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5.0 von 5 Sternen A WINNER ON STAGE AND IN PRINT, 18. September 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: My Name Escapes Me: The Diary of a Retiring Actor (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Packed movie houses, SRO theaters, an Oscar award, countless honors, and a knighthood have taken the measure of the actor. Now, with My Name Escapes Me, a highly entertaining diary kept over a two year period, we are allowed to take the measure of the man. In life, as in acting, Sir Alec Guinness is impressive.
Jottings on matters both mundane and monumental reveal that at the age of 82 Sir Alec is generous and thoughtful, delighting in "giving" lunch or dinner, "splendid roast beef and Yorkshire pudding" to friends, or buying a "quantity of tulips, mimosa, hyacinths and bright anemones" to freshen the living room which is being used as a "bedsit" following his wife's surgery.
He is also irascible. A March, 1996 notation: "Oh, dear! I hate myself today. At Mass this morning I replied abruptly when a woman sat down beside me and asked, knowingly, if I was who she thought I was. I fear I spoiled Palm Sunday for both of us."
As charmingly self-effacing as he was in his 1986 autobiography, Blessings In Disguise, Sir Alec extravagantly praises fellow actors, while giving scant notice to his own distinguished career. Admirers who remember him for "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Star Wars" or as George Smiley in the TV adaptation of John Le Carre's novels, glimpse in this lively memoir the private man who rejoices in "the fortieth anniversary of my 'reconciliation' with the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church." We meet the inveterate observer who takes keen interest in world events, as well as his own yard, where he ponders the implausibility of blackbirds remaining airborne when only ten inches from the ground. Somehow, it is encouraging to learn that he also plays the lottery.
Well honed powers of observation and a wry wit enliven this all too brief memoir. He tolerates the vicissitudes of growing old with bemused understanding. Plagued by failing eyesight, Sir Alec writes, "Today I found myself making enticing cooing sounds to what I took to be a rather pale pigeon on the lawn outside my study. It turned out to be a knuckle-bone left by one of the dogs." Yet he determines not to fret about his frailty when another's vision is so poor that the man misses his wine glass by a good two inches.
The loss of many colleagues and friends causes him to observe, "My small world threatens to be underpopulated." Yet, there are gallery openings to attend, museums to visit, trips, friends, and celebrations of the day-to-day. Sir Alec's life, shared with his wife of 60 years, is satisfyingly full. How fortunate we are to share a small portion of that life in My Name Escapes Me.
We thank him for the pleasure of his company, both on stage and off.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Elyse Sommer, editor CurtainUp's thumbs up to Sir Alec, 5. September 1997
Rezension bezieht sich auf: My Name Escapes Me: The Diary of a Retiring Actor (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Following is the beginning of our review of this book at our theater webzine, CurtainUp ([...]
I would have posted this review of My Name Escapes Me the slim diary of Sir Alec Guiness with its
slyly double entendre title. Blame it on Sir Alec that I got detoured into reading John Updike's 500
page novel In the Beauty of the Lilies. You see, as Guiness the actor was able to submerge his ego
deep within a cornucopia of faces and personalities (not excluding women), Guiness the writer manages to seduce you with his still vigorous intelligence to follow the markers in his rendering of his ordinary out-of-the-mainstream existence. Thus, his comments worked like a link on a web page, prompting me to pick up the novel I began but did not finish last summer.

Thank you Sir Alec--for nudging me into this second and very enjoyable re-reading of Lilies.
(Incidentally, one of Updike's key characters, a budding movie star, mentions Guiness' multiple roles in The Lavender Hill Mob as a performance that inspired her). And thank you Sir Alec for
reminding readers that whether you're a retired actor or financier, the life of the mind continues to provide much satisfaction even to those now sidelined to the spectator section of life's playing field.

For the rest of this review and other theater-related reviews of books available from Amazon, visit curtainup at [...]
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Superbly entertaining and thought-provoking, 9. Oktober 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: My Name Escapes Me (Taschenbuch)
In this, the first of his two volumes (so far, I hope) based on his journal, the great actor Sir Alec Guinness makes writing and reading seem as effortless as his acting. His graceful, lucid prose is remarkable, as are his observations and ruminations on his life, on the craft of acting (he never lets one forget that acting is a craft with exacting standards of professionalism), on his reading, on his religious life, on the world around him, and on his family and friends. He is one of the sharpest yet kindest observers of the human comedy, and reading him is not only an unalloyed pleasure but nourishing to the mind and the heart. Readers of this book should scour used-bookstores for BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE and should also hunt down his new book A POSITIVELY FINAL APPEARANCE.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The man behind the Sir, 4. Juli 1998
"My Name Escapes Me" is one of those audiobooks you want to spend an undisturbed evening with, curled up in your most comfortable armchair, armed with a pot of tea. I can't say what I expected when I bought this tape, but definately not "meeting" Alec Guinness on such a personal level. His gentle humor charmed me within the first minutes of listening, and his out-look on life itself is something you don't want to miss. You suffer with him upon the loss of another friend but moments later can join him in celebrating life and whatever it has to offer. You like Alec Guinness - this tape is a must.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen I thoroughly enjoyed this book, 19. Februar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: My Name Escapes Me (Taschenbuch)
I haven't hear the audio version of Sir Alec's diary: don't need to since I can hear his voice in my head as I read. Gracious to a fault about his fellow actors, prickly about fans who invade his privacy (whether spying him at a museum or appearing in the back garden), exasperated at the Star Wars fame, he is a truly eccentric Englishman and proud of it. I love it when he admits he probably went on and on while telling a story; a common fault of the loquacious and the aging. Pokes fun at himself and endears himself all the more. Delightful.
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