Top positive review
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Brutally honest, Compasionate, and Engulfing.
on October 18, 2001
Montgomery Clift. It evokes such powerful images and connotations. The name itself sounds like royalty. The man it belonged to in many ways lived up to such regal ideals. Part of a midwestern family like so many famous actors, his childhood was quite exotic; traveling abroad and learning the ways of the world. The rest of his life only got more exciting. Up to the very minute of his death, Monty was a source of intrigue and respect. Paving the way bravely for Brando and Dean, Clift came first with an honesty that riveted onlookers of all kinds. His strength and helplessness, rebelious yet ingratiating, awoke the world around him to a new kind of man, and a new way of life. Patricia Bosworth does a splendid job in making every moment of Clift's life easily accesible to the reader. The book begins with a hearty(but pleasant) family history going back two generations. For those who've found other star bios uneventful and boring during the "growing up" chapters (namely because the actor was an ordinary kid), here you will find the opposite. Almost from birth Monty's days were unpredictable and full of travel and minor adventure. His acting ability was recognized early and a career followed quickly. The book itself is large indeed-some might find it excessive. But considering this will be most readers first look into Monty's life (their first bio on him), it comes across moreso as just very thorough. Ms. Bosworth's literary craft is quite exquisite, thus making the already fascinating story a joy to read. Following his every triumph and failure with equal attention, one gets a sense of who the man was-not just the celebrity. In fact his personal life makes up 85-90% of the book; as it should! Of course there is more than enough time devoted to the events during his Plays and Films-but it's not simply a shooting schedule pasted into the book. The process of Monty's growth personally and professionaly-and the connection between both-is painted beautifully in the words. One sees also the source and always present fuel of his trademark "turmoil"-that wounded sense that drew audiences and still does. There are no cliche`s to find-no tabloid generated fallacies in the telling of this life. Only a full circle understanding of not only the subject's life, but how to tell it rightly. There are always those readers wanting little more than a brief overview of someone-'was he gay, was he strait, how much money, who'd he know,when'd he die'. But even those readers should surrender some time for this book and let it engulf you. Naturally all those highlighted points are covered-but in a surprisingly respectful and yet also brutally honest portrayal. This book is a quinessential addition to any personal library-especially one containing biographies-and is a masterful collection of one man's life's events. Truly a great book.