This felt a bit like in the last book of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", where Rita Skeeter writes an unauthorized biThis felt a bit like in the last book of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", where Rita Skeeter writes an unauthorized biography of Albus Dumbledore. Yeah, it felt just as disgusting as that while I read this book, except it was in real life.
It isn't exactly new to suggest writers have problematic lives: many are drunks or drug-addicts (Hunter Thompson, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc.), many kill themselves (Hunter Thompson, Ernest Hemmingway, Virginia Woolf, John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, Jerzy Kosinski, Richard Brautigan, etc.), because they're loners and odd they usually face constant rejection in real life and even the literary world (Madeline L'Engle, C. S. Lewis, Margaret Mitchell, Rudyard Kipling, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dr. Suess, George Orwell, Stephen King, etc. I could probably go on forever.). Methinks they're going to have issues. Also, many don't feel comfortable with people their own age, they hang out with children, who are more accepting (Lewis Carroll, alias Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, J. K. Rowling, and Beatrix Potter). J. M. Barrie is among that last group.
While interesting, this book seems filled to the brim with answers to situations that were pulled together by stretching any facts that were found and using fictional works as honest sources to fill in the rest. It can be said that writers base their work on real life; you can go through the facts of their lives, piece together what they may have been feeling at the time, and then read their work as they supposed wrote them and see if a bit of themselves shine through the writing. But I doubt anyone should take the fictional work as fact. I hope this Dudgeon fellow never attempts a biography of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman or Shakespeare, for that matter: he might try to convince readers that they had been to the world of fairies and haunted meat locker trains based solely on their writings.
While plausible, I doubt anyone will fully know what happened to Barrie's brother, David. The fact that the author of this book dares to insinuate that his death wasn't an accident, but seems to have been a premeditated murder on the part of Barrie so that his mother would love him more, seems like a stretch.
The author worked with Daphne du Maurier and seemed to have been a friend of hers. But the minute she wanted to keep something secret, he pounced on it, like a vulture. Now it seems that everyone and their dog has written a biography of Ms. du Mauriers, but this guy seems to have gone too far with his 'research' and assumptions. But, also, if this is how this guy treats his recently deceased friends, I hope to God I'm never one of them.
While there are a lot of tragic circumstances surrounding the du Mauriers and Mr. Barrie, I don't think he meant them to be unhappy, much less kill themselves. He kept watch over them and paid for their schooling after their parents died. That doesn't sound like an uncaring Svengali. I think he was an odd, little man who was very lonely. Tragedy happens and life sucks.
If the author had really wanted to state that the boys had had their lives drained from them, I find it odd that the Llewelyn Davies boys that killed themselves were either really young (Michael) where hormones were raging so feelings were muddled and confused as many psychologists would say and he was away from home and he had someone else doing it with him so as to ease the tension and fear and not go it alone, and the other one (Peter) waited until 23 years after Barrie's death to throw himself under a moving train. This theory just doesn't hold muster for me.
In the end, I couldn't finish this book. I got about a fourth of the way through the mire of this muckraker's 'biography'. Maybe some people find trashing a dead man's reputation fun and titillating, but I'm still of the opinion that you have to have actual source material instead of hearsay before you can be published. ...more
I would like to start this review by saying thank you to Goodreads for allowing giveaways, as I won this book from one of them. Also, they may wish thI would like to start this review by saying thank you to Goodreads for allowing giveaways, as I won this book from one of them. Also, they may wish they had picked someone else. Also, I am going to be really picky when choosing which giveaways to participate in from now on.
Anyway, I put this book down and am loathe to bring myself to pick it up again. So, I am giving up on it, which I don't like to do, but life is short and there are a ton of other books I'd rather be reading right now.
There were too many characters in this book and I couldn't give a damn about nearly every one of them. There was one I almost liked (the one that almost started a restaurant?), but she was kind of passive. I hated that there were so many points of view with so many names, but it didn't matter because they were all basically the same character rehashed over and over again. Just soulless, uninteresting rich people with stupid problems that they tried fixing with unenjoyable and forced sex.
The author tried really hard being clever and interesting with all of the slang and stuff, but that was the problem: she tried too hard and it was pathetic to read. She could be an excellent author, or editor, but she should start by making up people that might have growth potential or the ability to have mental catharsis....more
It was ok, but I couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll give it another shot on another day. I originally got it thinking that it was a collection of shortIt was ok, but I couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll give it another shot on another day. I originally got it thinking that it was a collection of short stories because of its title and I didn't really look at it, so maybe I'm being unfair. But I'll give it another try at another time....more
I just couldn't finish this book. As much as I love Gregory Maguire's work, this was horrid. Maybe if it was a movie; there were some funny lines in iI just couldn't finish this book. As much as I love Gregory Maguire's work, this was horrid. Maybe if it was a movie; there were some funny lines in it that might've been a nice dark humor movie with the right cast, but reading it was bad. Just couldn't find a single character I wanted to follow.
There is one good thing I can say: the back cover looks great. It actually sold the book for me because I wasn't sure if I should get it. Wonderful job Robin Bilardello....more