After getting this book, I subsequently obtained The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street so I was trading their places on my bookshelf, fully intending to put this book back in the closet for a while, awaiting its turn to come back to the "to be shelved" list. I made a fatal mistake - fatal to the plan - I opened the book and started reading. It never made it back to the closet.
I've enjoyed every Helene Hanff book that I have read so far (only three). I love her sense of humor.
What fortune teller woul ever have had the nerve to predict that the best years of my life would turn out to be my old age?
Entertaining. Not one of the great works of art or even a great mystery. But entertaining. Captures the time period (even if he does shuffle it aroundEntertaining. Not one of the great works of art or even a great mystery. But entertaining. Captures the time period (even if he does shuffle it around a bit) and the real life characters.
Basically Fraser's diaries kept over the span of her acquaintance, affair, marriage to playwright Harold Pinter. It was an enjoyable read.
Kind of sadBasically Fraser's diaries kept over the span of her acquaintance, affair, marriage to playwright Harold Pinter. It was an enjoyable read.
Kind of sad leading up to Pinter's death. He had cancers off and on for seven years. People would tell her, sympathetically, how dreadful this was for her. Not too good for him, either. They meant well but it just comes across as shallow. I guess no one ever knows what to say.
I'm not British so a lot of the names that are reeled off are just names to me with no other meaning. Other names do have meaning. He was a fine playwright. And I've enjoyed her biographies and histories. At one point, she meets the son of another historian who is acting in the movie based on her book, Marie Antoinette: The Journey. He tells her he has always enjoyed her books, which aren't boring like his father's. She wonders if her children tell the same thing to other historians. That gave me a chuckle....more
I found it pretty funny. Although I think there was a section in the middle that kind of dragged for me. Probably the reason that I put it down for aI found it pretty funny. Although I think there was a section in the middle that kind of dragged for me. Probably the reason that I put it down for a while.
A couple of sections I really liked were when she was learning how to drive, Jannie goes to school and Laurie and Dad get a coin collection.
I went through some of that coin stuff myself after my father died and someone had to try and straighten out my dad's coins. I got them catalogued once and then someone told me I needed more information so I had to go back through all of them again. I got bogged in the pennies and my mother finally told me that she just wanted them back. So I took them back on my last trip in July.
But I did enjoy the book more than I didn't....more
Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Taylor Caldwell, and the start of James Jones are just the more well-knThomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Taylor Caldwell, and the start of James Jones are just the more well-known authors Max Perkins edited. His favorite dictum echoed that of Frederick Law Olmsted, less is more. The less the author wrote in a given scene the more the reader would be into it. Especially since the writers had a tendency to overwrite. There is no need for duplication. If the point was made, the author would not need to sum it up and repeat what he had just said. Better to be concise than verbose.
I realized as I finished that I was finishing the day after the anniversary of Perkins’ death.
Berg noted that he drew mainly on primary sources. People wrote a lot more letters in those days. E-mail has a lot to answer for. He had an ongoing correspondence with Elizabeth Lemmon, a lady the Perkinses had met from Virginia. It is obvious that a less honorable man would have just gone off with her. This was a great love, but stayed on the mental level. He just poured out to her about his life, his marriage, his children, and most of all his work. He had a doctor he visited in Baltimore and Elizabeth would frequently meet him there and take him to her place in Virginia for a few days of chilling. On occasion, when Fitzgerald lived in Baltimore, he would join them. The relationship between Fitzgerald and Hemingway and how it fell apart with Perkins stuck in the middle is covered very well here. And it sounds as though the collapse was not as bad as it seems. Hemingway did write about it somewhat in The Movable Feast but it isn’t really clear there just how good friends they once had been. Much of it seems to have been based on how disappointed Hemingway was with Fitzgerald and his waste (in Hemingway’s view) of his talent by writing piddling stories for The Saturday Evening Post or Collier’s.
The fallout Perkins had with Wolfe just seemed bizarre. It may be that the brain tumor that killed him had an effect on his behavior for years before. It seems that he would bring this massive amount of pages into Perkins’ office and they would have to whittle it down bit by bit.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’ve been reading books about authors for years. How wonderful to read a book about an editor. The other side of the coin, so to speak. ...more
I really did enjoy this book but I felt like it was too long. I'm not sure what I would have asked her to keep out but it just seemed to drag on.
Now,I really did enjoy this book but I felt like it was too long. I'm not sure what I would have asked her to keep out but it just seemed to drag on.
Now, of course, Beryl Markham did a lot of stuff. Most of her friends were not women. Frequently they were royalty.
And I was so disappointed when Trzebinksi presented pretty arguments against her having written the good parts of West with the Night. I had previously come to the conclusion that only a pilot could have written some parts of it and that her husband had written the other parts. But the author convinced me that, probably, the reverse was true. I was so down about that.
But this was a life full of adventure. She was a horse whisperer, trainer, early pilot - made records; lived the high life in Kenya, London, New York and Hollywood. ...more
This probably would have gotten a better rating if his scandal over wedding his adopted daughter hadn't broken in the midst of my reading this. It wouThis probably would have gotten a better rating if his scandal over wedding his adopted daughter hadn't broken in the midst of my reading this. It wouldn't have been a lot better. It was still a boring book. It was too long.
I've since heard Mr. Lax do commentaries on dvds and he is very knowledgeable. It could just be that he was knowledgeable and decided he wanted to get certain information in. Just too much information. ...more
I loved these essays which apparently first appeared in Civilization, a magazine she was involved with which was published by the Library of Congress.I loved these essays which apparently first appeared in Civilization, a magazine she was involved with which was published by the Library of Congress.
This lingered on the shelf for a long time. Probably a year or so and then about a month ago I picked it up and had trouble putting it down. As a fellow compulsive proofreader (it’s a sickness, we all know this) I just had to laugh at her acknowledgements where she had to admit that she apparently wasn’t as good a proofreader as she had tried to show that she was in an earlier essay.
I would have loved to have been able to have shared much of this book with my father. He would have loved it too.
She talks lovingly of her own father and watching College Bowl as a family. We, too, had watched the show regularly. It was probably a fairly small audience. ...more
I listened to this on my way to Kansas City. I probably ought to re-listen to it some day when I am not roaring down the highway in a convertible (notI listened to this on my way to Kansas City. I probably ought to re-listen to it some day when I am not roaring down the highway in a convertible (not a problem anymore, unfortunately).
It was entertaining. It kept me awake. And had sound advice, I believe. ...more