George Seaton's Reviews > The Letters of Noel Coward

The Letters of Noel Coward by Noël Coward
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M_50x66
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Aug 08, 12

Read from July 05 to August 08, 2012

Only four stars because this collection was not put together that well; it did not flow easily. That said, I do feel that finally after all the years I've held some vague notion about who this fellow was, and not really having made the effort or taken the time to actually dive headlong into the subject matter--Noel Coward, "The Master"--I, at last, have done so and am quite fulfilled by the experience. "Fulfilled," is perhaps the wrong word. Maybe "delighted" would work better.

This hefty tome is an exquisite detailing of Coward's life, in his own words, with wonderful pictures enhancing the read. Coward, I have come to learn, was an actor, a playwright, a composer, a sort of spy for the British and the CIA at the onset of WWII, a naughty raconteur, a homosexual, a gadfly, a world traveler, a precious friend, a wit of immense proportions, and, I could go on... Yes, as I said, a hefty tome. A loooooong read. But, then, "The Master" packed so much into his 70 years, that I did not begrudge the effort to experience it each night, for so many nights, as I lay upon my bed, my Kindle cradled as something made the more precious by what I was reading.

I do believe that anyone who has any interest at all in the British and American theater--the "Golden Age" of theater, some have suggested--would be well served to take the time to read this memoir. Indeed, my scant interest in the American theater was heightened as I read, then, in the morning, finding that a great deal of Coward's work, as well as snippets of the man himself, are generously provided on YouTube.

To the cynics--you know who you are, and I've read your reviews--should, in all sincerity, pull that corncob out of your ass, deflate your egos a wee bit, and enjoy the legacy of Noel Coward--and certainly the man himself--as representative of a bygone era when a beetle was only a bug, and people were not afraid to laugh at themselves as well as others, and when heartfelt communication was not restricted to 140 characters.

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07/18/2012 page 350
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