Sunday, September 14, 2008

What is an Autobiography?

I've just seen a review on Amazon about Cliff Richard's autobiography. It says, "I have always considered Sir Cliff to be a very gracious and modest gentleman, but in this autobiography he comes across as nothing but self-obsessed because the main topic on his agenda is himself."

Generally speaking that's the point of an autobiography. The reviewer gave it one star.

18 comments:

r morris said...

Hilarious. Some reviewers are so clueless (we both know, as our books have gotten zinged by people who missed the point)that it might not be a bad idea that a potential reviewer pass some kind of basic literary IQ test before posting.

Thanks for the chuckle.
rob

The Lakelander said...

I remember a line from "The Two Ronnies" where Ronnie Barker introduced Ronnie Corbett as:

"a man who is so modest that he forgot to mention himself in his own autobiography"

Richard Havers said...

Rob, our biggest mistake is thinking that the world is even approaching sensible!

LL, brilliant!

r morris said...

;)

Dragonstar said...

Brilliant!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hmm, I'd have thought that is the point of an auto-biog too!

bigrab said...

I remember the story of Brian Epstein asking the Beatles what they thought he should call his autobiography. 'Queer Jew' was John Lennon's pithy reply. I would imagine 'Sanctimonious Bore' would be a snappy title for Cliff given the same criteria.
Anyway Richard, explain. Just what were you doing reading a review of Cliff Richard's autobiog on Amazon anyway?

Richard Evans said...

Haha, Bigrab! I remember that quote of JL's. I remember too seeing a sketch on TV in the early 60s involving The Beatles and Ken Dodd. Dodd had yet to get his numbber 1 hit 'Tears' and was saying to the Fab Four about how he would like to become a singer but felt he should change his name name to something a bit more hip and cutting edge . . . "Something a bit, y'know, earthy" said Dodd. George Harrison looked at him and said "How about Sod"

Deb Acle said...

Has CR told us anything we don't already know - minutiae aside?

I just wish he'd got the coming out bit over and done with! This has to be the longest open secret in showbiz history!

Richard Havers said...

Rab, reading the comments about his book is not like reading his book!

I remember that Mr E!

Deb Acle, are you sure you're right?

Deb Acle said...

No, Richard, I'm not sure. You're right to ask. And this is the point rather, isn't it? I mean, I could repeat stuff from friends of friends of colleagues of relatives of friends, as I suppose many people could about many celebrities (6 degrees of separation and all).

But it's all hearsay and inadmissable of course. I deal in facts and honest evidence...which is why I personally feel CR's book, from all the reportage, appears not to have resolved any of these questions. It actually fuelled more speculation when parts of it were excerpted in, was it the Daily Mail?

I want horse's mouth definitive yay or nay!!!

On the other hand whatever business is it of mine?? None. Except that again CR has indeed engaged us in thinking about his choices of companion by talking and writing about these things publicly.

Was it Sir Dirk Bogarde who wrote his whole autobiography with never a mention of such speculation fodder?

Richard Evans said...

I don't particularly care whether Sir Cliff of Richard comes out of his closet or not. I just know that 'Move It' was one damn fine rock'n'roll record.

Richard Evans said...

I don't particularly care whether Sir Cliff of Richard comes out of his closet or not. I just know that 'Move It' was one damn fine rock'n'roll record.

Richard Evans said...

I don't particularly care whether Sir Cliff of Richard comes out of his closet or not. I just know that 'Move It' was one damn fine rock'n'roll record.

richard Evans said...

Sh-sh-shaky fingers!

Richard Havers said...

Deb Acle, I totally agree with what you say. As someone who knows a bit about this kind of stuff first hand it's imperative to have honesty between the ghost and the subject. However, it's still an autobiography so the subject has the right to decide what they will say and what they will not say! I guess one downside of the modern world is that we expect to know everything about everything and naturally that's impossible!

Spot on Mr. E, I LOVE Move It...

Gledwood said...

I get really fed up with book reviewers, in fact reviewers of all kinds. On the one hand they'll criticize an apple for not being an orange: in this case it seems they're criticizing an apple for being an apple. And don't they love criticizing it for not being on with bells on... honestly I have learnt to read between the lines with reviewers

bigrab said...

Why not have a poll to gauge opinion on whether Cliff plays tennis for the pink team?

Please register my vote as a positive.