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Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers
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Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Now in paperback: "An authoritative biography and a compulsive page-turner." (Michael Palin, New York Times Book Review) Peter Sellers' explosive talent made him a beloved figure in world cinema and continues to attract new audiences. With his darkly comic performances in Dr. Strangelove and Lolita and his outrageously funny appearances as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Pa ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 15th 2003 by Hachette Books (first published October 2nd 2002)
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Thomas Amo
If you love Peter Sellers, you won't by time you finish reading Mr. Strangelove.
Which is no surprise, Peter Sellers on his best day was a force to be handled with kid gloves. A very insecure genius who's comedy still makes me laugh regardless of his personal life.

He truly suffered the comedians curse which is long bouts of depression. When everyone wants you to be funny all the time. I got this book because I did want to know more about the man behind the laughter. I did find reading it though w
...more
Joslyn
Apr 19, 2009 Joslyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
terribly written, but full of facts, anecdotes, information. by 'terribly written,' i do not mean illiterate, but invasive. interjections, judgements, foreshadowing, the occasional attempt at humor - the author's voice was very much in the way of the story.
Natalie Caudill
Aug 22, 2012 Natalie Caudill rated it really liked it
I've always appreciated his gifts but clearly he was a troubled man. While I am not a psychiatrist, it is obvious that he suffered from kind of personality disorder. The book goes into fantastic depth of detail and character but reading that Mr. Sellers abused his wives, children and even murdered pets will give even a hardcore fan pause. One wonders what intervention might have helped him but he is thoroughly a narcissist and probably the least likely person to have sought help. My heart goes o ...more
Allie
May 05, 2013 Allie rated it really liked it
A Peter Sellers biography written as a black comedy is a very good idea. This is one of the most stylistically fun biographies I can recall reading, though I'll admit I very rarely read biographies. Extra sad bonus: now whenever I watch some of my favorite films, I'll have to think about Sellers beating on his wives/children/everybody.
Craig Adamson
Jan 31, 2016 Craig Adamson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A very detailed account of a talented but empty person's life. Only really knew him from the Pink Panther movies. Had quite a storied radio and movie career in England and later world-wide movie fame. I was not aware at all of his world-wide fame.

Sellers had quite a penchant for buying houses and cars and "stuff". Makes me wonder how many millions of dollars he blew through in 30 years. He died at Age 55 and supposedly left behind $10 million estate. But seemingly every chapter details him buyin
...more
Craig Adamson
Feb 14, 2016 Craig Adamson rated it did not like it
A very detailed account of a talented but empty person's life. Only really knew him from the Pink Panther movies. Had quite a storied radio and movie career in England and later world-wide movie fame. I was not aware at all of his world-wide fame.

Sellers had quite a penchant for buying houses and cars and "stuff". Makes me wonder how many millions of dollars he blew through in 30 years. He died at Age 55 and supposedly left behind $10 million estate. But seemingly every chapter details him buyin
...more
Tabatha
"Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers" gives a good overview of the benchmarks of Peter Sellers' life, however it seems to be a biography written by someone who doesn't care for the work of Peter Sellers. Beyond giving the facts of Peter's life, Ed Sikov also gives synopses and opinions on the various films Peter Sellers appeared in throughout his career. Although I will readily admit that quite a few of them weren't up to par, the author is unnecessarily harsh and critical of each one ...more
Irene B.
Nov 26, 2012 Irene B. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm taking my time reading this bio as it is full of great tips about music and film I've never heard about before. Well, most of the clips and tunes are on Youtube. I've discovered The early Goon Show, Peter Sellers "records", and watched some scenes of movies I've never seen such as The Magic Christian and also The Party. Fabulous. I've ordered my own "used" copy of this book so I can take my time and make notes. What an outstanding performer he was!!! Nov 2012: Still reading the book and watc ...more
Ellen Snyder
Sep 14, 2012 Ellen Snyder rated it really liked it
I have never been a big Sellers fan, thinking he was over the top most of the time, but he was good in some roles, and was gifted at impersonations and characterizations. As a member of the Goon radio show, he and his buddies were a great influence on British Humor, as evidenced by the Monty Python group, the Beatles, Richard Lester's movies, and perhaps on American humortoo such as the Laugh-In show. Peter Sellers as a person, though, seemed to be an unhappy, difficult person. He suffered from ...more
Patrick Moody
Feb 02, 2016 Patrick Moody rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Peter Sellers or other legendary British comedians/actors
There was never a dull moment reading this highly detailed account of the life of the legendary actor, who comes off as a chameleon and enigma. So detailed, in fact, that it begins with stories of his family several generations before he was born. Once it moves past that background information it starts to become very engaging, painting an often unflattering account of a selfish, temperamental mama's boy who stayed that way until his death in his 50s. It's no surprise his direct relatives did no ...more
Littlebrit
Dec 19, 2014 Littlebrit rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I've been a devoted fan of Peter Sellers ever since his early days on "The Goon Show" on the venerable BBC Radio. This is a fascinating look at the life of a brilliant comic and actor which holds nothing back. Sellers was not an easy man to get along with, personally and professionally and this detailed look at him certainly makes that very clear. The stories of his "run-ins" with other famous show business folks are riveting but also so are the sad details of his personal life, ...more
Alice
Sep 12, 2015 Alice rated it really liked it
This is a very well researched and easy ro read book. It took me awhile to read it because I was constantly going to google articles or watch interviews and even movies on YouTube which were mentioned. That being said, I came away feeling sad that I will probably no longer be able to look at a Peter Sellers movie again the same way. He was a disturbed individual who treated his wives and children brutally. His bizarre behavior towards friends and co-workers all seemed to be forgiven because he w ...more
Ryan McArthur
Feb 29, 2012 Ryan McArthur rated it really liked it
Peter sellers sounds like a bit of an a-hole. He was a terrible dad, husband and friend.

I had a student staying with me, and at one point she asked me what I was reading. I showed her this book and quoetd one of the Goodreads reviews which says "if you like peter sellers, you won't after reading this book" its totally true.

He was the original "man who wasn't there" always playing a role, until he got bored, and then playing another one. However, I did really like "The Party" and, as someone el
...more
Jim Berkin
Jul 22, 2012 Jim Berkin rated it really liked it
Sikov's very thorough bio of Peter Sellers didn't surprise me since I'd already read a lot about how Sellers was an oddball offscreen, but I had no idea how cruel he could be, especially to his wives and family. Granted, the man's work on screen is often hilarious (although he certainly made his share of real drek), but Sikov's grand tour through a lot of the dirty laundry was interesting even if somewhat depressing. Compared to other Hollywood bios in the same spirit, this one is very good.
Peter
May 28, 2014 Peter rated it liked it
Interesting book. Peter Sellers had many quirks, but was also a genius at his craft. His children and wife's had a hard time dealing with the many faces of Peter. I thought the book was a bit slow at the beginning, but by the middle on was very entertaining. Amazing how many characters he could be in one movie and keep track of what he was doing. Interesting about how he did not like the color purple and thought it was bad luck.
Chris Bartholomew
Dec 19, 2013 Chris Bartholomew rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
What a disappointing book. I still think it would be interesting to read about Peter Sellers life, but this author sucked the life out of the story. I could have picked up a film atlas and found it equally as readable.
Scoobs
Oct 11, 2007 Scoobs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't wait to read this book about the legendary Mr. Sellers. Tosh will have to burn me a copy of his comedy stuff to keep me laughing until I get a chance to read the book on his wild and crazy life.
Paul Smith
Oct 24, 2015 Paul Smith rated it liked it
It's a bit clunky in places, but a solid read for all that and a more-than-decent account of one of the least pleasant men in showbiz.
R
Jul 13, 2010 R rated it liked it
Fascinating man. Typical neurotic artist; truly there must be a biochemical basis for this common stereotype.
Corey
Aug 04, 2014 Corey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sellers was a fascinating, troubled and troubling man. His life is almost as interesting as his best work, in "Lolita," "Dr. Strangelove" and "Being There."
Brandon
Aug 25, 2015 Brandon rated it really liked it
Top rate biography of the brilliant and damaged Peter Sellers. Found out everything I wanted to know about Sellers by reading this biography.
Donna
Jan 17, 2013 Donna rated it liked it
Creeped me out.
Laesar
Aug 12, 2013 Laesar rated it liked it
a good, insightful book but very very long
Leeanna Neumeyer
Leeanna Neumeyer rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2014
Matthew
Matthew rated it it was amazing
Jun 06, 2009
Alicia
Alicia rated it did not like it
Nov 18, 2016
Zainab
Zainab rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2015
Arianna
Arianna rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2013
Stacey
Stacey rated it did not like it
Jun 07, 2012
Emmy
Emmy rated it liked it
Oct 10, 2012
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