My Wicked, Wicked Ways
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My Wicked, Wicked Ways

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  897 ratings  ·  90 reviews
My Wicked, Wicked Ways In this highly readable, witty and colourful autobiography, Flynn reveals himself and his remarkable life as he did nowhere else. Full description
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...more
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
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
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...more
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


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
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...more
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
Caitlin Creevy
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....more
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...more
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...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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Jul 30, 2007 Wilson rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: dandies
According to Errol Flynn, Errol Flynn was a wild degenerate with stints as a petty thief and a slave trader in the Pacific before ultimately becoming an actor and a bankrupt drunk adrift listlessly in his yacht. Lots of stuff in this book is apparently intense fabrication, and it's hard to figure out what's what. Best part hands down: Flynn wanted to name the book, "In Like Me" but was denied. Now that's awesome. Oh wait, and he also fed a piece of pork on a string to a duck and when the duck cr...more
I would give this book 2.5 stars, if I could.

I found the first half of the book a fascinating read. If he lived through half of the things that he had written about, he led a very exciting life. I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in less than three days.

Once he got to Hollywood, I became bored stiff. I did not care to hear his name dropping and how many sets of tennis that he played everyday. I was not impressed with who or how many famous women that he had slept with. So, I quit reading the bo...more
Aaron Dome
Anyone whose way with the ladies spawned an internationally known phrase deserves a closer look, no? In this account Flynn's ghostwriter gives us a portrait of a man who lived life to the fullest in his various adventures around the globe, even before he stumbled into fame as a renowned actor.

After reading of Flynn's exploits and schemes I feel like a shut-in. Flynn's ethics are more than questionable, as he and his assorted partners were willing to con anyone or any organization in search of w...more
Beverly Rosendahl
Errol doesn't hold much back in his autobiography. Of course there could have been more dirty details, but this was still a wonderful read! A must read for any Errol Flynn fan!
Conrad Wesselhoeft
One of my all-time favorite Hollywood memoirs--both deliciously and appallingly entertaining.

The early chapters in which Errol cavorts from Manila to Hong Kong in the company of con-man-co-adventurer Dr. Gerrit H. Koets, and in the arms of the lovely Ting Ling O'Connor-- are some of the best.

I read this as a teenager, and later in the Peace Corps, where a dog-eared copy was passed from volunteer to volunteer.

Loved it.

Bill Wren
This book reads as if it’s the transcript of a recording of a great raconteur, a teller of tall-tales whose favourite tale is his own life. You get the sense of a man who is totally self-absorbed but, somehow, has such a winning personality you love him for it.

It’s the breezy voice of a kid who never grew up. In its conclusion, it’s also the voice of a kid who doesn’t quite understand how or why his life has gone the way it has.

For me, the incidents are less important than the personality that c...more
Jacob Pickering-Esquibel
Aug 30, 2007 Jacob Pickering-Esquibel rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: trouble makers
I would love to sit down when I'm over 65 and tell a story about my life like this one. The entire time you read this book your shaking your head thinking that this man should have hung nine times over. I love his attitude and scams to make money how ever he can in any part of the world with all kinds of strange scarry people. He knows how to work his ass off, piss people off, hook up with all kinds of women, drink, cock fight, drink, trick natives into thinking he has magic powers, fight, drink...more
He is a bit random. Much like just talking to someone...he gets off on a tangent and it takes a but to get back. I am still on his childhood, and really he was not a nice child, by his own account.

A tale of someone who really is not very nice. He seems to have many friends, and spends a good chunk of the book name dropping. I think the best part of the story was after his rape trial, when he really started to realize that everything was not a joke (many things were still jokes, just not everyth...more
Although this book gives some fascinating insight into the early days of Hollywood and the sinister inner workings of the major studios, it is really a checklist of unworthy deeds committed by a man who was unfortunately revered by many. Flynn does seem rather proud of his "wicked, wicked ways" and shows no remorse nor does he try to justify his actions. He shoots straight, which makes for some interesting reading, but leaves you feeling sorry in the end that someone could be so proud of a life...more
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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 My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn Showdown From a Life of Adventure: The Writings of Errol Flynn My Wicked, Wicked Ways

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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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