Honestly, I didn't like it as much as the first one and probably won't continue with the series. I find the action scenes very confusing, and all theHonestly, I didn't like it as much as the first one and probably won't continue with the series. I find the action scenes very confusing, and all the characters seem to be held at a distance. Perhaps the fact that there are two co-authors explains some of this. The series has its fans, so it clearly works for some readers......more
A very poignant read. I would have given it 5 stars except that I found that the quotes that Patricia Bosworth transcribes from her interviews were raA very poignant read. I would have given it 5 stars except that I found that the quotes that Patricia Bosworth transcribes from her interviews were rather sloppily edited and should have been punctuated better. I think it's fantastic that she was able to interview so many people who knew him...and his mother!
I highlighted many things as I went through, but for me the saddest quote was from Monty himself, where he complained, "I'm not either a pansy or heterosexual." He lived at at time when bisexuality or queerness was an identity you couldn't claim or "adjust to." I also found the quote by Jack Larson extremely interesting, where he explained how Monty would begin by touching people he liked a lot, then they would end up putting him to bed drunk, and inevitably they would sleep with him! I would have liked to have had more insights from his lovers on what going to bed with him was like. In some ways he was promiscuous and at other times he seemed asexual.
Bosworth does such a good job at capturing Monty's elusive personality—the way he listened to others but would not talk about himself. He seems to have been a fine person who slowly disintegrated and self-destructed. I'm not sure it was at all inevitable, and I have to pin some of the blame on Libby Holman...but then, his lover Giles seems to have been a bad character too! There are no heroes in this book and even Hollywood, though it treated him shabbily at the end, was clearly not to blame for Monty's fate. Much blame rests on his addiction to prescription meds and his alcoholism.
As I went through I was particularly moved by the way his early friendships, so passionate and triangulated, disintegrated. There were two couples who adored him and were in some ways surrogate parents, but both couples eventually stopped seeing him because of his self-absorption and lack of loyalty to *them.*
I don't think he understood this at all.
Book ends on a grim and ironic note, with the commemorative plaque his sister insisted on putting on his house in New York being covered up by a huge bush. I felt the ending lacked something, some greater note of perspective. Perhaps it could be revised now.
I ended the book feeling like I had been living with Monty for a bit, feeling confusion and sadness. The biography is that insightful. It left me with a few new films to check out too. Even "Freud"--though the making of that was almost the last nail in his coffin, apparently....more
A very good historical novel set in the time of the Third Crusade. I liked the relationship between the two male main characters a lot, but could haveA very good historical novel set in the time of the Third Crusade. I liked the relationship between the two male main characters a lot, but could have done with less of a small group of secondary characters based on the as yet unformed Robin Hood and his Merry Men who never became as real as I think the author intended. (I realize they may play an important role in the next book, but still...)
Richard the Lionheart has a memorable cameo appearance here, and the author puts a lot of effort into the battle scenes, though sometimes you can feel the effort.
It's a slow burn read, perhaps a little on the long side. Still, I've never read a novel set in the time of the Crusades, and the carefully drawn love story made it more palatable to me....more