecdotal "warts-and-all" biography. Each of the people Porter interviewed, including many of Brando's lovers - both male and female - had a different story to tell. His lovers were as mercurial as his own personality. They included Doris Duke, and Burt Lancaster. The true story of his explosive relationships with Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra is printed for the first time, as is an array of friendships and/or feuds with such unlikely figures as Richard Burton, Charlie Chaplin, and Michael Jackson. The biography's most controversial chapter spins around Brando's incestuous relationship with his teenaged daughter, Cheyenne. The same animalistic intensity that Brando brought to the screen lives again within the pages of this biography filled with photographs. From sex symbol of the 1950s to a swollen, overweight old man who became a tabloid scandal in the 90s, Brando was one of filmdom's true originals.
My Thoughts
Whilst I find biographies that gloss over their subjects queer past this book goes totally the other way and whilst it presents us with a hugely detailed and titilating account of Brando's colourful sex life, it doesnt cover much else. So much so, you wonder how Mr brando was ever out of bed long enough to garner the reputation he had as an outstanding Actor. However it has to be said the gossip is juicy and the revelations on occasion genuinely shocking, dont go looking for any kind of analysis of Mr Brando's work though, that is, not outside of the bedroom.
*** Stars

Summer Crossing
Grady beautiful, rich, flame-haired, defiant is the sort of girl people stare at across a room. The daughter of an important man, who people want to be introduced to. A girl to whom people sense something is going to happen.
My Thoughts
This Truman Capote's first novel, written when he was just nineteen, was never published. This was propably intentional on Trumans part, this "dry run" of Breakfast at Tiffany's sees a character not unlike Holly but nowhere near as well drawn, and whilst the plot is personable the style is trying far too hard to be clever, with over complicated sentences which owe more to showing off than moving the story along. Maybe Im being harsh had this been written by anyone else i might have overlooked the flaws. If nothing else it's a fascinating look at how a writer develops when put into context and compared with his later work.
*** Stars
* Star-Dont put this book down, throw it as hard as you can out of the nearest window.
** Stars-Yawn.... bit of a dud
*** Stars-Not bad, but no masterpiece
**** Stars-A Ripping yarn definately worth killing a few hours with
***** Stars-Couldnt put it down! an instant classic

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