Friday, December 12, 2008

In Spite of Myself by Christopher Plummer

In Spite of Myself: a Memoir by Christopher Plummer (Knopf Canada)

Christopher Plummer's recently published memoir, In Spite of Myself, clocks in at 648 pages. I can't think of how he could have found the time to take notes having lived such a full life, so he must, then, have a prodigious memory. A prodigious memory for a prodigious life. If he wrote about every detail of his life it could easily have been a three volume affair, but as it is, this hefty volume, written with idiosyncratic flair and panache is a substantial tell-all of one of the very greatest actors of our time.

He has worked with so many people in his long career, and experienced so much, and has so many stories to tell, that as a quiet introverted reader, I had to put the book down from time to time to gather strength. His style is flamboyant and richly textured which captures the energy and passion of his life, and he has framed the memoir with a novel's structure, and neatly brings us full-circle in the final pages.

This will be a must-read for any theatre and movie fan for it is also a compendium of theatrical and movie lore. One of those substantial books ideal as Christmas gifts.

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