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My Wicked, Wicked Ways

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,174 ratings  ·  104 reviews
A hero to millions who adored his portrayals of Robin Hood and Fletcher Christian, Errol Flynn (1909-59) lived a life that far surpassed any adventure he ever acted out on screen: exotic travels, criminal exploits, passionate love affairs, violent confrontations, scandals, and international fame. In this highly readable, witty and colourful autobiography, reissued by Aurum ...more
Paperback, 438 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Aurum (first published 1959)
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Dave Russell
I've never read anyone wallow so gloriously in their own evil--and evil is the only word for it. The womanizing was apparently the least wicked thing he did. He was a slave trader in New Guinea, for God sakes!
So, I obviously didn't come away liking him as a person. But as a writer he was remarkably good, in a glib, raconteurish type of way. It reminded me of Humbert Humbert, the unctuous, self-justifying narrator of Lolita. He is describing his own evil acts, but doing it in such a way that yo
It was kind of a relief to finish this book. Reading it was kind of like having an extended visit from a drunken uncle who has great stories, zero self-awareness, some uncomfortable opinions, and ventures into TMI especially when talking about boobs. Uncle Errol never learns from his mistakes. He pinches your cheeks and causes a lot of awkward moments. He's sipping vodka and fondly believes you think it's water. After several shots from his "water bottle," he starts philosophizing like a drunk c ...more
Christopher Roth
Apparently he wanted to title it "In Like Me." In my quest for the sleaziest Hollywood memoir (Scotty Bowers's "Full Service" and Lever's "Me Cheeta" are top of the list so far), I found Errol Flynn's autobiography to be valuable in many more ways than this. Written at the age of 50 when he was washed up, drinking himself to death, living mostly on his Jamaican estate but also enjoying a second wind of film success playing layabouts and has-beens rather than swashbuckling heroes, My Wicked Wicke ...more
While he's not my favorite actor, I've always enjoyed Errol Flynn's films; they're just a lot of fun. However, his personal life and ideals are absolutely horrendous, especially towards women. He admits in this book that he believes they're "stupid" and "fatuous", and meanwhile he's writing in heavy detail about the breasts of every woman he meets and also speaking freely of his various instances of statutory rape (in one case, he was 50, she was 17). Furthermore, Flynn owned slaves and particip ...more
L. Ramkey
Clay-footed Errol Flynn set me to thinking with his autobiography. Perhaps what struck me the most was the extreme contrast between the first half of his life, living in unpretentious, free-spirited, straightforward, poverty stricken, primitive, basic-human-level, wild west culture with Tasmania, Australia and New Guinea....And then fairly quickly being whisked to the most pretentious place on earth, Hollywood, with endless riches, glitz and glamour, inescapable contracts and obligations, contri ...more
Flynn, Errol. MY WICKED, WICKED WAYS: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn. (1959). ****. I’m not sure what drove Flynn to write this autobiography. It was either to provide the truth of his background and subsequent life, or to add further to his boxoffice image and build upon the popular press surrounding him. The book reads much like “The History of Tom Jones.” We learn that Flynn was not Irish; he was born in Tasmania. He attended several schools there and in Australia, mostly because his father ...more
What can one say about Errol Flynn after reading this book? He certainly led an incredible life and definitely the title of "my wicked wicked ways" fits perfectly. How much is actually true without embellishment I'm unsure of and therefore take it all with a grain of salt. Authenticity aside, he is a surprisingly good writer. He is blunt and open about his life and things he's done. One gets the impression that he spent his life searching for something that would have given him true happiness an ...more
Donald McCorquodale
With all the commotion about stars and starlets in the popular press today- it was refreshing to read about a real character. Although I have heard the wickedness admitted to in Errol's biography maybe exaggerated, by all measures it is more exciting that anything any actor or actress today could dream up. I thought the best part of this book was the first half- which covers Flynn's life up to his rise to popularity. After that- it becomes a sort of boo-hoo story of depression and desperation in ...more
There was nobody like Errol Flynn. He was one-of-a-kind, a grown-up kid who, constantly looking for adventure, sailed through life on his good looks and innate charm.

He was really a "flake". He avoided responsibility, usually letting his "little head" dictate to the one on top of his neck.

No woman could hold him for very long.

You'd be a fool to loan Errol money, as his creditors back in his native Tasmania would be quick to tell you. He spent that green stuff like there was no tomorrow.

But, tomo
Matthew Sanchez
This book sticks with you in ways that will benefit and bring you down. The words make sense, and at the same time are self destructive. By the last page you'll feel like you're losing your best friend. Your soul will be compromised. Your mind will long for more.

Flynn will be in, and the "in" will send careless whispers through your mundane days.

The ups and downs will tickle your spirit.

You'll feel like a man -- woman -- a free spirit. You'll fist fight the fool. You'll charm the virginal to the
absolute and unfettered entertainment from start to finish. i cannot recommend this book highly enough. i now have to read the motley crew autobiography to see if it can possibly compare. like a real showman, errol flynn gives you everything you want and none of what you don't. the outrageous-anecdote-to-page ratio runs about 1:1 all the way through. among some that will stick in my head- the final gag with john barrymore, the private steamboat cruise up the mississippi, the spanish teeth that n ...more
Sean Peters

read this quite a while ago.

An interesting book, Errol did get up to so much trouble, and played hard, drank hard, partied hard, and sad to see his career go down hill so quickly.

good read


Hilarious and beautifully un-PC. This book would be shocking even if it came out today, so I can't imagine the reactions it provoked when it was published!
Errol Flynn describes himself as a "tormented" man. My impression from his book is, that he was not an altogether happy man. He wanted to be taken seriously and he didn't feel that people took him seriously. He had aspirations as a writer and despite getting published, he felt he failed in this too. He was a man who, perhaps surprisingly, thought deeply and felt much, but did not always choose a wise course in life. "I am a contradiction inside a contradiction", he wrote and I think that might h ...more
Keegan King
Beyond the fun stories and silly adventures of Errol fixing a cockfighting circuit in the Philippines, throwing strangers off his boat, and picking fights with the biggest baddest kids in school is a lonely drunk trying to find purpose. It was supposed to be his acting career, but you can only make some many mediocre movies before you lose yourself. His detail of Hollywood is as accurate as it gets, and if not more then himself, the most vile and wicked thing he encountered. As a Californian I u ...more
Errol Flynn is one of the more colorful performers of his time in Hollywood. He burst onto the screen fully formed; in his debut movie, Captain Blood, he displays all of the confidence and dash that he'd show in his later films. Other than seeing his films, I knew very little about him. Is an autobiography the best way to learn about someone? Sometimes. But maybe not in this case.

Flynn (and/or his ghostwriter) certainly is a good storyteller. (I especially liked his story about how hard Bette Da
Robert J. Sullivan
The autobiography of Errol Flynn (1909-1959) is an extraordinary story of an iconic actor who starred in a string of swashbuckling movies in the 1930's and 1940's, including "Captain Blood", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "The Sea Hawk", and "The Adventures of Robin Hood". A brawler, drinker, drug addict, and womanizer, he became a caricature of himself and, despite wealth, fame, multiple marriages and affairs, was a deeply unhappy man.

This is a warts-and-all book. There have been recent acc
James Perkins
Errol Flynn was a movie star for about 20 years from the 1930s to the 1950s, as well-renowned for his filmed exploits as his off-screen derring-do. Here he tells his life story, from his humble beginnings as the son of a marine biologist in Tasmania, and the long road to fame through Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe, and finally to America and Hollywood. When Warner Brothers took a risk on an unknown actor starring in their exciting pirate movie Captain Blood, Flynn was catapulted into the Hollywoo ...more
K.K. Wootton
Contains spoilers.

So, lets start off by saying that Errol Flynn was a slave-trader who purchased young girls from their families to do his sexual bidding - as well as to bathe him, led numerous people to their deaths, utterly neglected his children, and remorselessly cheated on his wives. His narcissism knows no limits.
For these and other reasons, his autobiography is un-put-down-able. It helps that his ghost writer was terrific. One gets the impression that the book really nails Flynn 's voice.
I found this a compelling read, although parts are disturbing - not quite what I'd expected. Although there is some juicy Hollywood gossip, and a lot of humour, much of the book is quite dark and brooding.

It's supposed to be an amazingly frank autobiography (though actually written by a ghostwriter) and some parts do feel like that, but a lot of it seems like exaggeration or downright lies, especially some of Flynn's wild adventures in New Guinea in the first part of the book. This feels a bit t
Melinda Seyler
Mar 09, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melinda by:
My Wicked, Wicked Ways by Errol Flynn
Earlier this year I read the Pirate's Daughter and it brought up many questions about Errol Flynn, so I decided to read his autobiography. It was very interesting. Born in Tasmania, he was a real "wild child". He was constantly in trouble in school, seduced by an older woman at 12, proficient at sailing and scamming from the earliest times. His father was an academic, whom Errol held in highest esteem and his mother a handsome woman who ignored and insulted E
Jeremy Good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M.T. Sullivan
Whether chocked full of unfounded whimsy or genuine exploratory adventure (likely both), this book is entertaining from front to back. It reveals the complexities of a man many credit only as a sharp tongued, sword wielding, sex symbol. A man aware of his own contradictions, often accepting of such and just as often bewildered by the direction these contradictions took him through his experience called life. These experiences were varied, whether they be through seemingly (and at times humorousl ...more
This book was amazing. Errol Flynn is the original "Most Interesting Man in the World". From his childhood in Australia, Tazmania, and teens in New Guinea, he astonishes you with all he has gone through to survive. He owned a plantation, rigged cock fights, stole and killed all before the age of 25.
His writing is simple where he does not bog you down with historical landscapes. He just tells you what he did, where he did it and who was involved.
Once he gets to Hollywood he doesn't pull any punc
Jul 30, 2011 Apolla rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any and all
I started laughing from the start and found myself amused throughout.

It's not nearly as candid as the blurb claims - there's no mention of his 15-year-old girlfriend, and all sorts of other naughty or outright scandalous bits of anecdote are left out - but the ghostwriter did a good job of echoing Flynn's style - he did fancy himself a writer did our Errol.

Is it an amusing snapshot of Hollywood in the 30s and 40s? Yes. Is it sometimes awfully sad? Sure. Is he just lying through his teeth? Oh yea
A quite interesting autobiography by Errol Flynn about his life told towards the end of his life. He didn't talk much about any of the movies he starred in, that didn't really seem to be a passion for him. He had a lot of exciting adventures around the world in his younger days and was happiest as he said when he was on a boat and by the sea. He did talk about his 3 wives and his rape trial.
D.R. Pitcock
I enjoy these classical movie star biographies. I actually enjoyed the first part of this book a great deal that deals with Flynn's attempt to be a sugar plantation owner in Papua New Guinea. It was great riveting adventure. And of course Errol's movie career was no less interesting.
I've waited a few years to read this book. Was it worth the wait? Yes. Unlike any autobiography I've read before, you finish thinking you really know the person as if you'd hung around with him for awhile. I'm sure he was a very likeable guy, but he also would have been like that exasperating friend we've all had at some point in our lives. Tall tales, unbelievable claims, name dropping, one upmanship, etc., but you can't dislike him. You have to take this personality as it is. He is a fantastic ...more
Veronica Boeve
Errol Flynn has become intertwined with our culture, even when most of us are unaware of his influence (notably, the phrase "in like Flynn"). However, while reading this book, I had a very hard time believing his fantastical life. I mean, a slave trader in New Guinea? A con man in Shanghai? Searching for gold in the South Pacific? And that's all before becoming a leading man in Hollywood. Needless to say, I read it with a huge grain of salt.

That being said, I enjoyed My Wicked, Wicked Ways (espe
Jul 18, 2007 Jack rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Maybe he wasn't the greatest actor in the world, but everyone loved him and everyone wanted to BE like him... to be "in, like Flynn."

Errol Flynn is one of my arch-types. Like my own life, he filled it with fascinating adventures and interests, but fulfillment always seemed to elude him.

The consummate swashbuckler, the ardent adventurer and a man's man. He writes here about his experiences from about age 16 to his move to America to become one of the biggest movie stars of his era. He was a schoo
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Errol Flynn appeared in some 60 films from 1933 to the late 1950s and gained the reputation of being the quintessential Hollywood swashbuckling sword-wielding adventure hero. His private life was a different matter altogether, and he was involved in a number of scandal-laden Hollywood incidents.

More about Errol Flynn...
Beam Ends Showdown From a Life of Adventure: The Writings of Errol Flynn Slik var mitt liv Aventuras de un vividor

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“All I had to do was stick my face into this gruesome mess and bite off the young sheep's testicles. Dag a hogget. I had good teeth. I put my nose into this awful-smelling mess, my teeth solidly around the balls of the six-month-old sheep, and took a bite while I held him upside down. My nose was in fur and ordure. I bit and spat out the product into a pile of what they called prairie oysters. We have them in America too: delicious to eat, but not delicious to remove. They said this was the most sanitary way to de-ball a sheep. After I was done, I passed the sheep onto the next man, who put a little coal tar on the same spot for purposes of cleansing and closing up the wound.
The sheep never let out a bleat.”
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