Blaze of Obscurity CD Audio CD
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This volume concentrates on his years fronting TV shows, twenty years of them. From the start even though he is a severely intelligent man I often thought how can this guy be on TV ,he was bald and his head looks like its been in several hundred heavyweight fights and I mean that in the nicest possible way.
What comes through is his intelligence and his drive to succeed with a good product. He was never satisfied to just put anything into the market place , he wanted it to be quality.
He talks a lot about all his TV shows but I gathered he was most proud of his "Postcard From...." series. These programmes gave him the scope to be very funny and tell a decent story about his subject at the same time.
Along the way he has mixed with the rich and famous like very few others have: he had a serious crush on Princess Diana and his telling of how Pavarotti pronounced Clive is hilarious
One thing I didn't know was that with all the talking head interview shows the guests are asked the questions prior to going on live, where they can all sound very witty and sophisticated without any embarrassing silences, makes sense really.
Highly recommended, lots of quality gossip from a very hard working man with a streak of humanity a mile wide. The type who gives conservative political views a good name.
In the first volume in the series, James warned us we were getting a novel disguised as an autobiography. But by the time you get to the fourth volume, North Face of Soho, fact seems to have elbowed fiction aside. That's no bad thing, for fiction just wouldn't have kept the pace - and it's something critics forever peddling the 'that-bighead-Clive James' line would do well to consider.
TV, in James's account, seems just like theatre on a larger scale: i.e. its natural state is impending disaster somehow turning out just fine. The smallest things take days of painstaking preparation. Linking shots, satellite interviews and Billy Connolly's suits are to this volume what Kogarah's spiders and snakes were to the first one. As before, stories that might be cruel on the first read are saved by generosity. Read his account of interviewing Tammy Faye Bakker, wife of the 'gate-mouthed television evangelist' Jim Bakker, to see what what I'm talking about. For readers who knew James as a TV personality first, the pleasure of these anecdotes - and the ones about Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Kate Winslett, Peter O'Toole and Princess Diana - can only be greater.
But that's not to say his sympathy is without limits. If there's one good thing to say for Hugh Hefner, it's that he pushes James's satire towards the heights of his 'Edward Pygge' parodies and classic essay, 'Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Masses'. A warning: if your wife is like mine, don't read chapter 22 (regarding Jason Donovan) aloud, unless you have a comfy sofa to sleep on.
If not as assured as Unreliable Memoirs or as wise as North Face of Soho, it's still a rewarding read, and more so for describing what happened where we could all see it. It'll be a sad day when the series' sixth and final volume is published.