From Library Journal
The distinguished British actor Guinness, at 82, laments in his silken voice the indignities of aging. He also reminisces about deceased friends and his early low-pay contracts. He shuns needless spending but believes his country's taxes should support the House of Lords and the Queen. He hails the expectation that Queen Elizabeth might visit the Scottish school where 16 children were slain but omits her decision not to go. In these diary selections from 1995 and early 1996, Sir Alec attends mass with his wife but few current films; reads Dickens but not Austen; digests pork pie but not pressed duck. Talk of his film and stage work is brief, and obscure people's names are numerous. In spite of his familiar, well-recorded voice, many American listeners may find this abridgment bland. Of marginal import to biography collections.?Gordon Blackwell, Eastchester, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the
"I never liked New Year's Day," begins Guinness, but he decided to start this diary with his 1 January 1995 entry; and he ends the diary on 6 June_ 1996, in acknowledgment of the momentous day in 1940 when his son Matthew was born, or "possibly" the Normandy invasion. The point is that Guinness is concerned so much with beginnings and endings that he calls the reader's attention to them, reminding one and all that the sun is most certainly setting on the end of a sublime actor's days. And there is deep sadness to his recordings of the passings of dear friends and the preparations for memorials. Yet, the diary is about so much more than reflections on death; it is about the full life being lived by a much-beloved actor whose name will long be remembered. Sir Alec's friend John le Carrehas written a warm foreword that complements the diary nicely. Consider it a coda to Guinness' best-selling 1986 autobiography, Blessings in Disguise
. Bonnie Smothers
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