Christopher McQuain's Reviews > Try to Tell the Story: A Memoir

Try to Tell the Story by David Thomson
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's review
Dec 08, 2009

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Read in December, 2009

There's an enmeshment of the personal and the critical/journalistic that gives all of Thomson's work its distinctiveness (and sometimes its fascinating creepiness--that Nicole Kidman biography!!). But what if, rather than making a critique and/or analysis of a film or public figure the starting point from which he inevitably arrives at those personal elements, he actually started with the personal--memories of growing up in England in the '40s and '50s--and wove in the film, theatre, sports, and other cultural references from that direction? That is what he does here, and it's a worthwhile read, but, oddly, somewhat unsatisfying in the end. Perhaps Thomson needs the impetus of a film or director or actor he's passionate about to kindle his best work. He even seems to admit that through the course of this book, as his own memories unmistakably come more fully to life when they're bathed in the light of that flickering cinema screen.
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12/06/2009 page 20
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